Mommy's Milk Makes Baby Happy; Lansinoh Makes it Easy
Feb 5, 2010
Pros: Thick plastic Volume markings Can store a comparitively large amount BPA-free
Cons: Volume measurements may be innaccurate, are hard to read/use Poor pour spout Environmentally wasteful
The Bottom Line: These bags are the best method of breast milk storage for me with great features and only minor complaints.
I knew from the time I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to breast feed. I also knew it wouldn't necessarily be easy, so I tried to look into how it would and could work for full-time working mom and student like me. One of the things I discovered was Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags.
Lansinoh makes a plethora of breastfeeding supplies, has a wonderful website (www.lansinoh.com), and offers affordable, doctor and hospital recommended products. I receive samples of these bags when I purchase Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads, and after using them and a few other brands of storage items, I've decided I like these best. Now I purchase them instead of depending on samples.
About the Product
These bags claim to be the "thickest bag available" and are 100% BPA-free (no Bisphenol-A). They have a "convenient pour spout" and a white tab to write on. They feature double zippers for extra security, can be stored flat, and claim to be self-standing.
The bags come in boxes of 25 or 50; I purchase the 50 pack most often. 25 bags are stored within another bag that has a slit opening in the top of it so you can easily remove the storage bags without loosening them all (think of a tissue box here). The bags are about 8 inches long and made of clear, plastic that is thicker than a baggie. (The FAQs on the website say it is 3 mil thick... after some investigation I'm fairly certain they mean it is 3-thousandths of an inch thick, but I could be wrong*) There are double-zip seals on the bag to ensure no leaks or early freezer-burn. The bag opening is sealed with a small piece of plastic that must be torn off, to ensure no bacteria can get into the bag. The bags are marked in measures of ounces (up to 6 oz.) and milliliters (up to 180); the markings only go just under half-way up the bag. The zipper enclosures are about 1 1/2 inches away from the opening, and the opening is cut at a curve to make for easier pouring. The bottom of the bag is made so that it should be able to stand up by itself for easier transferring of milk-to-bag.
My first thought with this product was that once again, Lansinoh is using excessive packaging. The storage bags are kept within a bag themselves (actually if you purchase the 50-pack they're kept in two separate bags) and then packaged in a box. While this packaging makes me a little irritated at the amount of waste it eventually produces, I do feel it is more sanitary and it helps to keep the bags all together. I generally pump between 3 and 8 ounces during a pumping session; while the bags are only marked up to 6 ounces I like to get more bang for my buck so I put as much milk in them as I can while still leaving a little room for expansion during freezing and thawing. For me, this usually means I can fill them up to 12 ounces, though I generally do around 10. I really wish that the volume markings went higher than 6 ounces. Also, the markings seem to be a bit off... When I pour in what I've measured to be 6 ounces it sometimes hits the line and sometimes doesn't. This could be that the markings aren't, well, marked exactly right, or it could be because the bag is crooked or squeezed together somewhat. Whatever the reason, it makes me second guess how much is in the bag. I fill these bags with whatever I pump, then continue to do so after each session until I have at least 9 ounces in the bag (unless it takes longer than 3 days --which it never does-- for sanitary reason). I could take or leave the pour spout when pouring milk into the bags as it doesn't really help or hinder. However, the very few times I've had to pour from the bag to a bottle (I don't feed bottles to baby Trent, usually the sitter or my husband does) it was difficult for me and I felt like the spout got in the way more than it helped. The bags are supposed to be self-standing, and while they do stand on their own when they are filled no more than 6 ounces, I am not comfortable relying on them to do so, and generally always keep a hand on them. When I fill them more than 6 ounces they get unstable and I definitely wouldn't leave the bag opened and standing on its own. The tab for writing is handy: there is a space for the date and volume, as well as a blank line below (I put my name in it). The thick plastic and double zip enclosure make me feel more secure about storing and freezing my milk with these bags, as I don't worry as much about leaking.
Like I said, I fill these up with no more than 12 ounces (and that's pushing it) to leave room for freezing expansion. I try to freeze them within three days, and I usually freeze these lying down (as Lansinoh suggests) so they are fairly flat and easier to thaw. There are a few ways to thaw frozen milk. If I'm not in a hurry for it to thaw I just move it from the freezer to the refrigerator, or even the counter if it will be used within a few hours. Usually when I am in a hurry to thaw them (it's almost always my husband that has to do this, as once again, I never feed my baby a bottle so as to avoid confusion) we boil about 1 1/2 cups of water in a measuring glass in the microwave, then set the bag in it. This also warms the milk to be used in the bottle. Occasionally we thaw the bags by running them under warm water, though this is tedious. Milk should never be thawed OR warmed by use of a microwave, as it can create hot pockets that can burn the baby's mouth, and it also destroys the nutrients within.
I have purchased several boxes of these bags, and while I've used other bags and bottles to store frozen milk, these are my favorite, as I only have minor complaints about them. Though they are somewhat environmentally wasteful, the pour spout sometimes irritates me, and the volume measurement markings aren't helpful to me, they are fairly inexpensive and work well for me and for the people who feed my baby from them. I fill anywhere from one to three of these each day while I work and at home when I "over-pump" after feeding my boy. They make storing my white gold much easier, and have made being a working, nursing mother much easier for me.
I made the decision to continue feeding my baby breast-milk exclusively though I returned to work full-time, and though it's sometimes difficult it's been very rewarding and I don't regret it at all, ever. These bags are one of the many things that have helped me to do this. If anyone reading this review is or plans on doing the same thing, please don't hesitate to contact me via email (found on my profile page). While I'm definitely no expert, I've tried several things and talked to several people, and I'd love to discuss options (for myself or for you) or just be there for support if need be. :)
*If my guess at the bag thickness (i.e. interpreting what 'mil' means) is wrong, please let me know so I can update this review to be more accurate.
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About the reviewer
Laura Elizabeth 'Anderson' Brack (laurashrti)
I'm brand new to Lunch and looking to get settled. I write on epinions.com as laurashrti, and enjoy writing product reviews. I'm a 27-year-old library employee working … more
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25 Sterilized Medical Grade Bags Lansinoh® Breastmilk Storage Bags are for those times when you can’t be with your baby. The milk you express for your baby is a precious fluid. It combines the best possible nutrition with antibodies, live cells, and other substances that protect babies from infection and help them grow and develop. You'll want to take good care of it and how you store it will affect how well it is preserved. Features: Specially designed with a convenient pour spout for transferring milk into a bottle, these bags can be stored flat in the freezer, taking up less space and making them easier to thaw Double zipper closure Color Change Zipper Seal for proof of closure Write-On-Tab outside fill area eliminates potential puncture and ink contamination Tissue Pack Dispenser for easy access and storage Tamper evident safety seal Available in boxes of 25 bags