3rd Trimester

BTDT: What should I do with the free formula I received?

I fully intend on exclusively breastfeeding. I understand that it's good to go into it knowing that it's hard as hell, freaking complicated, huge learning curve, etc. 

Well, we received some Enfamil formula in the mail (Not sure how they got my address or decided I was a good candidate for free formula). I've thought of donating it, but then again, thought well, why not keep it "just in case."

Would it be better to keep it just in case, or does that just become way to tempting, and it'd be better to donate it? Just looking for thoughts, opinions, advice? 

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Re: BTDT: What should I do with the free formula I received?

  • If you want to be committed to breasfeeding as the first and only source of food for your baby, I wouldn't have it in the house.  If it ever came to a point where baby physically needed what you could NOT provide, you know where to get formula.  I'd donate it or toss it.
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  • image A37licia:
    If you want to be committed to breasfeeding as the first and only source of food for your baby, I wouldn't have it in the house.  If it ever came to a point where baby physically needed what you could NOT provide, you know where to get formula.  I'd donate it or toss it.

    This.

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  • image A37licia:
    If you want to be committed to breasfeeding as the first and only source of food for your baby, I wouldn't have it in the house.  If it ever came to a point where baby physically needed what you could NOT provide, you know where to get formula.  I'd donate it or toss it.

    Yup :) 

    I've gotten so much in the mail, and I'm planning on donating it. 

  • I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever.  It stayed in the closet in my son's room until it was within a couple months of its expiration date, and then I gave it to a friend who could use it.  I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away.  

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  • image thecheshirekat:
    I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever.  It stayed in the closet in my son's room until it was within a couple months of its expiration date, and then I gave it to a friend who could use it.  I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away.  

     

    This for sure.  What's the harm in waiting a couple months before you donate it?

  • I kept one there will be more on the way. I'm assuming I got it from registering at BRU. I also hid mine in a closet and totally forgot about it. I remembered it an few days after coming home from the hospital when I was coming down with a full on migraine due to the hormone shift after delivery. Used it for one feeding and pumped to give myself a break and get some pain relief. It was not an issue with feeding and she did not have formula again until 6 months. If you set your mind to it, it's not that tempting.
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  • I kept one pack of the premade stuff, donated all the powder stuff. Kept one of the premade bottles in the diaper bag for a couple months for when others had DD for short period in case the BM I sent wasn't enough but with strict rules to avoid unless absolutely needed. We never needed it, and it never tempted me to.
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  • Ive kept my samples with both. When DS came home from the hospital he went on a nursing strike and the pediatrician told me to give him formula, thankfully I had the samples. At that point it was the middle of the night and I was a single mom, there was no running out to get something. FWIW we BF successfully for almost a year.
  • image santoriello21:

    image thecheshirekat:
    I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever.  It stayed in the closet in my son's room until it was within a couple months of its expiration date, and then I gave it to a friend who could use it.  I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away.  

     

    This for sure.  What's the harm in waiting a couple months before you donate it?

    I kept all of the free formula I received in the mail and ended up using it to supplement when my supply started tanking. The expiration dates on formula is usually way out, some almost a year later. I'd hold on to it and wait and see.

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  • image A37licia:
    If you want to be committed to breasfeeding as the first and only source of food for your baby, I wouldn't have it in the house.  If it ever came to a point where baby physically needed what you could NOT provide, you know where to get formula.  I'd donate it or toss it.

    This exactly.  If anything comes up you can find a place, even in the middle of the night, with formula.  I have nursed with migraines and honestly, you want to avoid supplementing because it will decrease your supply.  Formula companies are hardly sending you samples to be helpful...they know very well that supplementing can easily lead to full time FF...which is exactly what they want.  Do not have it in your house....BFing can be hard when you start out and you hardly need to be tempted to give "just one bottle".

     

  • With DS I kept it just in case.  Even though BFing was very hard in the beginning I was never tempted to use it.  We did have to use it when I got the flu and my supply was ravaged, though, so I was glad we had it on hand.
  • I also agree to not have it in the house if your intent is to seriously breastfeed. The back-up I would have is a pump rather than formula.  This way, if you have latching issues, your LO is still getting the benefits of your breastmilk and your supply will still come in. Yes, definitely donate what you receive!  Being from Moore, Oklahoma, I can tell you one of the most needed donations after the back to back tornado devastation are diapers, wipes, and formula.  If you have a local salvation army, they may already be sending to the Oklahoma relief so that is where I would take it!  However, any place that will take it as a donation is equally awesome.  Good luck with breastfeeding!
  • image thecheshirekat:
    I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever... I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away.  

