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Generic Baby Formula vs. Name Brand
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Generic Baby Formula vs. Name Brand

Hi!  I have been breastfeeding my dd for 3 months now.  I will be going back to work at the end of August and will not be able to pump at work.  :(  I looked at formula yesterday at the store and was SHOCKED to see the HUGE price difference between generic and name brand formula!  There was $10 difference per can!  That really adds up!  Does anyone have any experience with the generic formula?  I know it all has to be regulated by the FDA, so is generic the obvious choice??

Any opinions, personal experiences, advice would be great!
Amy

PS - I have been feeding my dd a formula bottle every once in a while to get her used to it and she hasn't had any problems with either Enfamil or Similac so I don't think she's picky or has any special health concerns.
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Why can you pump at work???  I know in our State it's the law they have to provide you with a private place to pump your milk at.  You might want to check the laws in your state, if it's the workplace giving you the problem.
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I have never formula fed, but my friend and her dh just ran into this issue. She ALWAYS buy Enfamil LIPIL, well her dh picked up formula one day, saw the price difference and bought the off brand stuff, her son suffered!! Gassy baby, explosive poop, etc and he was 9 mos at this time.

Everyone will have different experiences, but don't buy a big can of any off brand just in case.

Andi
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I am a teacher and just got my schedule for next year.  There is not any time during the middle of the day when I could get away to pump without leaving my students unsupervised.  Our lunch hours are only 20 minutes long (if that) and some of those days we have recess duties and don't even get a lunch.  Pretty crappy, huh?  I talked to my principal about possibly wanting to continue to pump and she wasn't extremely accomodating about helping me make it work.  She is new this year so I'm sure she has 1001 other more "important" things to be thinking about.  I haven't completely given up the idea of continuing, it's just looking right now that it's going to be a hassle to make it work.
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I would rent a double pump and you could do it in 10 minutes.  That's BS.  What State are you in?  I'm in Maryland and it's the law, regardless of your occupation.
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I used the Parent's Choice, it has the same stuff in it as the Similac Advanced.  I only had to buy it one time cause my step-mom got it for me for free cause she worked at a Peds office.  But I compared the ingredients and the % of all the stuff and it was the same thing.  But a better price and I think the can was bigger too.  Hope this helps!!
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I used Similac for my first son until he developed a very bad diaper rash becasue of teething--needed to switch formula while he was going through diaherra (diarrhea) phase.  Never went back--stayed with the walmart brand for the next child--he took to it really well--never had a problem..I would stick with one brand--don't switch that could be a lot more harmful to the stomach.  I also stopped nursing at 14 weeks due to job schedule--tried the pumping thing at work just wasn't for me.  Also if you are worried about the bonding experience just think that dad can now do the feedings sometime--just to give you a break--it is not always going to be dependent on you.
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HI.  I'm not sure where you live but check out this site:

http://www.lalecheleague.org/Law/LawEnact.html

It has a summary of all breastfeeding laws in effect as of today.

There are breastpumps that will work very quickly.  Don't give up.
Good luck.
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my ped. told me there is no difference in formula. you can use enfamil or carnation whatever your dr suggests your you choose to do. some babies however might get gassier with some formulas. when i went back to work i gave formula to the daycare and breast fed when at home. its amazing how your body will identify when its time and work for you. i would be fine all day then 30 min before i was off work id feel my mild start to drop. do what is comfortable and that is horrible you cant pump at work if you choose.
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If the only thing that is holding you back from pumping at work is the time issue. Talk to the Human Resource Department at your district. They really do HAVE to accomadate you and this need. Its really not that hard for them to provide you with a couple of times during the day to pump. I used to work in schools too and I think they really try to do all they can to get around certain things like that.  First I'd say go to HR for your school district, if you live in a State where there are unions, call your union rep also.
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I had to chuckle at your comment about going to Human Resources.  I work in a small town in southern Illinois.  It is a K-12 building with only 200 students total.  :)  We don't have Human Resources.  We are in the process of getting a union started which will hopefully lengthen our lunches (state law is 30-minute duty free lunch...HA!)  There are several policies that have been in place for years that are very unfair to the teachers but hopefully the union will force them to treat us more fairly.  The problem is that the union just began last month and it will be at least a year before all of the negotiations are settled and changes take place.

