View Full Version : Pumps with bottles or bags...I'm confused!!

06-29-2002, 12:27 PM
I'm planning to buy the Pump in Style, which I know comes with bottles, but I keep reading about storing the milk in bags to take up less space....how does this work? Do you put the bag inside the bottle to pump, then remove it to store, then transfer it out of the bag into a bottle to feed? If so, do those out there using the PIS bottles that are included use them just to collect or also to feed? I have seen so many bottles with special features to mimic the breastfeeding process, minimize gas, etc, so I don't know whether I need to buy separate bottles for feeding or not.

Thanks so much for your help.

06-29-2002, 04:21 PM
I can't comment on how to use storage bags since I haven't tried it yet. But I do use the PIS and the bottles that come w/it. I use the bottles for collecting and feeding. It does take up room in the freezer though, but so far I'm doing alright (and I have a very small freezer). The only thing is if you use these bottles, you'll either have to buy collars for them or buy the lids which have a removable disk. I personally like using the lids with a disk. I simply defrost the bottle, pop out the disk and put in a nipple and the bottle is ready. I do worry about the gas factor when I use these bottles though, but when I use the Playtex disposable bottles my ds still seems to have gas problems. I honestly can't tell you which system is better. I suppose it depends on the baby. One advantage to using bags for storage and feeding is that you have less to sterilize. With the bottles, I have to sterilize lots of things quite frequently. Still, its not a bad system. My husbad prefers the bottles over the use of disposables like playtex, but I have to add that he's not the one who has to sterilize everything.

P.S. When I use my playtex bottles, I usually pour the defrosted milk from the collection bottles into the liners. I haven't tried freezing milk in disposable bags yet. I hope this helps.

06-30-2002, 02:15 PM
I've used bags, the medela bottles, other bottles given to me from the hospital, and Avent! I prefer using the Avent bottles. You can purchase adapters (make sure to buy two - they only come one to a box!) and then pump directly into the Avent bottles. Then you just seal it with the regular collar and a disc that you can buy seperately. Then when they are needed, all you have to do is replace the disc with the nipple.

I use the other bottles when I run out of Avent ones, and just pour it into the Avent bottles when he needs it. I've read about others who have managed to pump directly into the bags, but I never figured it out! I always poured it into the bags (spilling is sooooo sad!!) and then poured from the bags into the bottle.

Good luck!

06-30-2002, 07:47 PM
I used a Medela pump (only a single though) and used the Gerber storage bags. I simply pumped into the bottle that came with the pump, then poured the milk into the bags (I only put in 2 oz per bag so as not to waste any - such a precious commodity!!), pushed out the air, sealed, labled, and froze. Then when I needed some milk, I either put a bag or 2 in the fridge to thaw or put a bag in a bowl of warm water to thaw for quicker use. Best of luck to you...


07-01-2002, 09:57 AM
I use the Medela PIS and pump into the bottle that came with it. It's easier to transport it back home that way.

Every night I balance out what I've pumped into the bottles that I need and pour them into Gerber Bags. Some go in the freezer (I freeze them flat for more storage room and quick thawing) and some go to day care the next day.

This seemed like the obvious way for us to do it. I couldn't see using bottles in the freezer...I currently have 20+, 4oz bags in the freezer...we wouldn't be able to keep much food in there if they were in bottles!

We use the Avent disposable bottles and it's been a breeze ...no problems whatsoever.



07-03-2002, 02:12 PM
Here's what I have done. I have pumped into the medela bottles and kept in the fridge (to mix with her cereal or to later be poured into her playtex nurser) and I have pumped into bags. When I use bags I would ziploc (Gerber) or twist-tie(medela) around the base of the horn where you would normally twist on the bottle. If I didn't think I'd get very much, I'd pump into one bottle and have a baggie on the other and then pour the bottle's content into the baggies to combine before storing. lol, guess I've done almost every combination! Don't forget your pump will come with some baggies for you to try so you can test the waters a bit. If you like the baggies you can use them with avent disposables or playtex or any disposable system. If you are mainly BFing, I'd recommend the disposables--so much less cleaning and I do think there's a gas reduction. Whatever you do, try not to buy too many bottles. I was 100% convinced I wanted to use Avents and spent a fortune. Unfortunately, DD hated the nipple and there you have it! The nice thing about playtex is that they have a nipple sampler pack for you to test out their options...

good luck!

07-09-2002, 03:09 PM
1)you probably need separate bottles. We played with a few kinds before our baby decided which kind he liked: Avent (seems to be favored by breastfeeding babies).
2)BAG YOUR MILK in Gerber seal-n-go bags. This is the only way to go!

07-13-2002, 03:57 PM
This is one message thread I will have to follow, as I have the same question. However, I did bump into a product online that should help with the freezer storage--it's at nestmom.com, and it's their MilkMate storage system. 10 bottles that fit most pumps (except of course Avent--but Avent makes a "conversion kit" adaptor for thier bottle now, so you can pump into their bottles-get 2 for a double pump), and a rack for the bottles where you put the new bottle on top and the oldest bottle comes out the bottom (I have the same system for my soup cans and soda cans, and it works great). Their price is $27, but I saw it on sale at ePinions for $24 this week.
My concern with the plastic baggies is that the milk doesn't last as long as in bottles, something about the baggies breaking down, but I think it's 3-4 months vs 9-10 months, and I can't imagine needing to store the milk that long anyway.
Experienced pumpers, is 10 bottles enough to store at a time, or should we get 2 of the MilkMates kits?

