Glass Bottles and Containers for Breast Milk Storage

The Pros and Cons Plus Three Food and Freezer-Safe Products to Try

Glass Bottles and Containers for Breast Milk Storage

If you are pumping and storing your breast milk, you'll have to choose the type of container that best meets your storage needs. Glass bottles and containers are always a good choice especially for long-term storage in the freezer. Since glass bottles and jars are stronger than plastic breast milk storage bags, they can be washed and reused. They're also more environmentally friendly. However, glass containers can be dangerous since they're more likely to break and shatter when compared to hard plastic storage containers or breast milk storage trays.

Freezing and Defrosting Breast Milk in Glass Containers

If you're planning to freeze your breast milk in glass bottles or containers, you should be aware that not all glass is freezer-safe. You should not put regular glass baby bottles, baby food jars, or any other glass containers into your freezer unless they are designed to withstand freezing temperatures.

Even freezer-safe glass can break when exposed to temperatures that change quickly, so it's also important to defrost your glass bottles and containers correctly. You want to thaw your glass storage containers very slowly.

How to Safely Fill Glass Containers for Storing Breast Milk in the Freezer

When you're filling glass bottles for storage, make sure you don't fill them all the way to the top. Since breast milk expands during the freezing process, if the glass container is too full, it can burst. Instead, fill the bottle 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up to allow for the expansion. Then, seal the bottle with an airtight cap to help protect your breast milk from contamination and odors while it's in the freezer. 

Using glass containers to store your breast milk has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of using glass over other types of breast milk storage containers.

The Pros of Using Glass Containers to Store Breast Milk

  • Glass containers are environmentally friendly. Since you don't throw them away after each use, there's less plastic waste going into the garbage. 
     
  • Glass bottles are reusable and economical. Initially, they may be more expensive when compared to disposable plastic storage bags. But, if you'll be using them again and again, over time they will save you money. 
     
  • The glass of freezer-safe food storage containers is stronger than plastic, so your breast milk is less likely to leak and spill when it's properly sealed in glass containers. 
     
  • Glass provides better protection against contamination.

The Cons of Glass Containers for Breast Milk Storage

  • Glass can be dangerous if it breaks or shatters.
     
  • Glass bottles are not disposable. You have to wash them after each use.
     
  • Glass containers take up more room in the refrigerator or freezer compared to storage bags.
     
  • You have to defrost glass storage containers slowly. 

Glass Breast Milk Storage Bottles and Containers You May Want to Try 

If you want to use glass bottles or glass containers to store your breast milk, choose products that are freezer-safe and specifically designed for the storage of food. Here are three brands that you may want to try. 

1
Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles

Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle for Breast Milk and Storage
Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles. Amazon

Lifefactory glass baby bottles are available in 4-ounce (120 ml) and 9-ounce sizes (250 ml). Made from toxin-free, thermal shock-resistant glass, you can use the same Lifefactory glass bottle to collect, freeze, warm, and feed your baby. These dishwasher safe bottles are covered with a silicone sleeve to provide a better grip and help protect the bottle from breaking should it fall. Each Lifefactory glass bottle comes with a nipple, but you can purchase an additional solid cap for freezing and storing breast milk. They are also bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalate, and PVC free.

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2
Wean Green

Wean Green Tempered Glass Baby Food and Breast Milk Storage Containers
Wean Green Wean Cubes Baby Food Glass Containers. Amazon

Wean Green's tempered glass food storage containers are durable and great for storing breast milk or other foods and snacks. The colorful non-toxic lids snap on tight to provide a secure, airtight, leakproof seal. These containers are bisphenol A (BPA), phthalate, and PVC free, and they stack for easy storage. Available in 4-ounce (120 ml) cubes, 5.1-ounce (150 ml) tubs, 5.6- ounce (165 ml) bowls, 7-ounce (210 ml) snack cubes, and 16.5-ounce (490 ml) lunch cubes, these eco-friendly containers are freezer, microwave, and dishwasher-safe. 

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3
Ball and Kerr Glass Preserving Jars

Ball and Kerr Quilted Crystal Preserving Jars for Food and Breast Milk Storage
Ball and Kerr Glass Food Storage Jars. Amazon

The Ball and Kerr brands of glass preserving jars are food and freezer-safe. They can be found in 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes so they're great for storing breast milk or baby food. Instead of a wide mouth, these jars have a regular-sized mouth, so it's easier to pour liquids and soft foods into and out of them. Ball and Kerr jars have a two-piece canning lid; however, a plastic storage cap is available (sold separately) and recommended for freezer storage. Ball and Kerr jars are high quality, and once you no longer need them for your baby, they won't go to waste. There are so many other creative ways to use these versatile jars.

 

Sources:

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM clinical protocol# 8: Human milk storage information for home use for full-term infants. Original protocol March 2004; revision# 1 March 2010. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2010;5(3).

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Seventh Edition.  Mosby. 2011.

Riordan, J., and Wambach, K. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Fourth Edition. Jones and Bartlett Learning. 2014.

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