Question: Expressing and freezing breast milk while traveling in Japan?

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I’ve received a couple of emails from mothers who will be traveling to Tokyo without their babies, so they need to express breastmilk while they are here. I haven’t had a lot of experience with expressing milk, so I asked … Continue reading

How to freeze breast milk using Japanese freezer bags

Here I show you how to freeze breastmilk using Japanese freezer bags. As the instructions are in Japanese, you may be tempted to go ahead and open the bag with your fingers (like I did!), but there is actually a technique of opening these bags to avoid contaminating the inside of the bag.

The following is a brief translation of the instructions for Pigeon 80ml freezer bags.
Instructions on how to open and use the freezer bag:
  1. Open the chuck
  2. Tear the top off the bag
  3. Slide seal back and forth with fingers to open the seal (DO NOT insert your fingers into the top to open the seal. This will contaminate the inside which is sterile)
  4. While holding the top of the bag on the outside edges, pull down the bottom of the bag to open up inside
  5. Pour breast milk in, squeeze out air and seal the bag
  6. Roll down the top 3 times and stick on label
Thawing instructions:
  • To thaw, place freezer bag in container of warm water (40°C)
  • Open bag from bottom-end & pour into sterile bottle
Other information (as written on the instructions for Pigeon 80ml freezer bags):
  • Freeze for max 3 weeks (-18°C)
  • Use sterile bottles
  • Freezer bags are sterile inside, so don’t contaminate with fingers
  • If take with you outside, keep frozen until use 
Pigeon 80ml freezer bags (bought on Amazon Japan website) 
Freezer bag


Step 1 – Open the chuck
Step 2 – Tear the top off the bag



  
Step 3 – Slide seal back and forth with fingers to open the seal (DO NOT insert your fingers into the top to open the seal. This will contaminate the inside which is sterile) 
Another photo demonstrating sliding with fingers to open the bag
Step 4 – While holding the top of the bag on the outside edges, pull down the bottom of the bag to open up inside
Step 5 – Pour breast milk in, squeeze out air and seal the bag
Step 6 – Roll down the top 3 times and stick on label.
Place labeled freezer bag containing breast milk in container and place in freezer at -18°C (Pigeon instructions recommend using breast milk within 3 weeks).
Instructions in Japanese on how to open the bag
Instructions on how to thaw and pour breast milk into a bottle