How to Get Help Paying for Baby Formula
Many experts in infant nutrition, including organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend breastfeeding your baby. If either you or your baby have medical problems that make breastfeeding inadvisable 2. Or, if you are not able to breastfeed your baby exclusively,you may need to purchase baby formula, at least occasionally. Proper nutrition is essential for growth and healthy development in infants, but the cost of formula can add up quickly 1. If you have trouble affording all that formula, ask for assistance.
Apply for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, often referred to as WIC. WIC helps pay for baby formula for infants that are not exclusively breastfed. Visit the link in the Resources section below to find the phone number for the agency that administers WIC in your state.
Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, sometimes referred to as food stamps, by visiting the welfare office in the county in which you live. You’ll need to provide proof of all income when you apply, such as paycheck stubs, a letter confirming that you receive unemployment, or a disability award letter from the Social Security Administration.
Contact a pregnancy crisis center in your town 1. Services offered at these agencies vary from location to location, but they often provide support to women after childbirth as well as during pregnancy. They may be able to provide you with resources like baby formula, diapers, car seats and baby clothing.
Talk to your baby’s pediatrician if you have trouble affording formula 2. You are probably not the first parent your doctor has worked with who has had such a problem. He may be able to direct you to other sources of assistance. You can also ask the social worker at the hospital where you gave birth about sources of assistance.
If you find it difficult to pay for baby formula, you may feel tempted to give your baby regular milk sooner that his pediatrician recommends. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not giving your baby regular milk until he is 12 months old. Regular milk does not have all of the nutrients your baby needs during his first year of life.
Never add more water than recommended to baby formula in an effort to make it last longer. Your baby will not get the proper nutrition he needs for good health.
- Mike Andrews, Former Director of Development for the Richland Cty. Pregnancy Crisis Cntr., Mansfield, Ohio.
- University of Michigan Health System: Feeding Your Baby and Toddler
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