If your freezer is separated from the fridge (like right above but with a separate door), I think up to 6 months will be OK. You will know: if it starts smelling bad... it's probably not very good anymore!
We always made sure to use the oldest milk first, kept everything by date to make it easier. But I never went above 3 months because I have never been able to pump very big amounts so reserves are used quickly for me.
I hear ya there.. it usually takes 2 pumping sesions to make a 4-6oz bag for me.. I have never had any of mine smell bad and I keep everything numbered/date order.
The containers in the fridge are individually numbered and they rotate from 1-18. The freezer so far is numbered by date filled/stored/pumped. It is a seperate freezer, above my fridge.
just make sure you date them and put the time and keep them in order ...
I never had a bag go bad. We did primarily keep it in a deep freezer though, but I always served up to the prescribed "expiration", sometimes longer. If you go through my older journals, I actually have tips on storing milk in an entry. The guidelines are flexible, depending on the person. Some people's milk spoils faster. Mine seemed to be good for a while. If I pumped at night and left it out in the cool room, it was still OK 10-12 hours later. Made night feeds easier!
We relied on the sniff test- as long as it didn't smell like rotten milk, it was good to serve. Also, my LC assured me that a baby would not drink spoiled milk. If you wanna know what spoiled milk smells like, sniff a bottle you forgot to wash from the day before. The smell is unmistakable!
Lay the bags flat to freeze, and then stand them upright in a gallon sized ziplock to help keep them organized in the freezer. I could get at least 10 bags into each gallon sized ziplock. Makes storing easier, and also easier to pull to the front when you start using the milk.
One more thing: I use special breastfeeding milk bags and I make sure to remove as much air as possible before freezing them - that will prevent oxidation of the milk.
If you freeze in the bags though you might want to leave a bit of room for it to expand, otherwise the bag will pop open.
Thanks ladies!!! So far I have not smelled any rotton milk (thank goodness) we cant afford to loose any. LOL
I do have the special storage bags and I yell at my husband not to touch them so they can freeze flat then be stored up right. I think based on everything stated- I am doing it just right and almost in an OCD way to ensure quality and freshness!
What stinks though is I just bought formula not too long ago as a suppliment cause we needed it. But now I have so much in the fridge on a daily basis she goes through almost exactly (sometimes less) than what I pump while I'm away at work. I have a large can completely unused and two sample sizes that are open and being used in the diaper bag for emergencies. What do I do with the formula now??- it's 33oz of powder and since she maybe takes 2-4oz a day if that, we'll never use it all in 1yr. Thankfully the powder is good till March 2012 I beleive.