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Is breastfeeding ever really "free"?

(93 Posts)
easterbaby Tue 04-Feb-14 22:25:23

I'm bf my 10 week old DS - and pleasantly surprised to be still doing it (I gave up after 3 weeks first time round.) I get that bf offers some benefits in the early days (although I certainly don't think formula milk is as bad as it's cracked up to be.) And I can buy the argument that once established, bf can be easier for mums. But I don't understand how some people advocate bf on the grounds that it's "free".

I can't do without my Lansinoh nipple cream (£10 a pop!) - a tube lasts a few weeks. And I get through a pack of their disposable breastpads (£5.50) every 2 weeks. I've tried reusables and cheaper brands, but they chafed my skin. I'm handwashing and alternating my two Bravado nursing bras - after wasting money on cheaper, uncomfortable bras - and am about to shell out £40 for another. I haven't bothered with a nursing cover as I'm not shy about bf in public - and would just use a muslin if I needed to.

I haven't totted up a direct comparison, but find that I'm not saving as much money as I expected. Especially when you factor extra drinks/snacks when I'm out and about!

What do others think? Anyone got any tips on cutting the costs without cutting the comfort?

maxpower Tue 04-Feb-14 22:27:41

A friend exclusively bf her baby for 12 months and was adamant that the amount of extra food she needed was at least the equivalent of the cost of ff.

wonderstuff Tue 04-Feb-14 22:30:35

I didn't use nipple cream and I didn't need pads after the first few months. I did eat a lot of cake though!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 04-Feb-14 22:30:58

I spent a fortune on cake during the 21 months that I bf for!

That, bras, a couple of tops and a mountain of breast pads will have added up, but formula is pretty expensive so I'm sure that I will have saved a substantial amount of money overall.

easterbaby Tue 04-Feb-14 22:32:21

I'm definitely eating more! And not just cheap carbs.

llamallama Tue 04-Feb-14 22:32:57

It's almost free for me! I bought one tube of lansinoh with my first DD & one box of breast pads. Fed her to 15 months. Used the tube again and the rest of the pads (only need them in first few days really) with my second, she is 8 months old and I'm planning to feed her for even longer.

I have never bought a bottle/formula/pumps etc.

Yes I have probably eaten more in early weeks but I'm not convinced that I wouldn't have done that anyway!

Have 4 bras, re-used the ones from first DD

So not free but definitely lots lots cheaper!

AnythingNotEverything Tue 04-Feb-14 22:33:06

I'm still feeding DD at 15 weeks. I'm sure we spend more on extra food than we would on formula.

I think I prefer the extra biscuits and the milk on tap though. Especially when we were feeding in the night smile

CreditCardProblemS Tue 04-Feb-14 22:33:16

I used pads for the first few weeks but apart from that's it's been free for me. I don't bother with nursing bras and never needed nipple cream.

Featherbag Tue 04-Feb-14 22:33:46

I'm almost 11 weeks in, and have bought 3 tubes of Lansinoh and various boxes of breast pads as I find them on offer. 2 nursing bras, £30. I've spent maybe £70, but haven't needed Lansinoh for a few weeks now. I haven't bought any special clothing or covers. Really my ongoing costs are only pads, which aren't terribly expensive. Having ff my first I know I'd have spent much more already, and formula's £10 a tin now so the costs would only keep going up, for me bf is certainly cheaper, not to mention the ENORMOUS time saving over ff!

CreditCardProblemS Tue 04-Feb-14 22:34:03

My DS is 6 month by the way and I bf my DD until she was 2.5 years.

MrsCakesPremonition Tue 04-Feb-14 22:34:16

I bought one tube of Lansinoh before my first DC was born. I've still got half a tube left having BF to babies for around 9 months each. Nipple shields were a (very) short term lifesaver in the first days of feeding DC1.

I never needed breast pads. When I cleared out my baby stuff after the children weaned, I still had some free sample ones from Bounty left.

I loved my Bravado bras too - and still wear them occasionally when I can't face underwiring. They lasted me two babies.

I wasted money on a breast pump, never managed to squeeze out more than a couple of ml.

I bought a steriliser and bottles to go with the breast pump. Didn't use them initially - but they did get used for both babies once I introduced mixed feeding at 3-4 months.

And there was the cost of the small amounts of formula I used for the mixed feeding.

I guess that most of the stuff I bought, I would have needed to buy which ever sort of feeding I used. But it lasted two babies, so not a bad investment.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Tue 04-Feb-14 22:34:25

Definitely extra food here, and the extortionate vitamin tablets!

Featherbag Tue 04-Feb-14 22:34:31

Oh and I'm trying to lose my baby weight by doing weight watchers so no extra food other than loads of fruit!

lilyaldrin Tue 04-Feb-14 22:36:11

I bought some nursing bras, but to be honest I'd have had to buy new bras anyway as my size changed.

I used reusable pads, but only needed them for the first few weeks and didn't need nipple cream.

I must have eaten more as I put on a stone in a year's breastfeeding! But, I doubt I ate as much as formula would cost.

So pretty cheap for me.

HorraceTheOtter Tue 04-Feb-14 22:37:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreenFirefly Tue 04-Feb-14 22:37:23

I think someone told me you can get lansinoh in prescription.

canyourearme Tue 04-Feb-14 22:43:39

Landinoh lasts fir ages snd makes an ace lop balm

behindthetimes Tue 04-Feb-14 22:46:21

breastfed for 2 years and did think of it as free, though I'm sure there were minor expenses involved. For me they were definitely only a fraction of money that would have been spend on bottles/steriliser/formula/cows milk etc.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 04-Feb-14 22:49:52

Bought 2 bras, £12 each. Reusable breastpads and never bought a tube of nipple cream so not much layout there...but oh, the cake....

easterbaby Tue 04-Feb-14 22:51:07

Lansinoh on prescription? - hadn't thought about that. Can't believe how much I'm getting through! I sometimes try without and find it really sore. Maybe I won't need as many breastpads in the future.

And I'm enjoying my extra appetite! grin

I haven't bought many special nursing clothes - just wearing lots of strappy tops under my normal clothes. I haven't found that too restrictive.

TaraKnowles Tue 04-Feb-14 23:09:12

In some situations it is free, ff can never be free. It depends on the mother and the situation. bf 'cheaper' than ff, it must be.

cece Tue 04-Feb-14 23:11:44

I barely used the cream.

After a few months/weeks you do not need the pads.

Have you seen the price of formula?

TravelinColour Tue 04-Feb-14 23:19:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Tue 04-Feb-14 23:27:27

No advertising ban on value bourbons either Horrace (more's the pity)

yummymumtobe Tue 04-Feb-14 23:33:08

An curious about people saying pads not needed that long. I am 5 months in and exclusively bf (no expressing or anything) and get through loads. My pj top is often soaked in the morning even with a pad! I deffo think it's cheaper though. Used same 4 bras for both kids, no creams or anything.

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