It is much more economical to breastfeed a baby rather than give formula. If a baby is formula fed, it will cost at least $1200 their first year of life and that is if they happen to tolerate the cheapest formula, which many do not. I worked with a family who told me they had to take out a second mortgage on their home to cover the thousands of dollars they had to spend on a special formula. Even if a mom gets her formula from WIC, they are not given enough to cover the amount a baby needs for an entire month so they will still have to spend their own money on buying additional formula. It would also be a huge savings to tax payers if more moms on WIC breastfed instead of getting their free formula. WIC supplements breastfeeding mothers with additional food coupons which helps their nutrition and therefore their baby’s nutrition.
Not only do breastfeeding families save large amounts of money by not buying formula but they also have substantial savings since their baby is healthier. When babies get sick less often, they have fewer appointments with their doctor, fewer prescriptions and fewer hospitalizations. When parents have healthier babies, they do not have to call in sick to work as often and they are more reliable employees. Many people are concerned about job security right now and if they are absent from work, they are more likely to be the one to lose their job over another fellow employee who comes to work every day.
Some people may argue that a breastfeeding mom needs to spend a lot of money on a breast pump. Even if she gets a good double electric breastpump such as Medela’s Pump In Style®, they will still save $1000 in not buying formula their baby’s first year of life. Once they have made that initial investment, these pumps will usually last through at least 3 babies so she doesn’t have to buy a new one with each new baby. Moms also are able to get more rest and have more free time that isn’t being used buying and preparing formula and then washing all the bottle parts each day. There is also the additional cost of bottles, nipples, sterilizers, etc.
Different studies have shown that the United States could save billions of dollars by just increasing the number of babies that are breastfed. Formula companies are a multi billion dollar industry that does an excellent job of marketing their product. What they don’t want you to think about is how much money you will save by breastfeeding your baby!
The focus on economical benefits melds into the many health benefits of breastfeeding. Perhaps it is difficult to separate the two. This is apparent when you look at the health costs of formula feeding. The use of artificial breastmilk has been widely associated with an increased risk of many illnesses and diseases such as: diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, allergies, meningitis, and diabetes – just to name a few.
Here are some facts:
A study done by Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization estimated that the average additional health care cost of a formula-fed infant over those of a breastfed infant was $1,400 for the first year alone. The U.S. would save about 1.4 billion dollars each year in expenditures on formula and health care costs if 1 million additional babies were breastfed.
Disease attributable to artificial feeding in the USA costs $291 million/year for infant diarrhea; $225 million for respiratory syncytial virus; $660 million for otitis media, and $10-125 million for insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
Government programs such as W.I.C. and Medicare spend over $600 million dollars per year to give formula away to parents who are either not educated about breastfeeding (usually the case, despite W.I.C.’s efforts), can’t nurse because of their job, or choose not to. It has been estimated that W.I.C. spends twice as much on formula as it does on food for nursing mothers.
–Excerpt from WearstheBaby.com/bfecon.htm
Quick tip: Nursing in Public
Learn to nurse in public. Breastfeeding writer Amy Spangler says : “I encourage younger girls, if they have a comfort level doing so, to please breastfeed their babies wherever they are because until we get that critical size of girls doing just that, we are not going to modify the attitudes of the general public.” Practice latching baby on in front of a mirror so you can learn to do so discreetly.
Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime with your concerns. I am here to assist you in any way I can.