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Whether it’s because you’re back at work post-maternity leave, or you’re on a quick weekend getaway without the baby (which you 1000% deserve) or you’re just simply running errands for a couple hours, there are a million and one reasons why moms often pump when they’re out of the house and need a cooler bag to store that coveted breastmilk in so they can save it for a future feeding. (Personally, as a breastfeeding mom, nothing broke my heart more than pumping and dumping because I didn’t have a safe way to keep my milk cold.)
That’s why one must-have on the list of breastfeeding products is a cooler bag for that liquid gold. But, as is often the case for busy moms on the go, there are endless choices! How long can breastmilk even be in a cooler? What should you look for in a breastmilk cooler bag? Let’s unpack and get some answers.
How long can breastmilk be stored in a cooler bag?
According to the CDC, “Breastmilk can be stored in an insulated cooler with frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours when you are traveling.” And, the CDC adds, as soon as you’ve arrived to your destination, the breastmilk should be used, refrigerated, or frozen immediately.
So knowing that you can pump and safely keep your milk for future use, investing in a good breastmilk cooler bag is key if you want to continue to breastfeed when you’re away from your baby.
What should you look for in a breastmilk cooler bag?
Functionality, for one. For example, some bags hold six bottles or more. Others only hold one or two, or don’t even hold bottles at all and are only good for storing bags of breastmilk. Depending on your needs and budget, you might want to splurge on a high-end luxury cooler bag, or opt for a low-cost option that works for when you’re out of the house for just an hour or two.
Also, some breast milk cooler bags only fit certain brands of bottles, while others provide more room, fit all types of brands, and can even double as lunch totes or wine bottle coolers as well. With that said, here’s a list of breastmilk cooler bags we love that range from fancy to simple, large to small, and even skip the “bag” component altogether!