I guess I never really thought about it until recently, but there are HUGE savings for the breastfeeding mom’s family over using formula. I have nursed my two boys for well past their first year of life (youngest is 26 months and going strong!) and have never supplemented with formula. I honestly didn’t know how much it cost until I looked it up to make sure I was accurate before writing this blog.
I am part of an online baby and children’s resale group and noticed a lot more demand for formula. Even at a ‘discount’ mothers are paying around $15-17 a can from other moms on the site. I have heard that a can usually lasts around 3 days maybe up to 5 and that the retail of the average can of formula is around $25. So, just by nursing exclusively the first six months, I saved my family approximately $1500! Now, I’m sure that if I were to have chosen formula, I would have used coupons and shopped sales, so that may not be an exact. But, I think that my estimate is pretty close to the savings I have benefited from by breastfeeding and what I figured above was just for the first six months each time.
I won’t lie and say that there are no costs when you choose to breastfeed. I, myself, bought a breast pump and around 5 nursing bras and a couple nursing tank tops. I also would consider the increase in the cost I saw when I went to the grocery because of my ‘nursing mom’s appetite’. But, if I am supposed to add all of those up when comparing breastfeeding over formula feeding, I should probably consider all the bottles, bottle cleaning tools, drying rack, purified water, etc. that also come with formula feeding.
Surely, there are tons of blogs, articles, etc. online about the savings that come with breastfeeding over formula feeding. When I looked, I saw a number of them (some outdated). And while cost savings was one of the motivators for me when I first decided to breastfeed, I guess I never really looked into how much I was saving. There are also things that I’m sure I haven’t even considered such as lower health care bills throughout the year because of breastfeeding and the savings I personally get from not having to take birth control (we use the LAM) for the first six months. So, overall, I know that my savings really add up.
Was the cost savings a motivator for you in your choice to breastfeed?
Do you spend so much on the extras (breast pumps, storage bags, nursing bras, covers, tank tops, special shirts/dresses, etc.) that you feel you aren’t really saving any money at all?