Need another reason to breast-feed? Do it for the economy!

I want to start off my saying that I realize not all women can or choose to breast-feed their children because of  health or personal reasons. I get that and I’m have nothing against those people, as I realize every mother does what she can and what she feels is best for her babies, and every situation is different. 
Having said that… 
According to the United States Breastfeeding Committee, ” Breastfeeding and the provision of breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months, in conjunction with appropriate foods thereafter, promises the United States improved health of both it’s citizens and the economy.” 
A study done by the USDA showed that at least $3.6 billion could be saved if the length of breastfeeding was increased. However, we know that even 3 weeks, even 3 months, even 6 months makes a huge difference in the health of your baby. $578 million is spent per year  to buy formula for families in WIC.  FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT MILION. Ouch. Could some of these mother’s be breastfeeding? Could the economy be saving millions of dollars? 
Just think about that for a minute. 
Millions of dollars are spent on conditions that could be preventable by breastfeeding. Millions of dollars are spent on electricity, packaging, and preparation that it takes to make formula. 
Let’s just pretend that health isn’t a factor, do you think money has anything to do with people’s decision to breastfeed or not? I mean, formula is expensive, right? And breastfeeding is free.I’m sure there are women who are unaware of the health benefit’s and choose to breast-feed just because it’s cheaper than formula. I get formula samples in the mail all the time. Companies trying to convince me that they have the best formula. The best food for my baby. WIC offers free formula for mother’s if they decide to use it. I would think that cost would have to be something  people considered if they were looking into formula feeding, because just like diapers, the price adds up and you can spend up to $1,200 a year on formula. 
I don’t know a whole lot about WIC, but I sure hope they are promoting breastfeeding FIRST before offering free formula. Are the women who use WIC services educated on breastfeeding? Do they know the health benefits? Do they know how to breast-feed if it doesn’t come easy? Do they have resources to help them breast-feed successfully if they need it, someone to answer questions for them?
What if we took some of that millions of dollars that we are spending on formula and used it to educate these women and provide resources for them.  Would that decrease the amount of formula being used and increase the amount of women breastfeedinng? Would that decrease the amount of money that the economy uses to make formula? Would this help the economy?
Most certainly it would. 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

7 thoughts on “Need another reason to breast-feed? Do it for the economy!

  1. WIC definitely supports breastfeeding over formula. Both my neighbors are on WIC and they receive extra assistance for breastfeeding, along with access to electric double breast pumps for those moms that choose to work.

  2. We have a WIC office on our military base, complete with Lactation Consultants.

    Breastfeeding was such a wonderful and special time for my daughter and I. I often wonder why anyone would choose otherwise without even giving it a try. (Aside from the obvious reasons, like the woman had been sexually abused.)

    I get in heated discussions with friends about my beliefs on breastfeeding. I’m pretty extreme about them, <>almost<> considering that formula should be available by prescription only before six weeks of age. Any woman can breastfeed for six weeks, and if she can’t a doctor will prescribe the formula. I <>know<> that logistically and bureaucratically that is impossible but in a <>perfect<> world every woman would choose the best for her baby.

  3. Hi! I found your blog through Sophie’s Hops, I loved this story! OH BTW I’m stacey from south Jersey! I have 2 kiddies Madyson who is 4 and Bryson who is almost 2 I breastfed both my babies and Madyson I did for 15 months and Bryson just about 16 1/2 months! Loved every second of it and Like you Am very pro breastfeeding and Encourage those around me to do ita nd to stick it out! A while back on my yahoo home page this is about i wanna say 3 weeks ago there was a story about Rocket fuel found in some formula’s here’s that story : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090403/ap_on_he_me/baby_formula_perchlorate

    Just thought I would share!! I just wanted to share!! Have a Blessed day

  4. from a mom who used to use wic they DEFINITELY promote breastfeeding here as well. i would go as far to say they push breastfeeding and encourage it. they give away special prizes each month for all the breastfeeding mothers and have all the pictures up of the breastfeeding mothers up on their wall at times. i never once felt like they were trying to get me to take formula and when i did need to get some, because i was nursing AND pregnant (exhausting combo) i almost felt bad about it. but being nursing and pregnant and taking care of two children already is very exhausting!

  5. Kaci – I've said exactly the same thing myself!

    Every time I witness one of my slacker relatives feeding her babies some of that free formula I think about how I paid for it with my taxes…

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