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Did/do you have emergency formula in the house?

Poll Results: Did/do you have emergency formula?

  • 19% (15)
    Yes, but never needed it.
  • 6% (5)
    Yes, and I used it.
  • 2% (2)
    No, but I had donated milk.
  • 66% (51)
    No, didn't need it.
  • 5% (4)
77 Total Votes  
post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

With DS, I worked less than a mile from home and XH dropped me off at work, so not only was I able to nurse DS during lunch and immediately before/after work, he could bring him to me to nurse if necessary. This time, I work half an hour from home, I work retail so I don't have a set schedule, and I take the only car, so DH can't bring me DD if he runs out of milk. Plus I'm often scheduled for 4-hour shifts, so I don't get a break and can't pump. I end up pumping on one side while nursing DD on the other when I get home to try and get milk for the next time I work. I don't get a lot from the pump, so it often takes two pumping sessions to get enough for one bottle.


I never felt the need to have any "just in case" formula in the house with DS. I've ordered a few samples to have handy for DD. With me working so far away, I worry about there being an accident or getting a flat tire or getting stuck in the snow. I don't have any other nursing moms handy to get extra milk from.


Did you have any formula around for your exclusively breastfed baby? Did you ever end up needing it?


**Disclaimer: This is not a thread about formula vs breastmilk, how formula samples sabotage breastfeeding, or using donated milk. Please play nice!

post #2 of 31

I never felt the need to have it on hand for emergency situation because I had milk in the freezer. However I did have the can that they sent home from the hospital and forgot about it. Found it once we moved 4 months later. Which did come in handy when I lost my stash and we weened because I had recently gotten a sample of a different brand so I was able to test them both out without buying any. And seeing what ones DD handled better. 


This time around with this baby I again see no need to have a can unless we had problems with BF. then I might. But I still don't see the need to. But I suppose I will keep the can that gets sent home but I don't think so. I fully intend to at BF the first year and I can't forsee any problems preventing it since pregnancy won't be an option..lol and that was the only reason I weened the first time. 

post #3 of 31

We had and still have some even though I do have a small amount of bm in the freezer. It is not only for if something happens to me but if some kind of natural disaster were to take place as well and I couldn't bf DS. We store it with our emergency supplies of water, batteries, food, etc. It's important to reevaluate what you may need in an emergency/evacuation or disaster situation once you have a baby or kids. We've also got sposies and infant tylenol and other things like that in our emergency kit.

post #4 of 31

With dd we had emergency formula in case I couldn't pump enough to keep up with her, but we never needed it. With ds we didn't bother since I don't have a job to go back to.

post #5 of 31

We had to supplement early on (my son lost a pound in three days, my milk was slow to come in, and he couldn't clear the jaundice without eating)--he got sent home with formula and a billiblanket. It was either that or keep him under lights in the hospital. So, he had probably 8-10 ounces, total, of ready-to-use formula.


I still have the sample can of powdered formula and a couple of little bottles of the ready-to-use, but I've not needed formula since that time (though my husband had to buy some when he left town with my son, then maybe 7-8 months old, and forgot to take milk with him!).


I kind of liked having it there--one big psychological help for me is knowing something is voluntary. When breastfeeding was hard at the beginning, actually knowing that I had an alternative, and was doing this because I was choosing to, was very useful mentally.


My son's 11 months old now with no trace of allergies, so if for some reason I could no longer BF him, we could probably get him on cow's milk after the freezer stash and the remaining formula (it's not expired yet) are gone. So I won't have to buy any.

post #6 of 31

With baby #1 I pumped and froze a stash to save 'just in case'. I think he had maybe half a dozen BM bottles kind of for the fun factor....Dadda and Granny feeding him.

Baby #2, I pumped a few to have 'just in case'. As I recall, that kid never had a bottle of anything, and I threw out the BM when he was like 3 and I finally got around to planting his placenta....found the BM in the freezer alongside it!

Baby #3, no such precautions! I figured if we hadn't had a single emergency moment in three babies' worth of breastfeeding, it wasn't likely enough to go through the hassle of pumping an emergency stash.

I was going to say we've never had any formula in the house, but that's not true....my SIL has come over once or twice with her babies who had formula. I tend to believe the idea that if you have it on hand, you are kind of planning to fail, but I don't think that's true in every case necessarily. I can kind of see where it may give the mother peace of mind if she has to be away from her baby for some reason.
post #7 of 31

A couple of days after DD was born, before we had breastfeeding down, I felt like I was failing my baby and she was going to starve. So DH went out to buy a can of formula. The one and only time we prepared a bottle for DD, she literally reached up and swatted it out of my hand. We never offered it again and breastfeeding went smoothly soon after. With this baby due in August we won't even bother with the formula. Just patience...

post #8 of 31

I never had any in the house. However I was a SAHM with a 24 hour CVS on the corner of our street so in an emergency I or my DH could have had formula in a matter of minutes.  If I was a working Mom who left the baby at home with a caretaker or dad I probably would have had some on hand for just the situations you described.

post #9 of 31

We had ONE can because I needed to pump to build up supply to go back to work - I didn't produce alot - enough to feed her but couldn't pump huge amounts at a time. After the second time she spit it back at DH and I couldn't get the stain out of his robe, I tossed it in the bin.

post #10 of 31

Yes but we haven't used it. We keep one can of organic formula in the house for two reasons. 1) I exclusively pump and am always worried about not having enough milk for her. 2) I live in earthquake and tsunami country and the Big One is coming sometime, so we have to be ready. If we had to flee, I would try to grab the pump, but I'd also grab the can or formula. You just never know.


