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To expect the NHS to pay for me to breast feed

(209 Posts)
pamplem0usse Fri 23-Nov-12 12:28:24

OK so not quite:
10 week old DS has a cows milk allergy. He's EBF so the only solution currently is for me to cut out all dairy from my diet. I'm already a pescatarian.
Dairy free alternatives seem to be really expensive.... AIBU to think I should be able to be prescribed some of these given (a) the amount of money I'm saving them on hypoallergenic formula and (b) since I'm likely to save them significant amounts of cash by helping prevent further allergies develop....

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 13:09:42

YABU. The NHS does not pay for special diets as far as I know. YABVU.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 23-Nov-12 13:10:57


I have a CMPA baby too.

How did you find out as early as 10 weeks?

Dairy free diet isnt expensive, you just dont go down the dairy aisle and buy oat/soya/coconut milk instead.

KatAndKit Fri 23-Nov-12 13:11:39

due to breastfeeding my cake requirements have increased. Could the NHS please give me a free prescription for Greggs?

OHforDUCKScake Fri 23-Nov-12 13:13:20

Principliaty its a pain in the arse, granted. But not more expensive.

CMPA is easy once you know what youre doing (food shop wise, eating out is always difficult boardering on impossible).

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 13:13:54

Outraged, if OP did not breastfeed then the NHS would pay for special formula. They're not doing, so she's saving them money. If she stops, the NHS will be paying for the feed. That is the only relevant information here. Nothing in your post makes any difference to these bare and indisputable facts, however much you think OP is taking the piss.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 13:15:56

What, you mean you don't get free cake when breastfeeding? shock

And that stingy NHS won't even pay for you to top up your blood alcohol levels when you're finished breastfeeding?

These Tory cuts are going too far now. How will we manage!?

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 23-Nov-12 13:16:19

I used to feel pissed off that a child with a gluten intolerance could get expensive alternatives for free, food but my child with a life-threatening allergy couldn't.

You have a point regarding the unfairness of some things being free, and others not... but Gluten allergy can actually kill people, left untreated.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 13:17:46

Flangelina, I know what you are saying is true, but that doesn't make it right. The NHS shouldn't be paying for any child's formula, no matter what it is. That is a parents responsibility.

The NHS should be paying for thinks that people actually need, not things that its a bonus to get for free.

WelshMaenad Fri 23-Nov-12 13:19:34

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. My friend has multiple allergies including wheat (not just gluten) and gets sone if her wheat substitute items in prescription.

DragonMamma Fri 23-Nov-12 13:20:57

I have a CMPA/LI toddler and I didn't find it that much more expensive to have dairy free bits for him when he was weaning. He is on Nutramigen though which costs the NHS £22ish for a half sized can - we used to go through 14 a month grin

YABU though, I didn't expect the NHS to pay for the dairy free foods for him to eat, why on earth would I? Or me for that matter, when I bf?

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 13:21:11

Yabu, completely. Also you don't HAVE to ebf.

You don't need dairy to bf. Also its your choice to be pescatatian.

NellyBluth Fri 23-Nov-12 13:21:26

God, yes, YABU.

There are plenty of women who can't or don't manage to bf for one reason or another. They don't get their formula on prescription, they just end up paying £50-odd a month on formula through no fault of their own.

Babies cost money, some more than others. You just have to get on with it.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 23-Nov-12 13:21:26

Outraged it costs a fortune, some parents genuinely would struggle to afford it.

DragonMamma Fri 23-Nov-12 13:21:41

I didn't mean to be grin but shock instead

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 13:22:08

Dairy free products are very expensive.

pamplem0usse Fri 23-Nov-12 13:22:40

OK so I was only semi-serious but feeling defensive now!!
1. I am saving the NHS money on (a) suitable formula and (b) the many medical appointments I would have if my DS developed more allergies, or this one didn't go away, which is more likely if he's FF.
2. I found out so early because my DS has spent 8-10 hours a day screaming and so I've had emergency paed appointments to try and figure out what was wrong.
3. It does cost me more because milk-based foods are already on the shopping list for my DH and DD. And before you suggest feeding them a dairy free diet too: my DD is two and so I don't think the absence of dairy would be particularly good for her.
4. Coeliac's do get free food on prescription. DS CMP allergy is causing damage to his gut. Given we are, in effect, linked, I do find it slightly unhelpful that while trying to promote breast feeding, the formula I would need is free - the alternative foods to make bfeeding bearable under these circumstances is not.