I'm not giving up yet, I realize there are laws about this sort of thing...it's just a matter of how much I want to press the issue.  

I have been freezing breast milk since day one and have about a month supply built up for this reason exactly.  So if worse comes to worst, she will have at least been exclusively breast fed for 5 months.

Thank you to everyone else about your comments as well.  I will give the generic formula a try and hopefully dd will do great with it.
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I just wanted to say that I'm a teacher too and I totally know what you mean by literally having no time, let alone a place to pump at school. I chose not to go back after dd was born, but if I had to, it would have been impossible to pump. I never experienced the double electric, but where to pump aside from the bathroom, I wouldn't know. I had visions of being in my classroom and constantly having kids, parents, etc. knock on the door and me hooked up like a cow! Hee hee! Anyway, what about combo feeding? BF your baby when you are home and at night, but not during the day. You can train your supply that way. Just a thought...sorry if it was repetitive...don't have a ton of time to read today! :)
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If you pump enough in the evenings to get a supply for the baby while your working it shouldn't be a big deal to go half the day with no pumping or nursing while your at work. It is possible to get enough out to save and fill your baby in an evening, you just have to work up a supply by pumping tuns. I know that seem like a lot of work, especaily being a teacher having to grade and what not, But I got to a point where I could write letters and read while pumping. You could just try to see if it works for you. Like all things worth doing it takes work, but it will be like nothing after a while. When my preemie was in the hospital I pumped around the clock, so much more than she would ever eat and got way ahead of her and my supply was abundant!! Then when she nursed it went down to her need level:) You could even nurse extra on the weekends, it's good in the freezer for six months I beleive. Thats what I did when I went on a little trip w/ my DH. Pumped pumped pumped for weeks and then not at all on my four day trip. I was hurting, but my supply was still going. It takes a while to dry up! When I weaned my last girl I was leaking a month after I fully weaned her! And it was tempting to start up again, but I resisted, you gatta let go eventualy, but think about 3 months, that is so little!
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Nikita - I am glad that you understand where I'm coming from!  I didn't even get into the issue that there is NO WHERE private for me to pump anyway...no exaggeration!  They would have to lock me in the janitor's closet!  Everywhere else is very open to students, teachers, parents, etc...so I have the same fears of being walked in on.  

Something I hadn't thought of that was mentioned by a few ladies is continuing to pump and nurse in the evening.  I guess my supply has allowed me to make it through an 8-10 hour night without engorgement pain...maybe I could train my body to make it through an entire school day too and only pump in the morning, early evening and at night??  

It's funny how this question has strayed so much from my original topic, but I am grateful for the support to try to continue BF.  

Thanks ladies!!!!
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I used Carnation with my kids.  There were no issues with being gassy or burping or any problems.  I used the free Similan and Enfamil but went to Carnation from there.  Didn't notice a difference at all.

Good luck
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Enfamil and Parents choice were exactly the same 6 yrs ago when I had my son.  I would check to make sure they are still comparable and go from there.  Definately don't buy a large amount right at first until you make sure it works for your baby.
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God Bless Ya! I'm a teacher too... in Texas. Sounds like similar circumstances...our district is also very small. We have 1 restroom for teachers which is always  full and a student restroom. 30 min lunch and my room is used by another teacher during my conference period. Anyway, my baby is now 2 yrs old and I started her on enfamil but switched her to the Walmart brand around 6 months due to the cost. She had no problems with the Walmart brand at all. The labels are very close and Walmart brand also has the lipil. I didn't breastfeed but I can tell you that the Walmart brand saved me a lot I'm sure. I'm now pregnant with my 3rd and dreading starting back to school in Aug. Too hot!! and I'm not over my morning...all day sickness yet. Good luck to you and hope this. I'll be using the Walmart brand for the 3rd one too I'm sure. Formula cost is just outrageous!
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I wasn't able to breastfeed either of my children. SOme hormonal thing, which my aunt also had. I was VERY disappointed. So I've experimented with probably all the formula brands.

