When it first came to find the difference between breastfeeding and formula costs I was really confused. There are so many variables to these calculations and you can really get lost in the math. It’s easy to eliminate the health benefits of breastfeeding. However how much does an ounce of formula really cost or how many times a day will your baby require formula milk. In this post, we’ll be looking at how much does breastfeeding actually save. As well as the main question we all also is there a real benefit to breastfeeding versus formula?
Reasons you may not be able to breastfeed
You may think that you ask a silly question when you ask is there actually a big saving when you breastfeed versus not breastfeeding at all?. This question is on every mother’s mind, some of us are afraid of breastfeeding for the following reasons:
- The pain
- Not having enough milk to provide for the baby
- Unable to get the baby in the correct position
These are just a few reasons us mothers may not feel comfortable breastfeeding. You may also think to yourself if I need to go out and don’t feel comfortable using the breast pump I’ll have to spend money on formula. This would also apply if you do not provide enough milk which dies happen and is nothing to be ashamed of.
How much does breastfeeding actually save?
When calculating the real saving of breastfeeding versus formula I compared 100% breastfed babies against 100% formula-fed babies. As there are so many variables I discluded a lot of aspects from my calculations such as:
- The cost of Pumping breast milk
- Additional costs of bottles and nipple add ons
- The health benefits as there’s no cost to them
Does breastfeeding actually save money?
The main comparison is the cost of the actual fluid as it’s a lot easier to compare. In order to compare this the first thing you need to find out is how much your baby will on average eat in the first year of his or her life. According to Cleaveland Clinic, Breastfed babies will eat eight to twelve times a day whereas Formula-fed babies will eat six to ten times a day. This would amount to 25 ounces of milk per day on average. This will vary as the baby gets to about seven to eight months as they will consume above 25 ounces. It can also be a lot less as the baby transitions from liquids to solids towards the end of the year.
The cost of formula
If you take all of this in to account and do the math on average your baby will eat 9,125 ounces of milk during his or her first year.
To determine the cost of formula I turned to the advice of Kelly Bonyata, a certified breast-feeding specialist. Kelly said the average cost of one ounce of formula in 2019 costs as low as 9 cents for lower-end brands and as high as 32cents for higher-end brands.
If you bear in mind that your baby will consume 25 ounces of milk a day you can expect to pay anywhere between $821.25 and $2,920. This would be for the first year and depend on the brand you choose to go with. In comparison to this breastfeeding costs $0. When calculating costs in both cases, I ignored the cost of baby bottles, breast pumps, and the cost of traveling to the store to purchase formula.
You may be looking at the above costs and feeling a slight panic. Although there are cost involved with the cost of formula feeding there are also cost involved with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding provides your baby with a lot more nutrients and can really help a mother bond with her child. However, there are additional costs involved. If you’re a working monther you’ll need a breast pump to provide milk for the daycare center or a family member looking after your child while you’re at work. If you buy a decent breast pump they can cost as much as $250. You’ll also need a set of bottles and a sterilizing kit which can cost around $150. Breastfeeding is also a large commitment for any mother and some mothers can feel stressed committing to it.
With Formula feeding, you’ll also need to purchase sterilizing kits however you won’t need to spend $250 on a breast pump. It may also make it easier for your baby to be fed if you’re at work.
When answering the question how much does breastfeeding actually save?. Although there is a cost difference and with the additional costs involved with breastfeeding I found it to be worth the time and effort. I felt a real connection with my daughter and found it to be a lot more cost-effective.