New mums are being given shopping vouchers in a bid to boost breastfeeding rates in certain areas
Would £200 to spend on the high street encourage you to breastfeed for six months? That’s the idea of a new pilot scheme, in which shopping vouchers will be given to new mums as an incentive to breastfeed.
The trial study of 130 women will take place from now until March and be focussed on deprived areas in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire – where just one in four women are breastfeeding by eight weeks compared with the 55 per cent national average. The idea is to potentially roll out the scheme to other areas next year if it’s successful.
The research is being funded by a partnership between the Government and medical research sector, and run by Sheffield University. The mums will have to nurse for a full six months to qualify for the vouchers, which a health visitor or midwife will verify.
While the team leading the study have highlighted the idea that the scheme could encourage breastfeeding and improve education, others including the Royal College Of Midwives have questioned using financial incentives and suggest the answer is actually more support around breastfeeding for all new mums.
What do you think about this incentive? Let us know on the comments board below.