The Hidden Costs of Breastfeeding

Before my daughter was born, I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding for all the usual reasons: breast milk is nutritionally perfect for a newborn and helps promote bonding between mother and child.  I’ve got to admit, though, that a big motivation was the idea that it was free!   For that reason alone, I’m glad that breastfeeding ended up working out for us.

A couple days ago I became aware of something I’d never thought about before: the hidden costs of breastfeeding.  Now, breastfeeding is generally much cheaper than formula, which can set parents back $1000 to $2300 in baby’s first year–but it isn’t exactly free.   Working mothers may need to pay for a breast pump and bottles out of pocket if insurance doesn’t cover it, which can cost hundreds of dollars.  My hospital had lactation consultants that were paid for by the county, but some women spend upwards of $1000 for lactation consultants if they’re having trouble with their supply or the baby’s latch.
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