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News » WAB Debate

South Yorkshire's New Mums Set For Breastfeeding Incentives

Tuesday November 12 2013

SOUTH Yorkshire's new mums could receive up to £200 in vouchers if they choose to breastfeed, as part of a controversial new scheme. What do you think to this? Have your say on our WAB Debate.

Part-funded by the taxpayer, the mums will be given incentives in the form of vouchers for stores such as Asda, John Lewis, Poundland and Tesco as a reward for not relying on formula milk.

The pilot scheme will involve 130 women from South Yorkshire and Derbyshire - but it could be rolled out nationally.

The trial, which started on November 12, will see women offered £40 in vouchers if they breastfeed for two days, another £40 if they do it for ten days and a further £40 if they carry on for six weeks.

They will get £40 at three months and again at six months. Women still breastfeeding by then will have received £200.

The scheme, run by researchers from Sheffield and Dundee universities, started on November 12.

Dr Clare Relton, of the University of Sheffield, said: "We think there are benefits to babies, mums and to society for breastfeeding. We're exploring one particular way that might improve breastfeeding rates."

However, it's got its critics, too. Matthew Sinclair, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: "This is yet another example of public health officials believing that the nanny state knows best for every single family."

What do you think to this? A good idea? Have your say below.

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19 Showing 19 comments

Reply Posted by sarah lawton on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 12:43
Breastfeeding is not what every mother can do , I myself have had five children and bottle fed everyone , I tried it with each of my children and I did not take to breastfeeding , I don't think shopping vouchers should be introduced from my point of view its another way to push breastfeeding on to mothers. Breastfeeding should be about the bond between mother and child not about shopping vouchers!!

Reply Posted by Kerry on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 12:47
There is enough pressure on new mums anyway I think this is wrong. Fantastic if you can/want to breast feed buts it not possible or chosen by some and that's fine too. That young doctors who went missing recently with its natal depression is a reason this is wrong, mums don't need anything else to feel guilty or not adequate about x

Reply Posted by mat on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 12:48
Mothers that are going to breastfeed will do so without incentives. I encourage mothers to breastfeed as there are many benefits of doing so, jus don't see the need for incentives. I'm sure government jus likes throwing money away

Reply Posted by dawn on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 12:49
why don't they give mums fruit vouchers seen as fruit is that expensive they carnt afford to buy it or give it homeless what are out freezing

Reply Posted by June on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 12:59
I suspect that this is aimed at a certain demographic who don't breast feed - teenage mothers, women in the traveller community etc who see it as taboo

It's a trial - let's see how it goes before we make judgements, breast is best. I know from experience that BF isn't easy or even possible for some mums but encouraging people to try is a good thing

Reply Posted by PJ on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 13:00
Breastfeeding should certainly be encouraged - but offering money as an incentive isn't the answer. How will it be monitored, for instance. Would already overworked midwives & health visitors need to see evidence of breastfeeding?
Generally speaking, I don't think that the benefits of breast feeding are promoted enough - and amongst many Mums - if their friends don't do it, they won't either. Maybe the money could be better spent educating people instead. One Mum once said to me that she certainly wouldn't be breast feeding as 'It's unnatural'. I could hardly believe my ears! Also, it's hard work for a new Mum and many aren't prepared to put up with the initial discomfort & hard work required - even though, ultimately it is one if the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Reply Posted by Pauline Ellis on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 13:41
It's a disgrace they shouldn't need a incentive to do what comes natural,,, why not give them a cott,pushchair,pram just another way of the government wasting money,

Reply Posted by Jayne on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 13:44
I thought the NHS had no money. I am to believe we are cutting funds in different areas. This makes no sense

Reply Posted by emma on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 15:03
This is stupid cut funds to ambulance services then pay for something like this. How are they going to show someone is still breastfeeding? I bet they won't be telling them the struggles of stopping either!

Reply Posted by MumofTwo on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 15:29
June, I was a teenage mum and I did breastfeed for a while. Not all of us are completely childish and irresponsible and 15 years on I am still with my children's' father. However, with both of my children I couldn't breastfeed for long because I had two children at 10lb plus. The first gave me so many complications and medical problems that it became impossible after a week to breastfeed. My daughter however took quite well to it but because of her size, I was unable to keep up with demand and she drained me of all milk after 3 weeks.
Sometimes it is simply not possible to continue breastfeeding despite any good intentions and I don't believe that it is fair to penalize those mothers and make them feel inadequate for that reason. I already felt guilty enough for not being able to continue for longer. As usual, the government has my thanks........not

Reply Posted by Naomi on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 17:25
This is disgraceful. Is there no consideration for those mums that can't breastfeed for genuine reasons? I imagine that women who are already judged and feel criticised for not being able to breastfeed despite wishing they could. There is already tremendous pressure, and motherhood is difficult enough as it is, without being penalized and made to feel guilty and inadequate. Ridiculous.

Reply Posted by j on Tuesday November 12 2013 at 20:29
I breast fed all three of my children and found it the most rewarding experience in bonding with them. It is the mother's choice and trying to persuade them with money is ridiculous - breast feeding is something a mother wants and is able to do or does not. I think there are far more serious issues this money could be used for.

Reply Posted by lou on Wednesday November 13 2013 at 09:33
i couldnt breastfeed or bottle feed my first baby because she couldnt suck so had to be tube fed via nose. my recent 2nd child i started to breastfeed as i wanted to experiance it. i was only woman in a 6 bedded room who breastfed. 5 week on and i expressing and formula milk. i have told breastfeeding link woman who seemed angry at me for choosing not to breastfeed even tho im expressing. health visitor weighed her last week and said she not put enough weight on in 20 days and said i should be giving breast all the time. they are putting too much pressure on new mums to breastfeed its stressing me out and upsetting been told what to do with my baby

Reply Posted by tess on Wednesday November 13 2013 at 16:12
this is so wrong i wanted to breast feed but had mastituse so couldnt this is nt fair save money for something better ie hosptals scbu x

Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Wednesday November 13 2013 at 17:04
There are many reasons why women do not breast feed. Small baby, large baby, premature baby. baby unable to suck, inverted nipples, mum being unwell or having a c section and milk not coming in - I could go on. It is an unpopular choice with some as they were brought up not seeing breast feeding and to be honest there are still people who think it is wrong to do in public. ( Of course that is rubbish).
Anyone who thinks it is because of laziness are wrong. It is a social problem and a medical issue and sometimes a mental issue. Money will not sort this.
Better training and better promotion and more breast feeding friendly cafes etc would help but not bribes.
BTW people who find breast feeding easy do not always appreciate the problems that other women face.

Reply Posted by Clare on Sunday November 17 2013 at 13:45
If breast feeding came naturally they wouldn't have to be offering vouchers to encourage you to do it. For many women breast feeding does not come naturally and they should not feel pressured to do it.

Reply Posted by Maz on Sunday November 17 2013 at 15:20
How are they going to "police" this scheme? The mind boggles................

Reply Posted by milkman on Sunday November 17 2013 at 15:24
Maz@ come on man.so easy to "Police" All the women will be Milking the system,,

Reply Posted by Youngy on Thursday April 14 2016 at 02:48
An answer from an expert! Thanks for cogritbutinn.