Both of my children were/are on similac. I've tried enfamil which is more expensive, carnation, parent's choice, and isomil. I've found no differnce in the babies while using a different brand. The only thing is when you switch formulas, the baby is going to have side effects for a couple days until they get used to it. One thing I've noticed is that when you use a generic brand, you get a bigger can, but you have to use more formula to make a bottle.  The formula scooper is bigger, so the formula/water ratio is greater than a brand name. So you're actually not saving that much money.

You can go to the brand names websites and sign up to get coupons to get free formula. It really helps.
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Hi, Im new on here, so I guess any comments I have will seem pretty random since everyone seems to know eachother, but I was just looking thru here, and I had the same concert when my daughter was on formula. She used Similac Advance w/Iron for the longest time. 12 bucks for the small can? Yeah...ok. One day I just didnt have enough and I bought the wal-mart brand (much bigger can) for a little less than the small similac. My daughter took to it just fine! In fact, it had less bubbles when mixed, too, so she wasnt half as gassy. It may not be this way for everyone, but I said PRAISE WAL-MART! lol
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hello, i guess I'm not the only mom who is having problems with formula. My son has been breast feed for 4 months but started to give him two formula bottles a day (at the age of two months) to get use to it. I am also a teacher but i decided to stop breast feeding. My son is on similac but found a new brand at Sam's and thought i would try it. It is compared to similac gentlelease. My son is very gassy. My mom is not liking me to use the generic brand. She works at a hospital and asked the lactose nurse and she said she wouldn't recommend using generic brand, but my sister- in -law used generic brand with both of her girls and the turned out all right.. I haven't seen a change but he is still on breast milk for the next week or so. I really want to know what is the difference and why is it so much cheaper if they are the same?
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Don't buy too much at one time.  Both of my boys reacted to formulas and it can take up to 2 weeks for them to show signs of a reaction.  My second baby switched from regular formula to soy in the hospital and right at the 2 week point he began to have problems again.  I would be happy just buying a regular brand, but we are on Nutramigen adn the can is about 1/2 the size in comparison to the weight of regular cans and it's even more expensive.  We went out after a week and bought soy formula on sale, now I have 5 more cans of soy Similac and no sign of getting off of this other stuff.  We have tried twice and it has not been easy.  I use the brand anyway, but the generic is bascially the same.  The company for the brand has pioneered the product and run the tests, etc.  Thats' why they cost more.  Sometimes the fillers are different though, so to be safe I don't go generic for my little one.
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My daughter will be 3 months old Friday. She was breast fed exclusively for the first month.  After that she had to be put on formula. After trying regular formula with iron she had to be put on Similac Sensitive because of projectile spitting. After about a week on Similac the pediatrician told us to try the Parents Choice because we don't qualify for WIC and the generic is cheaper.  Less than one week later she became constipated and passed a bloody stool.  The pediatrician's office assured me it was not the generic formula and to leave her on it.  Since that point she had horrible colic and gas to the point the pediatrician wanted to put her on Nutramigen but I just wasn't satisfied that the colic was due to a milk protein allergy. I was giving her Karo Syrup twice a day to help move her bowels. Finally I did some research on Similac versus Parents Choice and they are not exactly the same. The ingredients vary and the amounts of ingredients in each vary. Also Parents Choice has an ingredient called Palm olein oil that Similac does NOT use in their formulas.  When researching this ingredient I found it can cause constipation and babies using formula with this ingredient absorb less calcium compared to formula without it. So I went with my gut instinct and put my daughter back on Similac and it has made her a new baby!  She has barely any gas, no colicky nights and she needs no Karo syrup.  Just wanted to let other parents know this in case they have the same trouble.
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so, i have read several comments. do i try the generic and hope for the best or what?
I allso do not qualify for wic.
my little one seems to like enfamil.
i am a first time mom and i dont know what to do.
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I have a 7 month old son and he has been on GoodStart for several months now but I have been thinking lately of switching to a generic brand as well, due to cost.  My mother in law keeps trying to tell me that I should just put him on homogenized milk, as she did with all four of her children, but there is no way I will ever do that until my son is a year old.  Thanks, but no thanks.  However, I am beginning to look into purchasing generic brand milk... I've compared ingredients, and they are all the same... but I am a bit worried anyway.  I've just decided to call my son's pediatrician and ask her, then go from there.  I'd say that's the best thing to do for any mother who is curious!!
