WIC Says Breastfeed or Buy Your Own Formula

When I had my son, Xander I was absolutely hell-bent on breast feeding him. The reasons I had included health benefits and saving money – both great reasons in my opinion!

For most women, breastfeeding is biologically possible. Both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Breast milk is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. Also, research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.

But – for some women breastfeeding is simply not an option for them for many reasons. My personal belief is that every woman should at least try to nurse their child. But – if they can’t they aren’t a “bad parent” (because I know a lot of the ‘boob nazi’ types would think so). Although a lot of the companies say that their formula brands offer the same benefits as breast milk, none do. Infant formula is a safe alternative, but more people need to know the truth behind this breast-milk substitute, especially when coping with guilt.

If you are one of the mommy’s that are choosing to feed your child formula; know that you don’t have to purchase the big, expensive name brands of baby formula! There are store brands that have the exact same ingredients and are just as good as those names brands and cost almost half the amount of money.

“Buying a heavily marketed, expensive, brand-name infant formula from a big pharmaceutical company does not get your baby any closer to human breast milk than a store brand formula,” added Dr. Levine. “Mothers can choose to supplement their breast milk with any formula because all formulas are regulated by FDA and nutritionally equivalent.”

The store-brand message is set to become even more important for many mothers because of changes in the Women, Infants and Children program. As of October 1, 2009, a new WIC initiative aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates among families reallocates funding for all currently provided foods, including infant formula, baby foods, juices, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This program could mean a reduction of up to 20 percent in infant-formula subsidies; parents who previously had most of their formula paid for by WIC may now have to purchase formula on their own.

Do your research and include the prices of the store brands of formula in your research. Do coupon swaps with your friends and other local mom’s (or even through the internet). I think it comes down to the fact that if you want “what’s best” for your baby and want an infant formula just is “just like breast milk” – just breastfeed and save yourself the trouble. If you physically cannot breastfeed – why not check out local (or again, through the internet) milk banks. There are other mom’s out there with an abundance of breast milk that are willing to share.

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