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.

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Posted on December 21, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. While you haven’t save as much as if you were only breastfeeding “at the breast” you have helped the environment. You’ve saved the metal and other packaging that goes into the formula tins – pretty significant! You’ve not used cow milk based formula which saves trees from being felled for pasture, their feed and care, the methane they expel, the food miles in transporting the milk and then the formula, the electricity that goes into doing the processing of the cow milk to turn it into powdered formula. None of that is insignificant so top work, mama!

  2. Love the last paragraph 🙂

    I couldn’t breast feed, baby just simply wouldn’t take and my milk never came.

    My breast feeding friends “think” it has been free too, but I know it has cost them in the items you’ve listed. Not to mention the extra food/drink.

    We got bottles nailed. Boiled the kettle once, had a massive steam steriliser that went on twice a day (full).

    It would have been lovely to have at least told myself that I had given her additional priceless benefits. This is something I couldn’t do, and hope I don’t pay for, am already paying in guilt. Xx

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