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We went through many formulas with my DS to find what worked for him.  Our Ped participated in some sort of testing group for different formulas companies.  His opinion is that Good Start (Nestle) had the best processing in how they made the formula and was the most 'natural' of the brand names.  Unfortunately, DS was lactose-intolerant and Good Start doesn't have a lactose-free... and they're not as good on coupons.  We eventually ended up with Similac Sensitive which as worked well; Similar Alimentum (similar to Nutramigen) worked best but smelled too high heaven and we couldn't afford it.  Similac's great about sending regular $5 coupons monthly and I buy up whenever there's a sale.  The Ped's nurse said generics are fine, but check the percentages to ensure it's close to a brand name and be careful of corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup since it's a) sweeter than sugar and b) causes people to overeat since it bypasses the brain's trigger of feeling full.  As for gas/colic... our DS is gassy by nature and mylicon/baby gasx didn't always work.  We got the Dr. Brown Formula Pitcher to mix batch formula (or use a spoon instead of shaking) which reduced bubbles.  We also use cooled boiled water.  We check positioning of the bottle and DS during feedings since that can lead to gas, and pull the bottle away if he starts to chug. We try to keep DS upright for 30 min after a feeding (he spits up if he ate too much) -- picked that one up from day care.  And, providing someone's in the room, we'll either put DS on his stomach to nap & for tummy time or place him on his back and massage his tummy in a counter-clockwise motion (I  know it's unPC but putting him on his tummy works the best to get rid of gas; we just try to prop him up slightly to reduce ear infections).  Hubby's also started the "bicycle" and "leg rocket" games where he moves DS' legs in a bicycle motion or rocks them like a reverse stomach crunch; both are excellent in helping with gas.
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There are some great answers here already, but I wanted to point out one more thing. Yes, all generic formulas must meet the same FDA guidelines, so you're going to be getting a great formula for your baby regardless. We used Parent's Choice for our girls, and saved a HUGE chunk of change! We have twins, so that savings really added up. I knew it was a lot.. but when I saw their savings calculator (http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/baby-formula-savings-calculator.aspx) I just about fell out of my chair... It definitely helps! --
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There is no generic baby formula - FDA doesn't allow it and outlines minimum and maximum essential nutrients and nutrient levels in the Infant Formula Act. Long story short: all infant formula marketed in the U.S. is formulated to meet the grow and development needs of infants regardless of brand. So why buy Enfamil or Similac when you can find a store brand - not a generic - infant formula at your favorite retailer?  This financial choice can save you up to $600 a year on baby formula.
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we used the giant eagle brand soy formula for our boys ($10 less then the brand name stuff) but when we read the labels it actually had MORE of the good stuff! plus our boys did SOOOO much better on that. we had them using similac for the first 5-6 months and they were so gassy, spitting up, horrible poos and just miserable. we switched to giant eagle brand and voila happy babies.
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I was reading through this forum to find out about differences on generic vs. name brand formulas, and I'm really annoyed by all the comments directed toward Amy524 about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding advocates on this site are not respectful of a woman's decision not to continue breastfeeding. I'm sure if she wants to, she will, and if she doesn't want to, she will feed her baby formula. Guess what? Her baby will survive and be okay! It's hard enough being a working mom; no mother needs to be further pressured to take the very little time she has in the day to pump milk. Maybe she could look through a magazine and sip a cup of coffee, or get some grading done so she doesn't have to do it when she gets home, which equals more time for the baby! I have breastfed both of my children for different amounts of time, but breastfeeding women need to be respectful of all women's choices. Just because you want to make those particular sacrifices doesn't mean all women do. You're not doing much to help support women's choices and equality when you put unnecessary stress on mothers.
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Janad97 couldn't have said it any better.  Ladies, do not be duped into the very, VERY thin and biased scientific data that claims that breast milk is a type of vaccine.  The simple fact is that formula is on a near par, and that the benefits of breastfeeding MIGHT amount to one less cold that first year and possibly 1 extra IQ point that will be neglible.  Bonding?  The two methods are equal.

