I also BF but have a borrowed (long term borrowed!) pump, and storage bags my friend gave me her massive pile of leftovers. I bought bottles for my daughter and am using the same ones with new teats for my son, so for me the cost is minimal. If you BF more than one child it is obviously cheaper as you will have the stuff already. I am also wearing the same nursing bras second time around, they cost about £25 originally. Breast pads I don't wear any more as I don't leak now but I wore them for about 5 months.
Location: Originally from Virginia, USA but living in the Netherlands
I think it really varies depending on how much you spend on your pump (as not everyone makes a $300 investment) and how long you breastfeed (i.e. if you buy everything and then bf for one month, that will have cost more!)
I combi-fed due to low supply, so unfortunately I had the costs from both sides (I also ended up buying 3 different pumps because I didn't really like the first two. If I had bought the 'right' one from the start, that would have been cheaper too). So assuming I had bought all the 'right' stuff from the start, bf'ing would have cost me:
$80 pump (medela swing)
$30 storage bottles/bags
$8 Lansinoh cream
$100 nursing bras/pads
$50 miscellaneous things I bought to try and increase supply (SNS, fenugreek, etc) --this is not a 'normal' thing to need, though.
So if you just count the first four, it's about $220 (and we bf'd/combi-fed for 8 months). So that definitely would have been cheaper. Plus, whenever we have #2, we won't have to buy much at all (assuming bf'ing goes better)
Breast pump - I bought one of these, which cost about £45, as it was on offer. It stopped sucking after about 6 uses and that was before Xmas. I haven't bought another, because I really don't need it.
Bottles - Came free with the pump, but he doesn't like them, so I've never used.
Lansinoh creme - Had some left over from when pregnant. I've never needed any more.
Breast pads - I probably bought about 6 boxes of these at £2 a box, so that's £12
Nursing bras - Now, I bought a couple of these when I was still pregnant, but they no longer fit, as I've shrunk with losing the baby weight. I probably spent £80. I use normal bras and they're fine.
Steriliser - £60. But I didn't need it.
So, all in all, I've spent about £197, and I didn't need to spent £185 of that.
My breastfeeding costs have been:
£30 nursing bras
£20 manual pump
~£20 breast pads
That's a grand total of about £80 and most of it has lasted for two babies and will still last for more. So 3.5+ years of breastfeeding has cost the same as about 1-2 months of formula milk, not including other bottlefeeding supplies.
For me, breastfeeding was much cheaper. Pump cost me £89, lansinoh breastpads were approx £2.99 per week (as I got through about a box a week) and I had to buy bottles and sterilising stuff, but I'd have had to have done that for formula anyway. I probably spent about £50 on nursing bras.
Eleanor is now on formula (as from about six months) and she gets through over a box a week at a cost of nearly £10 a box, so a month of formula costs us over £40! I would have stuck with breastfeeding if Eleanor hadn't done a wholesale rejection of it :-)
Also the breastfeeding gives the baby antibodies from you that they don't get from formula, so there are definitely other advantages of it.
I breast fed for 22 weeks and then went onto formula and its been SO expensive!! I cannot imagine how much more expensive it would have been if I had FF from the off! All those night feeds and mass wastage of milk. At least by 22 weeks my LO was on a routine of drinking all the milk out of her bottles.
Obviously once we were properly on 3 meals a day the cost of formula dropped as she wasnt consuming so much, but we still get through about 3 tins a month.
Next time I am BF for a year and then will buy myself a very expensive present!!!
Maternity bras:£80 ish
Breast pads:£2.50 per box of 40...but not sure how many boxes, would say 8 ish.
Lanisal cream: free from midwife in sample packets
That was all.
I borrowed a breast pump from a friend, got 2 free bottles but signing up to Avent baby club which I used for expressed milk.
£1.80 for a box of Milton sterilising tablets.
£6.99 for a box of 20 freezer bags for milk - but only so I could go to an Xmas do over night.
Pump wasnt really something I had to have, only used it because I had it, otherwise I could have managed without.
We started to introduce formula at 6 months whilst I reduced breast feeding ready to go back to work and that has cost £7.99 x 5 tubs of milk already used. Steriliser and bottle set which was £60 and new teats as we needed to move to fast flow, another £8 ish.
Breast feeding is deff the cheaper option. Can't imagin how much formula I would have got through by now if we had done it from day one.
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