07-13-2002, 10:24 PM
I posted above..but thought it better to reply specifically. I am about to finish pumping for my daughter who turns one next week. I cannot imagine having enough room in our freezer for one milk mate system, never mind two! At the height of my freezer stash I had 25+ 4oz gerber bags in my freezer...that would be two and a half milk mate systems!...and I am NOT a prolific pumper at all!

The gerber bags are thicker than traditional disposable bags and made specifically for storing breast milk. I would check the LLL site but the commom recommendation for the length of time you can freeze it is 3 months in a conventional freezer and I think 6 months in a deep freeze...I don't know of any conditions that are okay for 9-10 months.

Another thing that will be difficult with the plastic bottles is defrosting. I freeze the gerber bags flat and then stack them on their side for storage...in date order. In the beginning for some odd reason I froze them standing up which made for difficult storage and organization. We couldn't fit much in the freezer either. The lumps of milk took FOREVER to defrost as opposed to the flat freezing method I ended up with. All anyone had to do is put it under warm running water, or in a cup of warm water ...and 10 minutes later it's defrosted (I just double checked with dh how long it took). Then it's just a matter of dropping the bag in the disposable bottle shell and it's done...no transferring milk at all.

The bags do run a bit of $$...about $6 per box of 25...but Target puts them on sale occasionally...I got 20+ boxes on sale for $4 each this past winter which put me til the end of pumping...in fact, I have one box left :-)!

My suggestion is don't go out and buy anything just yet. See how it goes with pumping. As I stated above, I just pump into the PIS bottles and transfer to bags for freezing or fresh for daycare each night. I too use the Avent bottles and found this MUCH easier than trying to use adaptors or attaching the bags directly to the pump. Actually...I pump so little at each session that most times I don't even get enough for one bottle total...never mind separately.

A great resource for working and pumping concerns is the site I mentioned above... really great moms there with TONS of outstanding ideas. I think the best thing I took away from that site was the idea to use rubberbands around the necks of the horns to attach them to my bra hooks...hands free pumping!! woo hoo!! ...and no special stuff to buy!

I hope this helps. Pumping comes with it's own special challenges and I appreciated all the tips I got during the last year.....I wouldn't have made it without them :-)

Good Luck!

07-14-2002, 11:41 AM
I am only pumping a little at this stage, but am also pumping into bottles and then pouring the milk into bags to freeze. A friend gave me the idea of standing the bag in a tall glass when transferring the milk-- that way you don't lose it if you spill any. I find that standing the bag in a glass works well also just to keep the bag open. Then I just seal the bag and freeze it.

07-15-2002, 09:00 AM
Thought I'd reply as one of the minority with bottles in my freezer!

I pump directly into Avent bottles with both the Isis pump and a Purely Yours with an adapter. I like the fact that all you have to do is replace the sealing disk with the nipple and you're ready to go...pouring back and forth just makes me nervous.

Two downsides:

It does take up more space in the freezer. I'm working part-time and decided I was comfortable with only a week's worth of milk in the freezer (9 bottles). If you're going to work full-time or need a larger stash to feel at ease, bags might be a better way to go.

Bottles take much longer to thaw, but here's my way around that. I'm using the "freshest first" something I read about on breastfeeding.com
Each day my daughter gets milk pumped the previous day that I've stored in the refrigerator. The only time I freeze milk is on Friday, and the only time we thaw milk for her is Monday.

I agonized over this decision too, and almost ordered the Milk Mate before settling on the Avent bottles and realizing I could just arrange them in my freezer by age myself.

07-19-2002, 10:19 PM
You've got lots of great comments on this string, but I thought I'd add one more. I used the Medela bags with my PIS. I just attached the bags straight to the pump; no bottles or transfers necessary. There's instructions on how to attach them with the bags. I think that you could drop the bag into a disposable bottle system, but I cut them open and poured it into the regular Avent bottle. Bags store smaller, thaw faster, and don't have to be washed after use! As far as I know, you can store milk in the bags for just as long as in the bottle. Medela's bags (and the others, I'm sure) are made for freezer storage. Don't you store your food in freezer bags? Same principle.

07-20-2002, 07:22 PM
Thanks so much to all of you for your advice...I guess I'll probably just test the waters a bit before deciding on what will work best, although I think I'll definitely use the bags for storage.

I decided to go to BRU and look based on all of the suggestions. Now I have a few more questions. (1) For those using the Gerber bags and Avent bottles, since the bags are 6 oz capacity, I guess you are using the big 8 oz disposable Avent bottles even though you're only putting 4 oz of milk in the bags? (2) Can you use the 4 oz re-usable bottles if you use a different brand of bag that has 4 oz capacity? (3) Can you use re-usable bottles at all if you are using the bags to feed from instead of pouring it in, and if not, what prevents it?

Thanks again for all of your help!!