Breastfeeding is only free if a mother's time is worth NOTHING.  Imagine how one could better enhance her family's life by contributing efforts elsewhere by the aid of formula!!!  

Best to you all.  
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It should be noted that both my parents were high school teachers, so I was a formula baby.  34 years later, I make $100K with an MBA and over $1MIL of government training invested in me.  Not a single allergy, never broke a bone, never hospitalized, am a half marathon runner.  My success and health are due to my parents' strengths and sacrifices and my own discipline, not because my mother bought into the hype and ignored her duties.  Teachers make the best moms!
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I used to feed my baby Similac Advance.  I use to pay 28.95 for a 32 oz container at SAMS.  I found Up and Up (Target Brand) for 16.95 for 40 oz.  BIG DIFFERENCE in price.  I looked at the ingredients.  It is exactly the same as Enfamil, and only slightly different from Similac Advance, but thought I would give it a try.  No problems as of yet.  Very satisfied.  Every baby is different, but I never had any problems and appreciate saving the money.
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To both ladies commenting on the barrage of breastfeeding information supplied to this mother looking for advice on formulas:  Thank you!   I am a mother of 3 (#3 is 2 months old) and I am returning to work next week.  In a perfect world, mothers would have all the time they need to be the only person responsible for caring for and feeding their children, especially an infant, but reality, by choice or not, is just not that way for many of us.  We all know being a mother is the most demanding job a woman can take on.  Then top it with all the other expectations, responsibilities and pressures of modern life, in and out of the home. The stress to be "supermom" can be overwhelming and unhealthy.  Not breastfeeding or stopping before 1 year does not make you less of a mother!   In fact, it might make you more of one - like one of you said - you have more quality time for your baby, your other children and yourself, which will ultimately make you all one happy family!  It is so unfair to put that pressure to breastfed above all else on a mother trying her best - and yes, it is pressure, not helpful advice.  Bottom-line:  do what works for you to make you and your family happy.  I've known plenty of people that were not breastfed at all that are amazing, healthy and smart people!   Let's face it, breastfeeding has gone on since the beginning of time, so we can certainly agree that throughout history there have been plenty of breastfed people are a little less than healthy, kind, well-adjusted, intelligent and productive human beings.  (Can you tell I'm tired of breastfeeding advice?)  Sorry, Amy, I am guilty of digression, too... back to the topic of formula.  Store brands seem about the same as far as ingredients.  Every baby will tolerate different formulas differently.  Stay within the type (milk-based, soy-based, etc.) if you need to try them out.  Target's brand seems to work for my little one and is more or less the same as Similac, but much less expensive.   Good luck to you and your baby as you head back to work!  It's never easy!
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