Are mothers more likely to breastfeed if they’re paid?

A study in the UK now shows that mothers are more likely to breastfeed, and continue to breastfeed their baby when on a payment scheme.

The scheme offered 10,000 new mothers £120 worth of shopping vouchers if babies received breast milk – either expressed or by breastfeeding – at two days, ten days and six weeks old. A further £80 of vouchers were offered if babies continued to receive milk up to six months old.

The study

The study was sponsored by the National Prevention Research Initiative and Public Health England and conducted by the University of Sheffield and the University of Dundee found 46 per cent of eligible mothers signed up to the scheme and more than 40% claimed at least one voucher for breastfeeding. The results showed a 6 per cent increase among breastfeeding rates where the scheme was offered, compared with other where the scheme was not available.

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Real mum says…

Fiona Sutcliffe, 29, from Sheffield, who took part in the trial with her daughter, said: “Breastfeeding is quite difficult in the beginning. The scheme is a really good way of keeping going – keeping motivated to stay on track rather than giving up and going for the bottle.

“It provides little milestones, little stepping stones and helps you get breastfeeding established.”

Breastfeeding levels in both Ireland and the UK are among the lowest in the world. But perhaps a scheme like this could encourage more mothers to try breastfeeding with their newborns?

What do our readers think? Would a scheme like this make it easier to breastfeed? Or does it pay no part in how you choose to feed your child?

maternity&infant