Bun in the Oven

foodie adventure though conception and beyond

How much can breast feeding really cost?

on November 25, 2012

As a chef, I want to be feeding my baby in the best way possible. I’m dying to get started on Purees and interesting flavours which baby may like, but, as baby isn’t even born yet I thought I’d look into the big issue of breast feeding.

In this age of knowledge we all want to do the best for our baby, and breastfeeding is highly recommended for health benefits, but economically how does it work out?There is plenty of gadgets and gizmos to make  it easier/more socially acceptable/ more pleasant, but what is necessary?

So here is a list of the type of things  that are available;

Manual pump £30

Tommee Tippee – Closer to Nature – Manual Breast Pump

Electric pump £50 *

Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Electric Breast Pump

Nursing Bras £15 each (4 = £60) *

Bottles £30 *

Philips Avent – Natural Newborn Starter Set

Steriliser £45

Philips Avent – Digital Bottle & Baby Food Warmer

Nipple cream £5.50 (x4 = £22) *

Philips AVENT SCF504/30 Moisturising Nipple Cream

Nursing pads £5.50 ( 4/day = 15 days = 12 packs= £66) *

Lansinoh – Disposable Nursing Pads 60 Count

Nursing sling £25 *

Faye & Lou – Breastfeeding Cover – Denim Cherry Blossom

Nursing pillows £41 + £12 *

Dreamgenii® Pregnancy Support & Feeding Pillow £41 + cover £12

Nursing chair £175

Tutti Bambini GC35 Deluxe Reclinable Glider Chair and Stool

Multi-vitamins 11p/tablet x 180 = £19.80 *

Vitabiotics Pregnacare Breast Feeding Tablets and Capsules 84 Capsules £8.95

£525.80 manual / £545.80 electric

And if you we’re to purchase all this, and breast feed for the recommended 6 months, this would work out at approximately £3.00/ day. 

What I think is really nessasary (*); £216.50

If you keep to the basis then it will only cost £ 1.20 / day.

The Alternative; 

Formula; what is the cost?

Based on Cow and Gate

1 scoop = 4.2g

1 900g tin = 214 scoops

Suggested feeding table. Birth-12 months
Approximate age of baby Approx weight of baby Preparation for single feeds Feeds in 24 hours
Cooled, freshly boiled water
kg lb Level scoops ml fl. oz. (approx)
Birth – 2 weeks 3.5 7 3/4 3 90 3 6
2 – 4 weeks 4.2 9 1/4 4 120 4 6
2 months 4.7 10 1/4 5 150 5 5
4 months 6.5 14 1/4 7 210 7 5
6 months 7.5 16 1/2 8 240 8 4
7 – 12 months 7 210 7 3

Based on the table above, a normal baby & current prices on http://www.amazon.co.uk of Cow and Gate First Milk;

For the first 6 months of life, a baby would consume 22.5kg of powdered formula (or 5358 scoops or 25 900g tubs) which woks out at approximately £199.75

But as a minimum, you would also need; 

Steriliser £45

Philips Avent – Digital Bottle & Baby Food Warmer

Bottles £30

Total; £274.75

This works out at approximately £1.50/ day

Health benefits compared;

Why is breast best;

  1. Breast milk is made up of the exact mix of proteins and nutrients your baby needs
  2. It’s full of antibodies giving added protection against infection
  3. It reduces the risk of asthma, eczema and other allergies
  4. It’s sterile
  5. It’s easy to digest
  6. It’s available on demand at exactly the right temperature

Formula compared;

Most infant formulas are based on cows’ milk protein but with some major changes:

  1. The protein content is reduced
  2. Whey/casein ratio in First milks is increased
  3. Milk fat is replaced by vegetable oils
  4. Carbohydrate (usually lactose) is added so it’s at similar levels to breast milk
  5. Levels of other minerals, vitamins and trace elements are adjusted
  6. Additional substances found in breast milk are added (e.g. nucleotides and omega 3 & 6 long-chain polyunsaturates (LCPs))

When it comes to breastfeeding you are giving your child so much more then nutrition. It also is a crucial bonding experience. But if for whatever reason you can’t or decided for whatever reason not to then it is important to have the bonding experience , so feed your baby in the same position you would if you were breast feeding. Baby has a vision field of approximately 20cm which by no coincidence is the same as the distance from your nipple to eye, which I’m sure is no coincidence.

So my conclusion is that although breast feeding is not as cost free as it is made out, it doesn’t need to cost as much as some of the big companies out there would want. Also, if you for what ever reason feel formula is your only option, rest assured it is not much difference in price.

As featured on www.talkmum.com


2 responses to “How much can breast feeding really cost?

  1. I never needed nipple cream as if latch and position are correct it shouldn’t cause an issue, a nursing sling was more attention grabbing and awkward – I found scarfs and breast vests much easier <— google breast vests, they are amazing!! But I think the biggest thing I would say is this, breast feeding is tough. Amazing but tough. It is like a job in itself over and above parenting with the addition of sleep deprivation and your body working hard to produce milk. I say this as a Mum to a 2 year old who breast feed for as long as possible whilst battling poor supply and a baby barely sticking to the 0 percentile and that is no exaggeration. Although I bought an electric pump it wasn't great and with hindsight I wish I had rented a hospital grade pump. Eventually I combi fed to ensure William's well being. If we have another baby I really hope I can breast feed more successfully and for longer. But the main thing I wanted to say to you is that it is a tough but worthwhile road, try to manage your own expectations of yourself because I was rough on myself for 'failing' although with hindsight I rocked it. Also twitter is amazing for middle of the night feeds – plus Amazon xx

    • Bacon Jam says:

      Lol, how funny, I’d totally forgotten about this post. I had may little girl nearly a year ago, and am still breastfeeding. As Amy says, you really don’t have to spend much. I found the best thing to spend money on is a breastfeeding councillor! (Oh yeah and cake!) I never had to introduce a bottle or formula, and have ended up spending very little on my baby as we got a lot of things handed down. My biggest bit of advice is buy little before the baby arrived, everyone wants your money, and baby’s need next to nothing!

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