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Milk storage at work/on way home

(19 Posts)
Appleton Fri 19-Aug-11 09:56:46

I have a 10 month DS and I'm about to go back to work. He's breastfed on demand so I'm slightly panicking about leaving him, but I'm hoping he will adjust and feed lots during the time I'm home (I'll only be doing 3 days a week for the first month).

I plan to try and express while at work and take the milk home to (ideally) take to nursery the next day. I have about a 45 minute commute on the way home so was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of how to keep the milk cool on the way home. Work will provide a fridge, but I don't want the milk spoiling on the way home. Would also be useful if I could find something that is discreet for storage in work fridge - don't really want to be putting a bottle in there (I don't know why!)

Also, would I be able to freeze milk once at home? Or would that not be OK since it would have been in a fridge for 4/5 hours at work?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Donki Fri 19-Aug-11 09:59:10

When I was in a similar position I used a small cool bag with cool packs very successfully. It was a very hot summer and my commute was similar - but the cool bag worked very well. I just had to remember to refreeze the cool packs every night.

Donki Fri 19-Aug-11 10:03:45

And, yes I used to freeze the milk.
At the end of it all, (I expressed every day for a couple of months before hand to prepare, and then expressed at weekends as well), I had to throw away about a gallon of frozen breast milk that the Young Donk had not used....

The biggest difficulty I had to overcome was finding out how to trick my body into a let down at work with no baby around..... a photograph helped, but it was mainly visualising and recalling the feeding sensation and smell of the YD which helped. Work was also helpful in finding me somewhere quiet, comfortable and private (NOT THE LOO) in which to express at lunchtime and morning break. (An empty office)

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 10:09:17

Small insulated lunch box and an icepack worked really well for me. To stimulate let down I used photos and video of DS on my phone, and a double pump was invaluable.

MotherPanda Fri 19-Aug-11 10:37:09

don't worry about the milk spoiling! it's fine for 6 hours at room temp - but a coolbox/bag would be good if you want to keep it cool.

you can store milk for 6 hours at room temp THEN 6 days in the fridge and then 6 months in the freezer - you dont have to pick one or the other.

so it should be fine smile

CMOTdibbler Fri 19-Aug-11 10:46:09

I used a coolbag (took my lunch in it) for the way home. During the day, I put the bottles in the canteen fridge in a microfibre sponge bag so no one could see what it was, but it didn't stop the milk getting really cold

Appleton Fri 19-Aug-11 10:47:20

Donki - I will probably have to resort to the loo as in our office all the meeting rooms have glass walls! I'm very impressed at your preparation - I've had a half-hearted attempt at pumping and only got 2ozs for my efforts. I'm hoping that it will be much more successful when my boobs are actually full when I'm away from him, as he never goes long enough without milk at the moment to get a good amount expressed! I also know from experience with my daughter that he's likely to pretty much refuse expressed milk anyway, and wait for a monster feed in the evening. As he's 10 months and eating well I'm pretty relaxed about it. Maybe too relaxed!

Cosmosis - I have been trying to video his cutest moments on my phone for exactly this reason! Hoping it works!

I will get on Amazon and have a look at cool bags/lunch boxes. I thought I was escaping the world of carrying huge bags full of baby stuff. Never mind - it's only for a couple of months and then he'll be on cows milk during the day!

Appleton Fri 19-Aug-11 10:54:05

motherpanda - I don't know why I always treat expressed milk as if it's something completely alien. Probably all the advice re sterilising etc when they're newborn gets me paranoid about it!

CMOT - good idea about taking lunch in it. I should really do that, as I always end up spending most of my wages on lunch in central London!

Thanks again to everyone for the advice. I can usually think for myself but 10 months of no sleep has done my last remaining brain cells in!

worldgonecrazy Fri 19-Aug-11 11:01:04

I just put the milk in the fridge, then transferred to an insulated bag for the journey home. I did freeze some of it (mum would always freeze it over the weekend refusing to believe it would be okay) but usually it was for use the next day.

