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Ok, I have to bust the Myth. I won't lie I was under the impression as well when I went to breastfeed baby #4, read for it?
Breastfeeding is NOT Free!
Shocker right? There are many reasons to choose TO breastfeed and I'm excited if you want to do it but don't go into it blindly. There are many ‘hidden' costs that you need to budget for that wouldn't need to be in your budget if you are formula feeding. But don't fret I firmly believe breastfeeding is MUCH cheaper than formula feeding, especially has your child grows and is eating 8 ounces at a feeding!
Yes, you will need to adjust your wardrobe and you WILL need nursing bras. I did the basics and bought the tank tops from Forever 21 for under $2 and put them under my shirts so my belly was exposed when I would have to lift my shirt to nurse. You will also want to have nursing bras for easy access to nurse. Motherhood Maternity has some of my favorite ones! If you have some bigger boobs I also suggest grabbing a few sleeping nursing bras. I will also include breast pads in here because you WILL leak. I prefer cloth ones so I can wash and reuse. I got 5 pairs of free breast pads using code FRUGALNAVYWIFE1 then just pay shipping.
This is a must with newborn babies. They can get very particular on how they want to be laying while nursing and if they aren't using the pillow to lay on you will use to get comfortable! Remember in the beginning you can be nursing for 20 minutes or more so make your you are comfortable! Later on, these pillows are used for tummy time as well! Now there are many nursing pillows out there. The most popular seems to be there is the Boppy Pillow. You can score a Free Nursing Pillow by using coupon code FRUGALNAVYWIFE1 and you just have to pay for shipping!
The day after I got out of the hospital I had to have a Lactation Consultant come to my house. My little one wasn't latching and I was a mess! She was a huge help, got things going, gave me personalized tips for me and more. The cost was $150 for this personalized in-home visit. I also learned breastfeeding mom REALLY do need a breast pump to increase their supply. *TIP* :: Check your insurance many cover lactation consultant visits!
As mentioned above if you want the best milk supply an electric breast pump is needed in the beginning. Now yes, you can rent one but really it's worth it to just buy one. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of a breast pump or supply one for you. The Medela InStyle breast pump is the most recommended and also my favorite. You will want to use the pump to increase milk supply, to be able to store some frozen milk for any time you have to spend away from you baby leaving them with a babysitter, and/or if you have to return to work for them to be able to eat during the day.
Now that you have pumped that extra milk you have to store it using milk bags. Then when you aren't the one feeding your little one they will need bottles to feed your baby.
As I mentioned in my post 14 Things I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding & What I Didn’t Learn From the Books breastfeeding HURTS! Your breasts have to get used to someone attached tot hem several hours a day. Add in the biting when they start teething it HURTS! There are a few types of pain relief, Lanolin and Gell Pads, I loved the Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pads.
As your little one become more active they start to do things like pinch. To keep them occupied it's best to invest in a nursing necklace.
What unexpected costs did you fin breastfeeding?