Healthy Children - December 2016

Feeding your Newborn Baby on a Budget

Are you concerned about ways that you can properly nourish your newborn baby and still stay within your budget? In today’s society, there always seems to be something pulling at our pocket book. Paying bills, transportation, and unavoidable financial setbacks alone are guilty of holding many of our finances hostage. But I have good news! There is a way for you to save money, nourish your child, and even improve your overall health in the process: Breastfeeding.

A mother’s breast milk is tailored made for her baby. It contains all of the essential nutrients the baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Studies show that breastfed babies are less likely to get sick, they respond better to immunizations, and their immune system develops at a faster pace. When the baby’s immune system is in a better state there are fewer doctor visits for the baby, which means decreased health care cost for mom, which in turn keeps more money in mom’s pocket. Additionally, if your baby is breastfed, there is no need to purchase formula, bottles, or purified water.

Breastfeeding helps mom lose weight, decreases her risk of chronic disease, and allows for mom and the baby to bond. Breastfeeding is also convenient for mom. For example, when the baby needs to be fed in the middle of the night, it is more convenient to nurse the baby, than to get out of bed, make a bottle, and then make sure that the bottle is at the proper temperature. As you can see, breastfeeding is not only the perfect solution when feeding your newborn on a budget, but also for proper nourishment and the overall health of mom and baby.

Written by: Antonia Mercer, Early childhood Intervention Coordinator at UIC Chicago Partnership for Health promotion