Exclusively pumping results tons of baby bottles to store, keep track of, and wash. Many moms use the “pitcher method” – storing breast milk in a pitcher – as a way to simplify their daily pumping and feeding routine, and make more room in their fridge.
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What Exactly is the Pitcher Method?
Simply put, the pitcher method involves collecting all your pumped milk from the day and storing it in a large container. At the end of the day – or whenever your container is full – you then prepare the next day’s feeding bottles using the milk collected.
What is the Perfect Container for the Pitcher Method?
Some of the features you want to look for in the container include:
- Ability to hold between 28-64 ounces (you want it to be able to hold more than you normally pump in a day)
- An easy pour spout, so that you don’t lose any milk when transferring it to bottles
- A lid to protect the milk when it’s stored in the refrigerator
- Made from glass or food grade plastic
Some great options that moms in our Facebook group have used include:
1. Dr Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher
Dr. Brown’s Pitcher is one of the most popular choices for storing breastmilk. It holds 32oz.
The MixerMate holds 32oz of breastmilk and has a secure top with a spout for pouring.
3. Mason Jar
This shaker bottle by Blender Bottle holds 28oz of liquid.
Is Storing Breast Milk in a Pitcher Right for Me?
Anyone can use the pitcher method! Moms with oversupply or who prefer to prep bottles in advance may benefit the most from this storage method. On the other hand, if you would rather feed freshly pumped breast milk, it might not make sense for you.
Here are the pros and cons.
Pros to the Pitcher Method
- Simplifies feeding and breast milk storage and makes it more systematic
- Takes up less room in your refrigerator
- Less work for those with an oversupply
- May result in fewer bottles to wash
Cons of the Pitcher Method
- If your container is accidentally dropped or broken, you will lose all of the breast milk that you had stored in it
4 Tips for Storing Breast Milk in a Pitcher
Here are some ways to make sure you handle you breast milk safely (and don’t waste any!) when using the pitcher method.
- Always cool freshly pumped milk first so that you are not mixing cold and warm milk together. When mixing milk from multiple pumping sessions, it is recommended that the milk always be the same temperature.
- Label your container with the date of the oldest milk, and remember that breast milk is generally good for 3-8 days in the refrigerator.
- Fully incorporate the fat by swirling the container so that your milk is well balanced.
- Use a silicone spatula to scrape off any fat stuck to the sides of your container.
Have you tried storing breast milk in a pitcher? Tell us your experience in the comments!References
- Bonyata, Kelly, IBCLC. “Breastmilk Storage & Handling.” https://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/