It has been announced that the NHS will be running a trial scheme to encourage new mothers to breastfeed by awarding them shopping vouchers, in an attempt to raise the number of mothers in the UK that breastfeed.
In my opinion this is very poor attempt to ‘encourge/bribe’ mothers into breastfeeding.
Firstly, Breast milk is free, formula is blimin’ expensive! Those mothers that chose formula clearly aren’t motivated by the financial benefits of breastfeeding, so why would a voucher make any difference ???
Secondly, how is this going to be monitored? There is no way of enduring that the mothers are exclusively breastfeeding.
Thirdly, the vouchers offered can be spent in supermarkets, what’s to say that these will not be spent on cigarettes or alcohol. Again, this is impossible to monitor!
Fourth, mothers that are suffering financial difficulties that may have never chosen to breastfeed might feel forced into doing so. Will this led to resentment?
Lastly, are we considering mothers that had intended to breastfeed all along , no financial incentive needed. Are they going to feel the need to explain their choice had nothing to do with the vouchers?
I chose not to breastfeed Albie, this is a decision I regret. I believe breast is best for babies health, however after my C-section I didn’t feel up to it and the midwives didn’t question it, I think if they had I would have been prepared to give it a go, however it’s not their fault, I am sure they give up preaching the benefits to mothers. If we do have another baby I will certainly be trying to breastfeed, we have suffered from constipation with Albie and I put that down to his formula. I have also found a number of other uses for breast milk, apparently a couple of drops up a blocked baby nose really help to unblock it, it can also be used to treat baby acne. Don’t get me started on the sterilising of bottles last thing at night when you have fallen asleep on the sofa and just want to head to bed!
If the scheme is initiated after the trials, I think I would certainly want to tell people the vouchers had nothing to do with my choice, especially as I chose not to breastfeed my first.
What is your opinion on this? Would it convince you to breastfeed?
(*please excuse grammer and spelling – quickly written post using my iPhone)