Breastfeeding Hasn’t Saved Me A Penny
One of the often talked about positives of breastfeeding is that its free. Fresh from the tap, naturally made, an endless resource that costs nothing. It’s often compared to the cost of formula feeding, with its tins of powder, plastic bottles and the extra water and electricity required to provide each feed.
My breastfeeding experience hasn’t saved me a penny.
My two breast pumps have cost me a total of around £350, and there’s been the extra Medela bottles to pump into and flanges that fit better. None of it cheap, but worth every penny. My Freestyle alone has lasted 25 months so far.
Storing the milk costs a pretty penny too. Breast milk storage bags for the freezer are around £8 a box. I’ve used hundreds. It’s a lot of money for a use once item. Then there are the bottles. I got my Nuby ones on a special deal, and my microwave steriliser was a freebie in a giveaway. But you don’t need either when your baby feeds at the breast.
I’ve paid for Domperidone once a month since Moo turned a year and my maternity exemption certificate no longer covered free prescriptions. In total my magic milk making drug has cost me approximately £140. A necessary but unwanted cost.
There are bits and bobs to pay for too, many of them things that ‘regular’ breastfeeding mums pay for too. Nipple creams, breast pads, nursing bras, coconut oil for pump lubrication, occasional prescriptions for antibiotics when I’ve had mastitis.
I have no idea what the extra electricity and gas costs must be. Boiling kettles to heat milk, heating water for washing up bottles, using the microwave to sterilise (although I realise now this was unnecessary), running an extra freezer for milk storage, the extra washing up liquid. I’ve not been able to lessen my impact on the environment by breastfeeding over formula feeding.
I love saving money, my friends comment on my thriftiness. It pisses me off that I’ve saved nothing. But what I might have saved Moo and myself from, is a lifetime of illness. I’ve reduced my risk of breast cancer, Moos risks of diabetes, cancers, obesity. I’ve saved myself from a lifetime of guilt, I know that breast milk is the best option for Moo. And those are things money simply can’t buy.