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 13:22:57

Oops should say not very expensive.

Absy Fri 23-Nov-12 13:23:14

Awesome! So by eating healthily, exercising, rarely drinking, not smoking, not participating in extreme or dangerous sports I am saving the NHS thousands of pounds. I would like them back please, to pay for a fancy vacation

littleladyindoors Fri 23-Nov-12 13:23:18

My husband is lactose intolerant, and I find its actually cheaper than when he wasnt. If my little one is lactose intolerant too Ill take the hit and stop dairy if I choose to breastfeed. Yeah it seems like a pain when you start out and think I can't eat anything- but you work out you can actually have most things. DH recently found onion rings he could eat, oh and doughnuts too that were dairy free and most of lidls christmas range - it was a good day.
When you first get that diagnosis though it is a scary one, and you do think thats the end of it no more food you love. But you can. You make a few changes, and I actually think we eat even better now than we did before- it was the kick up the bum we needed

I have a skin condition, and really the best thing for it is lots of sun- dya think the NHS would pay for my next couple of holidays too? Surely thats better than steroids

pamplem0usse Fri 23-Nov-12 13:24:44

And to Nelly I wouldn't be able to buy formula in a shop, that's the point, it's on prescription because it just isn't available to the general public.
And I'm not one of the breastfeeding-at-all-costs brigade, but I did bfeed my DD for 15 months despite a tongue tie that wasn't resolved quickly enough and (1) created supply issues as well as (2) leading to deep lacerations on my nipples that still haven't fully healed. There's choice and then there's choice.

NoraGainesborough Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:03

So do you think I should get paid as I have lost weight and quit smoking.

dairy allergies are different to being a ceoliac.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:27

Ok, but whether you think it's right makes no difference to the facts. We will be paying more if and when OP stops bf.

I'm not sure that stopping special formulas being prescribed would help much, either. It's ok if you have the money, but parents who didn't would end up feeding the babies normal formula and they'd get sick. Sick babies are expensive for the NHS, especially if they're hospitalised. You may say bf, but that's no solution if you don't find out baby is ill until after your milk has dried up.

Pancakeflipper Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:42

Outraged - if we had to pay for the non-allergenic stuff my DS2 had to drink (his intolerance wasn't realised until he was 1 and I had stopped BF) well we couldn't have afforded the £100.00 a week plus it was costing.
Yes I felt huge guilt. But as soon as he was old enough and we could find an alternative for him ( soya no good, rice no good, almond out, coconut a no - hurrah for oat milk) which was bloody hard work - then we were off the formula.

I don't think it costs more to be dairy-free ( if you arent on a formula). It has many other issues but not cost.

DragonMamma Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:47

Outraged, there is no way on earth I could afford £308 a month on formula of my DS because he's CMPA - paying £12 for a full sized sized tub of regular milk is expensive enough. Things like Neocate formula is £30+ for a 400g tub (why do they all come in half sizes?!) and that would have cost me £420 a month.

If they brought the price down of hypoallergenic milks down to regular milks, I would be more than happy to pay for it. As it is, it's ridiculously overpriced and so people can't afford it.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 13:26:55

You would have saved the NHS money by not having a baby at all, but that's not really a viable alternative, is it?

If you were ff, then the formula should not be free. That's what the problem is here. It is unfair that you have to pay more to do the best for your baby because of a medical condition, but if they stopped providing free formula, then you wouldn't be paying more because of your choice to bf, and it would be fair.

This is the stuff that child benefit is for.

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