Whether or not you need a milk stash depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. A milk stash refers to a collection of breast milk that has been pumped and stored for future use. Generally, most mothers will only need to have enough milk for the next day, so it may not be worth the extra time and effort for you to build so much frozen reinforcements. In saying that, here are some reasons why you may want to consider having a milk stash💖
To have a backup supply 💕
Having a milk stash can provide peace of mind and allow you to have a backup supply of breast milk in case you are unable to breastfeed your baby. This may be useful if you’re sick, need to travel or away from your child unexpectedly.
To allow for time away from baby 💆🏻
If you need to be away from your baby for an extended period, having a milk stash can ensure that they still have access to your breast milk. Perhaps you’re overdue for a child-free holiday or need to visit family overseas.
To provide for bottle feedings 🍼
If you are planning to have others care for your baby, a milk stash can provide them with the necessary breast milk for bottle feedings. If you’re returning to full-time work and your baby will need quite a lot of milk daily, it can help to get that stash setup while on maternity leave.
To build up a supply 💪
If you are having difficulty producing enough breast milk, pumping and storing extra milk can help you build up a larger stash.
So, why would you not want a milk stash then? Building a freezer supply may be quite simple for some people with oversupply, while it may be a daunting (or even impossible) task for others. Here are some reasons to not bother with a freezer stash:
You don’t need another thing to do 😮💨
Like caring for a baby 24/7 wasn’t enough, now you have to dedicate even more time to pumping so that you can have a pretty freezer stash like everyone on the internet. Right? Wrong! Unless there is a specific reason for truly requiring a huge surplus of milk, you do not need to stress yourself out by pumping even more than you already need to.
It may actually not be a great idea for your supply😓
The stash vortex: if you start pumping extra each day, your body will likely be triggered to make even more milk. Resulting in a constant cycle of oversupply and needing to pump more. On the flip side, some will experience quite the opposite effect. More pumping = less feeding baby directly, which for some women can result in reduced milk production. Yikes!
It’s important to remember that every mother's breastfeeding journey is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. If you are comfortable without a milk stash, that's perfectly fine too. The most important thing is to do what is best for you and your baby!