By Wendy Rigby
(reported on KENS Channel 5)
Health care professionals say there’s an “up” side to the current downturn in the economy. More new mothers are choosing breastfeeding to save money.
Five-month-old Elizabeth Sander is one happy baby. Her mother chose breastfeeding, in part, to save money. “Not only for the cost of formula,” Megan Sander said, “but also studies have shown that there are fewer trips to the doctor, so that’s saving on co-pays and things as well.”
Sander is not alone in her practical choice to go with Mother Nature’s feeding plan. The Methodist Women’s Center reports a 12% increase in the number of women choosing breastfeeding and attending classes.
There’s no doubt baby formula is a great invention. It’s a huge help for women who cannot breastfeed or choose not to.
But the cost can be significant. Generic formula costs $1700 to $2100 a year. If special formula is required, the price can top $3000.
“So when they’re looking at the cost of the formula versus breastfeeding, it being free, there’s more women that are willing to try and get started with breastfeeding,” explained Geri Collins, director of the Methodist Women's Center .
The benefits of nursing are well-publicized: better immunities, easy digestion, and of course, convenience. Sander even pumps and freezes her breast milk for the times she’s away from her baby. She’s happy with her choice, economically and personally. “I love that it’s quiet,” she said. “It’s just her and I. We look at each other and we share that moment every day.”
“You just can’t duplicate what breastfeeding does,” Collins stressed. “It’s pre-packaged, pre-heated, ready-to-go. It’s free.”
Studies have shown that nursing exclusively for the first four months can result in half as many ear infections, saving money spent on doctor visits and medications, too.