It's important to be relaxed to get good let down, so don't be too despondent at first. It can be really embarassing having to nip off, but remember that you are blazing a trail for working mums everywhere.

At 10 months he will probably be able to manage without milk in the day anyway. I think my DD stopped daytime booby milk around 11-12 months.

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 12:33:47

meant to say, mine never went in our work fridge, they're a health hazard all of their own! it stayed in the coolbag,

At 10m he will be fine if he refuses milk in the day. DS refused it for the first month even though he has always happily taken a bottle of it from his dad.

MotherPanda Fri 19-Aug-11 12:35:00

ah, work fridges... one day it's going to end up in someones cup of tea...

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 12:40:34

Another reason mine didn’t go in there wink

CMOTdibbler Fri 19-Aug-11 13:34:03

Actually the guys (this was in a factory where everyone else using the fridge was from the manufacturing floor) were very respectful of my milk. I did get the occasional joke about providing my own milk.
Our canteen fridge was v v clean and emptied over weekends and holidays. Which did lead to a problem one Christmas eve when I was tied up on a call at 12 when they cleaned the fridge out - and I had to chase down facilities to ask where my bottles had gone and explain it was My Milk

Donki Fri 19-Aug-11 22:38:19

CMOT grin

The science department fridge was grim (various experiments in it) - I never let my lunch near it, although colleagues did. I used the one in Food Technology... but hid the bottles in a small bag like CMOT so that the kids wouldn't cotton on.

Appleton Sat 20-Aug-11 09:46:41

Yes, I am slightly concerned about our work fridges - there's always a nasty smell wafting from them!

Well, I've ordered an insulated lunch bag and some freezer pack thingies. So thank you all for helping me get my sleepy butt in gear and get organised for this part of going back to work. I think I've been in denial about the fact that it's actually happening - would love to stay home until his first birthday (and avoid giving expressed milk at all), but I just can't afford to stay at home with no pay sad

RebelFromTheWaistDown Sat 20-Aug-11 15:29:23

I took my expressed milk home in a cool bag on my 45minute commute home when I first returned to work.

I am intrigued that in your OP you state that you don't know why you don't want to store your expressed milk in the work fridge. I wonder if you have thought through the possibility of offending your colleagues by storing your breast milk in the staff fridge as I offended mine when I returned to work after DC3?

On my return from mat leave I informed my manager of my intention to express my milk at work and was provided with a clean private room in which to do this. I stored my expressed milk in a sealed bottle in the staff fridge and then took it home in a cool bag at the end of the day.

I was aware that this was a bit of a novelty with my colleagues which I can understand. However, one of my colleagues, asked me if I would store my expressed milk in a bag out of sight as the sight of it in the staff fridge was offending some people. In my initial shock I was actually holding back tears.

RebelFromTheWaistDown Sat 20-Aug-11 15:37:11

I had to throw away all my expressed milk anyway as DS refused to take it from a bottle. He also refused to take various brands of follow on milk. His choice and it didn't do him any harm as he was eating 3 meals a day at 9mo and drinking water and fruit juice from a cup. I breastfed him before and after work and still do 2 years on.

Appleton Sat 20-Aug-11 15:51:32

I honestly don't know why I feel it would be better to "disguise" my milk if I put it in the fridge. Probably because most of my colleagues are men, and would feel uncomfortable if their lunch was sitting next to my milk - people can be funny about breast milk. And normally I'd be the kind of person to try and challenge these views, but as you say it can be an emotional time going back to work, so I really want to avoid any aggro if I possibly can.

Appleton Sat 20-Aug-11 15:56:37

Yes, I fully expect him to take no milk during nursery time. I think I'll just be putting it in a cup as he drinks his water from cups fine now. He has never taken a bottle - though I didn't keep trying too often as the whole sterilise/pump/store cycle was too involved when I knew I was always going to be with him anyway!

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