    I agree with this. My supply tanked unexpectedly. There is nothing more helpless feeling than being up with your 3 month old and not being able to feed them because your breasts aren't cooperating. Then you load your screaming three month old in the car (because your husband is on business across the country) and go to the nearest 24 hour walmart that is 20 minutes away. That takes at least 10 minutes, and all the while the poor kid is so hungry they are shaky crying. Its awful.

    I say keep it. If something happens to you (like a sudden unexpected supply drop) then you can supplement just enough to make it over the hump until you can recoup.  

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  • image thecheshirekat:
    I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever. nbsp;It stayed in the closet in my son's room until it was within a couple months of its expiration date, and then I gave it to a friend who could use it. nbsp;I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away. nbsp;


    This. I actually had to wean per my OBs advice several months into a subsequent pregnancy. It was nice to have several cans to start off with. I never found it tempting to use.

    I will say our hospital has totally changed their stance within the 14 months between my LOs. We brought home tons of samples with my DD. We got nothing with my DS. We are in Texas.
  • SagenSagen
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    I had a rough go at bf at first. I had formula in the pantry the entire time. I never used it. I like to have it there incase something happens. I don't like to pump because I have problems with oversupply. I received no sample though, we went and bought it. They must not give them out around here anymore.
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  • I gave mine to the food bank immediately.

    They don't send it to you out of the goodness of their heart. They send it to you so you will use it. And so you will use their brand and become a loyal customer for as long as possible. 

  • keep it just in case. I planned on breast feeding too, but it didn't work out. Any free formula is a great help. If it works out for you, great, you can give the formula away
  • Some of this is a bit ridiculous. I'll cave in to formula feeding just because it's in the house? Really? Are those of you saying this just nervous first time moms?

    I had a ton of free samples in the house with DD, right in the same cabinet as my breastmilk bags and pads, and I never snuck illicit glances at the formula wistfully dreaming of switching.  And I had a hell of a painful time BFing at first and nursed through mastitis so I know it's not always easy to commit.  But it sure was nice to not have to pay for formula at 9 months when DD would drink way more from a bottle than she would nurse from me and I had to supplement.

    If you don't care about paying for formula then go ahead and donate it now, we're in the habit of saving money with DH starting his own business.  But it's f*ing expensive if you need it later and I really don't think it's presence will undermine your attempts to BF. Take advantage of the free stuff, regardless of the intent in sending it to you!

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  • Honestly, keep it just in case.

    If you're committed to bfing, you will do it despite there being formula in the house.

    My supply didn't come in for five days.  My daughter would nurse for two hours straight and not get enough nutrition. My lactation consultant actually recommended nursing her for an hour or two, then giving her an ounce or two of formula, as she was getting dehydrated and was still losing weight 4 days after birth.  She did recommend the little pre-mixed bottles because it doesn't get the bubbles that shaking up the powder ones get.

    You just never know what will happen, and it's always good to be prepared... Just like Girl Guides tells you to be. :)

    Just because other people didn't have supply issues, doesn't mean you won't.  And having formula in the house didn't ruin my supply... I actually had an over abundance after the fact... It just took a really long time to make its appearance (could be because I hemoraged and my body was too busy with recovery).

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  • image thecheshirekat:
    I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever.  It stayed in the closet in my son's room until it was within a couple months of its expiration date, and then I gave it to a friend who could use it.  I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away.  

    This, especially the bolded.  It was nice to have it there "just in case". Once the expiration dates neared, I gave the cans away on freecycle.  Once my supply started tanking, I sometimes used the premade stuff to mix with cereal/baby food making, and saved the BM for bottle feeding. 

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  • Statistically, women who receive formula samples and have formula in the house are more likely to stop breastfeeding and use formula.

    http://www.phdinparenting.com/blog/2010/3/17/new-study-on-impact-of-free-formula-on-breastfeeding-rates.html

    That speaks to how strongly hospital provided samples undermine breastfeeding, but I would not assume that home delivery of samples significantly changes the problem. 

  • image tokenhoser:

    Statistically, women who receive formula samples and have formula in the house are more likely to stop breastfeeding and use formula.

    http://www.phdinparenting.com/blog/2010/3/17/new-study-on-impact-of-free-formula-on-breastfeeding-rates.html

    That speaks to how strongly hospital provided samples undermine breastfeeding, but I would not assume that home delivery of samples significantly changes the problem. 

    Did you know that 76% of statistics are made up?

    Seriously though, there are so many factors involved in successful breastfeeding that I wouldn't give much weight to the results of that study.  You'd have to have a sample population with the same milk supply, the same level of newborn health and latch, the same proportion of nursing versus pumping if returning to work, etc.  It's impossible to isolate the free formula as the sole reason for a higher percentage of mothers quitting BFing.

