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Paying new UK mothers in supermarket vouchers could encourage them to breastfeed according to a new study.

Researchers found the financial incentives, to spend at  UK stores like Tesco, Asda and Morrison’s, were responsible for a 6 per cent jump in breastfeeding rates.

Breastfeeding levels in the UK are the lowest in the world. In some areas just 12 per cent of six to eight-week-old babies are breastfed.

The new study of 10,000 new mothers, undertaken by researchers at Sheffield and Dundee universities, may help overturn the growing problem, shares Daily Mail.

New mothers were offered shopping vouchers worth up to £120 ($212) if babies received breast milk at two days, 10 days and six weeks old.

A further £80 ($140) of vouchers was available to the volunteers if their babies continued to receive breast milk up to six months of age – like guidelines state.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of eligible mothers signed up to the scheme and two fifths claimed at least one voucher for breastfeeding.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that the vouchers ‘really lifted mums and gave them recognition and acceptance’.

Shouldn’t we be offering better support not money?

Do you think this is the best answer to encourage mums to breastfeed?

Share your comments below.

  • How must the Mums who simply cannot breastfeed feel when they miss out in the praise of breastfeeding. They probably feel “down” about it. I know a lady who was determined to breastfeed, did all the right things that were suggested for preparation etc. After 23 hours labour it was decided she needed an urgent c-section….there was absolutely no way her baby was going to be born naturally. They reckon her body must have gone into shock because of a couple of different reactions than normal. Despite plenty of help, both in the hospital and at home, she simply didn’t manage to produce any milk.

    Reply

  • It’s quite sad that mothers need to be bribed to put their child’s needs first and do what is best for their babies…

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  • Well that’s a different way to get the breastfeeding rates up. But when breastfeeding gains more popularity because of this, you never know more women make that choice spontaneously for the right reasons.

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  • Rediculous, education is the key not bribery
    And it’s a mother’s choice to breast feed or not

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  • How do they prove it? And who gets blamed if a baby starves to death because mum wants her vouchers but isn’t producing enough milk. I think the money could be invested better in supporting and educating mothers about breastfeeding.

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  • Breast feeding is fabulous, but what is better is a baby with a full belly and people that love them

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  • More than the monetary incentive, I think it is better to be well-informed of the benefits of breastfeeding.

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  • What a waste of money. Breastfeeding is a personal choice and one that shouldn’t be supported or negated by the government. It’s not their business.

    Reply

  • It would be more important to understand the reasons why the lowest breastfeeding levels are there.

    Reply

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