Forgot Breast Milk Storage Bags? Here Are 4 Quick Options.

As all pumping moms know, breast milk storage bags are a convenient and easy way to store your breast milk. However, have you ever managed to get to work and realized you forgot breast milk storage bags? It can be panic-inducing (ask how I know)! The good news is there are still several options available to you to ensure that your breast milk is properly stored.

4 Options If You Forgot Breast Milk Storage Bags

1. Use a clean container with a lid.

If you forgot your breast milk storage bags at home, you can use any clean container with a lid to store your breast milk. This could be a plastic container like a water bottle, a glass jar, or even a reusable food storage container. Just make sure that the container is clean and that the lid seals tightly to prevent any leaks or spills. Spilled breast milk would be the sour cherry on top of forgetting your breast milk storage bags!

Related article: The Best Breast Milk Storage Bags On the Market Today

2. Use disposable cups with lids.

If you don’t have a clean container on hand, you can use disposable cups with lids to store your breast milk. If your workplace has coffee cups and lids, consider using these. Gas stations, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and coffee shops also have these kinds of cups. It’s not ideal, but needs must.

Related article: Pumping Fridge Hack: Storing Pump Parts in Fridge

3. Use a breast milk storage bottle.

This one is a no brainer, but you can use your breast milk storage bottles. If you only have two bottles on hand, you may need to pour milk into a clean container like we mentioned above in between pump sessions. This will allow you to pump as many times as you need throughout the day. Breast milk is fine at room temperature for 4 hours. If you plan to pump twice within a 4 hour time span, you can pump directly into your breast milk storage bottles even if they already have milk in them. Just make sure to refrigerate your breast milk after 4 hours.

Related article: How Much Breast Milk to Send to Daycare? We Have Answers.

4. Use a plastic bag.

If you don’t have any containers or cups on hand, you can use a plastic bag to store your breast milk. This should only be done in an emergency, as plastic bags are not designed for storing breast milk and can easily leak or tear. If you choose to use a plastic bag, make sure it’s BPA-free (look for numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6 inside the triangle symbol with three chasing arrows). Try to double up bags if you can in order to reduce the chance of leaks.

Related article: Milk Still Flowing After 30 Minutes of Pumping? It Can Happen.

5. Make a Target run.

Most big-box stores like Target or Walmart carry breast milk storage bags in store. If you have one close to you, try giving them a call or checking their website to see if they have any in stock. You may also want to purchase an extra box so you have some at work in case this ever happens again.

Related article: Pros and Cons of Power Pumping – Everything You Need to Know

Once you have chosen an option, make sure your breast milk is properly chilled to prevent the growth of bacteria. As a reminder, breast milk is fine at room temperature for up to 4 hours, and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make sure to transfer your breast milk to proper breast milk storage bags as soon you can.

Related article: Jealous of Nanny? Me, Too. Here’s How I Cope.

Pumping and discovering you forgot breast milk storage bags can be frustrating, but there are several in-a-pinch options available to ensure that your breast milk is properly stored. Whether you use a clean container, disposable cups, a breast milk storage bottle, or a plastic bag, make sure to label your breast milk with the date and time of pumping and to properly chill or freeze it to ensure its safety. And make sure to pack an emergency stash of bags to have on hand at work in case this ever happens again!

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Shannon Tisdale
Shannon founded Work Breastfeed Mom in 2019 during her second round of pumping at work. She was tired of googling the same pumping questions over and over again, and discouraged at the lack of websites aimed at working breastfeeding moms. So, she created one herself. Shannon lives, works, and doles out Puffs to her little people in sunny Florida. She has her MBA and works as a strategic planner for a large healthcare system. She is passionate about coffee, memoirs, paddle boarding, and skincare routines. Shannon is mom to Scarlett and Ivy, and hopes to have more babies if her career allows.