    But again, if anyone is nervous about sticking with BFing or a first-time mom and you have no need to save money, by all means donate it to a worthy cause.  Try not to stress about it either way.

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  • Of course there are many factors to why moms quit breastfeeding or start supplementing. A lot of it is poor support and bad information (plenty of examples of both in this thread).

    I preferred to stack the deck in favour of breastfeeding success. I do have enough money to go buy formula if needed - hopefully, so does everyone that is keeping the samples, as samples are only meant to make you brand loyal,not actually help you out. 

  • We donated ours to the food pantry right away. I was bound and determined to nurse with DS and made it through all that hard stuff to nurse him for over two years.

     

    I was worried that if it was in the house and we were struggling, it would be an easy way out for "just one" bottle. With no temptation, we just pushed through and figured it out. 

  • I'm keeping my free Enfamil and I even bought a little extra. Why? Well, what if there's an emergency like an earthquake and I'm separated from LO? What is DH going to do - breastfeed?
    BFP#1: 7/19/12 EDD: 03/15/2012 M/C: 7/28/12 - I love you always, Lily!
    BFP #2: 10/28/12 EDD: 07/09/13 

    My beautiful little rainbow baby girl born July 16th, 2013.
  • image thecheshirekat:
    I kept it, and I honestly felt no temptation from it being there whatsoever.  It stayed in the closet in my son's room until it was within a couple months of its expiration date, and then I gave it to a friend who could use it.  I liked the "safety net" of knowing that if something happened to me unexpectedly, it was one less thing for other people to worry about right away.  

    This.

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    Always in my heart: BFP 9/6/12 - M/C 9/25/12
  • I fully intend to ebf but am still keeping the samples around for a couple of months and then plan to donate them. I'm not at all worried about being 'tempted' by having it around. I don't think I would choose to use it unless my pedi told me I absolutely need to, so I would not just pick it up the sample and decide to use it. And if I end up needing it, I would be really annoyed if I gave them away. 1. I would be spending money on something I had for free, 2 I will need to worry about going out and buying formula, one more thing I don't want to need to worry about PP.
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  • image mystererae:
    I'm keeping my free Enfamil and I even bought a little extra. Why? Well, what if there's an emergency like an earthquake and I'm separated from LO? What is DH going to do - breastfeed?

    You, my friend, are one of the smartest people I've seen on TB.

    It's ridiculous to say that keeping formula in the house is bad for breastfeeding.  It's not like you're a heroin addict and keeping a little heroin in the house just in case you have to have a fix, even if you fully intend on not doing it.  Formula isn't poison--it's nutrition for your baby.  Is it as good as breastmilk?  No.  Will it sustain your child and help him grow and thrive?  Yes. 

    Grown women having to keep something that isn't even bad for their child out of their homes because it would cause too much temptation for them.  Now I've heard it all.

    And please ignore any idiots that say "toss it."  Like it's nothing useful.  There are a lot of poor women who would love to have a can of formula.  Donate it, for God's sake.  Don't throw it away.

  • image tokenhoser:

    I gave mine to the food bank immediately.

    They don't send it to you out of the goodness of their heart. They send it to you so you will use it. And so you will use their brand and become a loyal customer for as long as possible. 

    I agree. Formula companies aren't stupid. They send it to you hoping you'll use it!  It's a well known booby trap. 

    I couldn't get it out of my house fast enough. And be forewarned, even more will arrive post baby! 

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  • image Cranang:

    image mystererae:
    I'm keeping my free Enfamil and I even bought a little extra. Why? Well, what if there's an emergency like an earthquake and I'm separated from LO? What is DH going to do - breastfeed?

    You, my friend, are one of the smartest people I've seen on TB.

    It's ridiculous to say that keeping formula in the house is bad for breastfeeding.  It's not like you're a heroin addict and keeping a little heroin in the house just in case you have to have a fix, even if you fully intend on not doing it.  Formula isn't poison--it's nutrition for your baby.  Is it as good as breastmilk?  No.  Will it sustain your child and help him grow and thrive?  Yes. 

    Grown women having to keep something that isn't even bad for their child out of their homes because it would cause too much temptation for them.  Now I've heard it all.

    And please ignore any idiots that say "toss it."  Like it's nothing useful.  There are a lot of poor women who would love to have a can of formula.  Donate it, for God's sake.  Don't throw it away.

    *bows*

    The extra formula I got is the ready-mixed liquid kind too. Just in case the power and gas and hot water go out.

    Doomsday Preppers fan right here. 

    BFP#1: 7/19/12 EDD: 03/15/2012 M/C: 7/28/12 - I love you always, Lily!
    BFP #2: 10/28/12 EDD: 07/09/13 

    My beautiful little rainbow baby girl born July 16th, 2013.
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