For moms who breast-feed you may not give much thought to the breastmilk collection storage bags you are using but having the right bags makes a world of difference. You are trusting the containers you use to store your baby’s precious nutrition so you want to choose a reliable option. I have used various brands of breast milk storage bags including Lansinoh, Medela, and Honeysuckle bags and I must say Honeysuckle is definitely the best.
Breast milk storage bags are designed for holding and storing expressed breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer. You can literally feel the difference in these bags apart from the other ones I have tried. The first time I opened the box upon receiving these I noticed immediately that they were made of a better, more durable material than other bags I’ve used. They run about the same price as the Lansinoh bags, and both are cheaper than the Medela storage bags. For comparison I will discuss the pros and cons with the other bags I have used.
Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags
I have a Medela breast pump which originally came with some pump and store bags. The one thing I really liked about them is the fact that you can hook them up directly to your pump. They are convenient since they eliminate the use for the collection bottles if you plan on storing them in the freezer right away.
The problem with pumping directly into the bags rather than collection bottles, however, is that it’s hard to determine an accurate measure of how much milk you’re storing. Even if you place the bags upright, it doesn’t provide a precise reading of how much milk is actually in it. Although, they do stand up a little better than the other bags to reduce spills and messes when transferring milk from the bottles.
Another issue I have these bags is that they don’t hold quite as much. Generally I pump around 6oz depending on the time of day and how long it’s been since I previously pumped. Say it’s been at least 4 hours since I last pumped/breastfed or first thing in the morning, I have to watch while I’m pumping so that I don’t overfill the bags, stop and switch out to new bags or bottles to finish pumping. When I do this I usually end up with an extra 2 -3 oz left over that didn’t fit in the bags which I just save in the refrigerator for later because it isn’t enough to fill a bag for freezing.
Upon reading other reviews I have read on the Medela bags is that they are not a great fit for Medela Freestyle models. I have the Pump-In-Style Advanced so this wasn’t an issue, but for those with Freestyle pumps the neck of the pump attachment is shorter which leads to excess milk residue above the zip seal. Basically, if you go with these bags at all just use the collection bottles and transfer because in my experience and based on what I’ve heard others say about them there really isn’t much benefit to having them attach directly to the pump. Sure it’s convenient and sounds like a great idea in theory, but it’s really not. If you do have the Advanced pump and you don’t pump more than 4oz each time then these bags might be a good fit for you.
Here are a few pros and cons by other buyers who have tried these bags:
- Freeze well with no leaks
- Useful for storing milk
- Terrible Zip-lock seal
- Stiff material allows minimal expansion and won’t lay flat
- Smaller size doesn’t allow for overfilling
Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags
These were the first bags I used primarily because Target had them and on occasion I will buy them if I run out before I have a chance to reorder the Honeysuckle. What I like about these bags is that even though they are marked up to 6oz I can store a little more (7 – 7 1/2 oz) and still able to seal them tightly without spilling or overfilling. Again, I don’t trust going primarily by the markings because when I pump 6oz in the bottles and transfer it to the bags, with the bottom out like it should for them to stand upright it shows as less than 6 oz according to the bag. Another notable factor with these is that like most bags they come pre-sterilized and made 100% BPA-free.
The problem I have with these bags is that they leak when it comes to storing milk in the freezer. This is extremely annoying when thawing out frozen milk because when it defrosts I end up having milk all over the inside of my refrigerator. After having this happen to me a number of times I learned to just place the bag in a separate container while thawing in the fridge so if it does leak it’s contained. However, if there is a hole in the bag that resulted during freezing then the milk has to be thrown out because air got into it which then renders the milk useless not to mention freezer burned. I think the problem lies in the thinner bag quality. These bags feature a double zipper to ensure a proper seal, which is great but completely pointless if the bags leak. They are not as durable as other brands. This is a big problem for me because they are unreliable and I end up having to throw milk out half the time.
Here’s what others who have tried these had to say about them:
- Lay flat for better space-efficiency
- Double zipper ensures they are well sealed
- Cheaper than Medela
- They leak
- Bags don’t stand up well alone
- Hard to pour into bottles without spilling
Ameda Breast Milk Storage Bags
I used the Ameda bags one time after receiving a sample pack of 2 bags from a free sample package of baby products. They are designed so that you can store then pour the milk from the bag into the bottles without the risk of spilling. They are easier to pour than other traditional bags because of the design. You can also pump directly into the bags like the Medela bags, although I didn’t have the adapters for these bags to use them with my pump so I can’t comment on how well they work in that matter. Like the Medela bags, they only hold 5oz of milk so you run the risk of overfilling when it comes to sealing and freezing. Also, the zipper is smaller on these than with the Honeysuckle and Medela bags so it’s harder to be sure that it’s completely sealed properly.
The big turnoff with these bags if I were buying them is that they are a terrible value for bags that will not hold more than 5oz. They come 20 or 40 in a pack as opposed to the 25 or 50 to a pack as with most other brands in addition to costing more. I pay around $10 for a 50 pack with Honeysuckle or Lansinoh. Ameda runs around $20 for 40 bags! I suppose it’s because of the way they are designed for easy pouring but in my opinion you are getting a rip-off.
Here’s what others had to say who tried these bags:
- Easy pour spout for one-handed pouring
- Convenient for pumping directly into bags
- Stand up well on their own
- Smaller size poses risk of overfilling
- Bulky in the freezer; don’t lay flat
Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags
These are by far my favorite bags. They are made of a thicker, more durable material. I can put over 6 oz milk in them without leaks or overfilling (about 7- 7 1/2 like the Lansinoh bags) and like the Lansinoh bags these do lay flat in the freezer to take up less space. They are also BPA-free and they are eco-friendly! They are made of oxo-biodegradable material so they can decompose over time.
I love ordering these because Amazon has them in a 300 pack available which gives you a better value costing an average of 15 cents per bag (or around 20 cents per bag in the 50-pack) I go through a good bit of bags so these are a much better value for me than ordering or buying the 50-packs.
I received these bags initially from a milk bank when I had excess milk to donate and loved them so much I continued to buy them when I found them online. These come pre-sterilized with the entire top of the bag sealed with a perforated edge. The Lansinoh bags also have a perforated edge for this as well. I prefer these over the other bags because the quality is better, the value is better, and I have never experienced leaks with these. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks these bags are great because these have a 4.4 out of 5 star rating.
Others who have tried these bags rave about them:
I love, love, LOVE these bags! And the fact that they’re biodegradable makes me like them even more. You won’t be disappointed with these bags!
Great item for the breast pumping mom!
I would highly recommend these bags to any breastfeeding mom who pumps and stores extra milk in the freezer. They are also suitable for use with daycare centers because there is a place on the bag where you can write your baby’s name on them for labeling. The only drawback is that there is no designated spot to label the volume, but since labeling my child’s name is not necessary as I’m the only one who uses them I just use this space for labeling the amount.