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If You Want To Bring Your Own Formula To The Hospital, Here's What You Should Know

When you go into the hospital ready to give birth, you want to be as prepared as possible. You have a bag packed, you have all your insurance forms in order, you have the new car seat together, but what if you're a mom who plans on using formula? Can you bring your own formula to the hospital, or does the hospital provide it for you? Will they have specific brands they want you to use? I researched hospital policies on this questions and here's what I found.

The short answer is mostly yes, you can, but there are other things to consider. For example, what brand of formula will you be feeding your baby? According to Popsugar, not all hospitals will keep formula on hand, so you may want to confirm with your healthcare provider. The hospital I gave birth in provided us with formula even though I was nursing, which actually was a big help — the nurses were able to feed my baby while I slept. Imagine that! (Yes, I could have pumped but honestly, I just gave birth. Breastfeeding my baby was one thing, but pumping? Now that was a chore I was not ready to take on just yet.) I was very thankful for the occasional formula supplement.

However, different hospitals have their own policies, so if you're unsure, it's best to check in advance. Call the hospital you're planning to give birth in and ask if you're able to bring your own formula. You may also want to consider asking what brand of formula they provide to see if it's something you would — or wouldn't — feed your baby. You can also ask if they provide or offer formula at all so you can save yourself the extra hassle and errands when the time comes. The more you know, the better. Plus it's one less thing to do, right? Less is more when it comes to packing the hospital bag, I think.

What's really interesting though is an article featured on the blog The Lunch Tray that discussed the pro-breastfeeding initiative that actually enforces hospitals to limit mom's access to formula. Turns out, some hospitals may actually not supply new moms who opt out of breastfeeding with formula for their babies, so if you're choosing to bottle-feed, you're basically on your own at these institutions. Which brings this to a sensitive debate. While breastfeeding may be ideal in some cases, it may not be for everyone. Should hospitals be allowed to limit access to formula in an effort to promote a breastfeeding culture? There's so much more to consider when it comes to this issue than just applying the "breastfeeding is best" policy everywhere.

Whether you're considering formula-feeding only, breastfeeding only, or maybe you'd like to try a blend of both nursing and bottle-feeding, you can absolutely and probably should bring your own formula to the hospital. It's always nice to know that you have back-up if something unexpected happens. Plus going into the hospital feeling prepared will help relax those new-mom nerves.