Once my milk supply dried up suddenly. I used donor milk for about two weeks while I got my supply back up and froze some.



post #11 of 31

No but I had an oversupply. Even when my son self weaned he continued to have BM for a loooong time. 


Oh wait!  I completely forgot! A few years ago I was cleaning out my pantry and found an sample can of enfamil! I remember laughing because I had NO recollection of putting in there.  So I guess I *did* have an emergency can not that would have helped me in a true emergency. Kind like I can never find a flashlight when the power goes out...


I think it is (kind of) funny that someone mentioned a disaster scenario. My son was born right before 9/11 and I remember afterwards making up those emergency supply boxes for the home and for both our cars, developing elaborate meet up plans in case we were both at work and the babe was home with the nanny, making sure we had supply of cash, bottles of water. It never even occurred to me put formula in there. Which in hindsight probably wasn't smart in case I was the one killed in the disaster....

post #12 of 31

Yes. I've had to work full-time since DD was 12 weeks old, and I had a raging breast infection until she was about 16 weeks. I was never able to pump enough to have a large freezer stash, and I was just exhausted all the time and needed to feel like there was some part of my life where I had a "break."


We did end up going through about a can a month of formula with DD. She only nursed when I was home, of course, but the formula was there when I was at work. If the bottled breastmilk ran out and she couldn't hold over until I got home, she had another option, and I was glad for that. Breastfeeding was so touch-and-go for me initially because the breast infection made it so hard & painful, so I feel like that small bit of formula feeding actually saved my breastfeeding relationship. It got me through some times when I felt like throwing in the towel. DD is 33 months and she still nurses. She has no food allergies. I don't feel remotely bad about using formula.


I also have the perspective of being an adoptee who was raised on formula. I know breast is best, but I also know that not everyone gets to live in an ideal world. I believe small compromises are OK.



post #13 of 31

I had some as backup, and I needed it around 3 months when she hit a growth spurt and I had a little business travel and had to pump for a couple days and I absolutely could not keep up. We used the backup a few nights after she had exhausted my supply and fussed, and then after a week or so my supply caught up and we haven't needed it since. I was glad to have it. My baby shouldn't have to go to bed hungry if my supply isn't enough, you know.

post #14 of 31

I used the big stack of formula checks sent to my house to get many grocery bags of formula for free and donate it to the local women's shelter. More recently, I did this again (with fewer coupons) and have a single grocery bag of ready-to-feed formula sitting, waiting to be donated. I'm torn- should I keep it as an emergency backup, as I do work full time and pump, and the freezer stash is finite? Or do I get rid of the safety net, because we probably won't ever use it anyway, and pass it along to someone who needs it? We're minutes from a 24-hour CVS, as a PP said, so, in a pinch, it's not like formula is unattainable.


I answered 'Other', because I do have formula in the house, but don't consider it an emergency back-up stash. I consider the freezer stash to be the "emergency" supply.

post #15 of 31

I picked "other". Not because I don't/didn't need it, but because if I DO/DID need it, I can get it then. I refuse to have that temptation in the house. This time around I didn't even have any bottles at all in the house.


I look at it this way: if it's such an emergency that you can't go to a store to get it, then you should be rushing to the ER and getting formula should be the LAST thing on your mind. :)

post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by smeep View Post

I look at it this way: if it's such an emergency that you can't go to a store to get it, then you should be rushing to the ER and getting formula should be the LAST thing on your mind. :)

That's exactly why I'm going to keep some in the house. We only have one car and if I get in a wreck or something, I don't want to have to worry about DD going hungry until DH can get to the store and what if there's three feet of snow on the ground and what if DH doesn't know I've been in an accident and waits until DD is starving before deciding he has to get formula, then he has to walk the half mile to the store on a road with no sidewalks with a baby and a 6yo. Just peace of mind that it's accessible if I'm in an accident or something and doesn't have to be purchased while DD waits, hungry.

post #17 of 31

I think if you don't have some extra pumped milk in the fridge or freezer AND you and your DH are on the same page with breastmilk vs. formula then having some in the house is a good idea.  Since it's just your DH at home, it would be tricky to get to a store with a screaming hungry baby if you do need some, esp. with no car.  If you are able to build a little emergency stash then you should be fine.

post #18 of 31

I said no b/c I didn't with this DS but if I were in your situation, I would -if  only for peace of mind.  I didn't work outside the home with this DS or my DD.


Good luck!

post #19 of 31

you may want to post in working parents.... they may have some advice/ experience.


I posted no because I stay at home and have never needed it.  Sounds stressful.  Sorry.

post #20 of 31

I have a can of it in my house because I am a liscensed daycare and I am required by my state to have a can on hand at all times. No one has to use it, but it has to be here, and the state pays for it. I have used it to mix with oatmeal and such, but I have never made bottles with it. Even my daycare kids that have been on formula, their parents brought their own and signed a form saying they had been offered mine.

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