How many times have you heard that breastfeeding is free or cheap? It’s a common misconception. While it does save money on some feeding costs, it is a myth that it’s completely free.
If you’re going to pump at any time during your breastfeeding journey the supplies will cost money. If you decide you’re going to exclusively pump up front or even later on decide to pump to relactate, you’ll be needing breastfeeding gear to make that possible.
As an exclusive pumper to relactate, I found myself spending quite a bit of money. I want to share what I learned from my journey to help you save money on exclusive pumping.
TIP: Didn’t get enough information about breastfeeding in the beginning or you just need to know more about the essentials? Consider taking a simple, go at your own pace online breastfeeding class or step by step pumping class to learn everything you need to know and empower yourself to reach your relactation goals!
How To Save Money While Breastfeeding or Exclusive Pumping
1. Use health insurance or FSA funds to get a pump
The single most important thing you’ll need to pump milk is a breast pump. Single manual pumps are very affordable, but double electric breast pumps can get pricey. The pump can easily cost a couple of hundred dollars.
Fortunately a lot of health insurance plans cover the cost of a breast pump. Check with your individual insurance carrier to verify coverage and process of obtaining one.
When I called my insurance company, they were able to tell me my benefits and provided me with a choice of medical equipment companies that I could get a breast pump shipped to me 100% free.
If your health plan does not cover the cost 100% or at all, breast pumps can be purchased using flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA).
2. Join breastfeeding groups to get reviews of products before purchasing. Do your research!
There are tons of reviews out there for products. A lot of people will leave reviews after only using the product for a short period of time.
Breastfeeding groups and mom forms/communities are places where go moms go to talk about breastfeeding and pumping.
They’re doing this on a daily basis and can definitely bring up products and the issues they’re having with them. Join exclusive pumping groups to get really in-depth reviews and real reactions to products.
There are even groups that are specific to certain brands of pumps. For example on Facebook, there are groups for the Willow, Elive and Spectra pumps.
3. Utilize buy/sell/trade groups
Speaking of breastfeeding and exclusive pumping groups, did you know that there are buy/sell/trade groups on facebook for moms who want to sell supplies they’re no longer using?
Sometimes the things that are posted are still brand new and in the packaging. They’re selling pumps and accessories for well below the market value!
A word of caution on buying used breast pumps, try to stay away from buying used pumps that have an open collection system due to possible contamination issues. Kelly Mom has an excellent article on “What should I know about buying a new or used breastpump?”
4. Buy 3rd party or compatible pump parts
Did you know that there you can buy pump parts like flanges, tubing, duckbills, backflow protectors, etc that are not from the original manufacturer for considerable discount? When I found this out I was blown away!
My favorite place to get compatible pump parts are NENESUPPLY and Maymom.
You’ll have to replace your pump parts after frequent use anyway, but it can be a time saver to have extra parts if you’re working or don’t want to have to clean them immediately. You can save all your parts and clean them at the end of the day!
5. Pump directly into the bottles your baby drinks.
Milk bags aren’t very expensive and won’t break the bank, but you could save time and a little money by just pumping into the bottles your baby will drink.
6. Make your own pumping bra
Pumping bras can get expensive and having more than one of them can easily run you well over 100 bucks. I did get one pumping bra from Medela during my relactation journey, but I also made some DIY pumping bras from old sports bras that I had.
They worked just fine! If you do decide to buy a pumping bra or nursing bra here are some quick tips to make sure it’s a comfortable fit.
7. Sign up for a free breastfeeding sample box from Medela
Did you know that by signing up for breastfeeding support and resources from the Medela Mom’s Room, you’ll get a free gift? You can get a sample product box that includes breast milk storage bags, disposable nursing pads, micro-steam bag, and lanolin cream.
There you have it, 7 ways to save money, possibly even hundreds of dollars on breastfeeding and exclusive pumping.
It can be easy to want the newest and latest breastfeeding accessory because there’s so just so much on the market nowadays.
You might also feel pressure to spend money with the emotional feeling of wanting to provide the best for your baby and breastfeed as long as you can. Breastfeeding isn’t free but I do believe it’s worth it!
Related: How To Get Milk Supply After Drying Up: 8 Real Tips for Relactation Success