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Paid to breastfeed?

(127 Posts)
Baggs Wed 13-Dec-17 06:19:57

There is a proposal doing the rounds at the moment that women should be paid to breastfeed their babies. It is a suggestion made by health experts, according to the article I read, based on the fact that giving mothers cash vouchers if they breastfed their babies improved the number doing so by about 20%. Well, they said they were breastfeeding. The same article admitted that the experiment with vouchers relied, without any checks, on women saying they were breastfeeding.

Would being paid have made a difference to you? Would you, if you were a bottle-feeder, have breastfed instead if you had been rewarded financially for doing so?

mumofmadboys Wed 13-Dec-17 07:56:16

I think it is a ridiculous suggestion. Mums hopefully try to breast feed for the health benefits both physical and emotional. What could be of greater importance.

MawBroon Wed 13-Dec-17 08:04:35

What is it with this outlook that you have to offer financial incentives to promote our own health or in this case, the next generations?
Remember Gym vouchers?

I know we often need educating but this is just stupid.
And there are a zillion and one better uses for any “spare” money in either SS or the NHS.
Bring back (was it) Home Start or more HV’s for starters.

NfkDumpling Wed 13-Dec-17 08:05:22

My mother was unable to breastfeed. I was unable to breastfeed. And neither of my daughters could either. We all tried. Desperately. None of us could provide enough milk to keep a baby alive. So we had to supplement with bottle milk. What should we have done? Let babies starve?

I really, really hate all the pressure and the guilt put onto mums to breastfeed when they can't. It's not as if the baby milk is so bad. It's very carefully researched and produced. Mums who can breastfeed easily do so, but a lot can't or have to supplement with bottle milk - and get landed with so much guilt. Breast is obviously a lot cheaper than forking out for formula, so why should women who can get rewarded even more. It's wrong.

nightowl Wed 13-Dec-17 08:37:32

I don’t have strong feelings either way about this incentive. I don’t think it’s aimed at people like you and your daughters NfkD, those who for one reason or another are unable to breastfeed. I heard it being discussed on the radio yesterday and it seems to be an attempt to change attitudes in some groups of people (being careful what I say here) where breastfeeding is definitely not the norm.

Yes it’s not a perfect plan but it’s important that health professionals keep looking at ways of increasing breastfeeding rates here. I was shocked to learn that the U.K. has the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. That’s the entire world. shock

Anniebach Wed 13-Dec-17 08:39:52

Those who want to and can will

Those who do not want to but can will not

Thus it has been for many decades

many babies are in nurseries from a very young age, all those bottles of expressed milk being handed in every morning

What nonsense

Greyduster Wed 13-Dec-17 08:51:30

I agree wholeheartedly with Nfk. Both myself and DD tried and couldn’t breastfeed. DD was desperately unhappy that she couldn’t and felt she’d failed her baby. This is a wholly cynical initiative.

NotTooOld Wed 13-Dec-17 09:10:51

Greyduster - 'wholly cynical' - couldn't agree more. What on earth are we coming to when mothers are made to feel guilty for not breast feeding their babies.

Anniebach Wed 13-Dec-17 10:00:39

Which groups nightowl?

Nanny123 Wed 13-Dec-17 10:11:20

This suggestion does anger me as I desperately wanted to breastfeed my two girls and I simply never produced the milk (my own mum had the same problem) and then more recently my two girls also were desperate and also felt under pressure to breastfeed and couldn’t due to lack of milk. Both girls when through so many emotions the main one of feeling guilty and feeling they had let their baby down, something so natural isnt as easy as the “experts” lead you to believe.

nightowl Wed 13-Dec-17 10:11:27

Poor women in deprived areas on the whole annie, whose mothers and grandmothers and peers do not think it’s the norm to breastfeed. Those were the implications in the reporting I heard on the radio yesterday, not my assumptions.

minxie Wed 13-Dec-17 10:12:08

If you need paying in order to be persuaded to breastfeed, you should seriously think about being a parent at all. Some can some can’t etc

nightowl Wed 13-Dec-17 10:13:00

I can only say again, I don’t think it’s aimed at women who can’t breastfeed, it’s meant to encourage those who choose not to. It may not be a good way to do it but it’s intention is good, I think.

judylow Wed 13-Dec-17 10:21:51

No, it’s insulting. I have the smallest nipples in the universe and had to give up. Was put on a breast pump and only produced about a teaspoon of milk. Didn’t try with my second daughter. Both healthy on formula.

Lupatria Wed 13-Dec-17 10:22:35

I never wanted to breast feed and didn't. This was 47 and 43 years ago when it was expected that every new mother would so I was heartily disapproved of!

eazybee Wed 13-Dec-17 10:23:12

Could it be retrospective?

NanaPlenty Wed 13-Dec-17 10:33:02

Whilst breastfeeding has many proven benefits for a baby that doesn't mean that babies who are bottle fed will have problems. Breastfeeding is a woman's choice (I couldn't breast feed, I tried really hard and had help to try but felt miserable that I couldn't, I was also made to feel guilty which is wrong on every level). I can't really agree with the incentive but we need some way of getting more mums breastfeeding when they can - in poor/deprived circumstances this is often much safer and beneficial for babies and also for mums (and I'm not for a minute suggesting that all mums in those circumstances can't safely bottle feed!) Above all else nobody should ever feel guilty about how they choose to feed their babies. Motherhood can be hard enough sometimes.

Meriel Wed 13-Dec-17 10:36:31

I think it is wrong to pressurise women to breast feed if they don't want to. I breastfed my first for six weeks and hated it. I didn't breastfeed my second at all. Both thrived well, no serious illnesses, went on to university and good jobs. Luckily I had a very understanding doctor.

Lilyflower Wed 13-Dec-17 10:37:27

No! Indeed! Whatever next? People should do the right thing because it is the right thing and taxpayers and consumers should not be 'fined' for the behaviour of others.

All 'sin taxes' are problematic as they often punish the 'virtuous' and fail to reform the less so.

In the case of my own two babies I could not breastfeed as I bled too much. What would the do-gooding, virtue-signalling Mrs Jellabys do about that?

Bamm Wed 13-Dec-17 10:37:40

I did breastfeed both children but think that this paying idea is very bad.

lizzypopbottle Wed 13-Dec-17 10:40:39

I read that, in a trial of this scheme, a mother only has to sign a form to say they have breastfed for six weeks to receive £120 of shopping vouchers. If they then sign a form to say they're still breastfeeding at six months they receive the residual £80 of vouchers. There was no mention of actually demonstrating the truth of these statements!

Mauriherb Wed 13-Dec-17 10:41:00

This seems ludicrous to me. We all do the best for our babies and not everyone can breastfeed. If it came down to financial gain, surely breastfeeding itself means no milk, bottles, steriliser etc to buy, so it must save money automatically.

nigglynellie Wed 13-Dec-17 10:41:31

Whatever next? What a totally bizarre idea!!! confused

icanhandthemback Wed 13-Dec-17 11:01:08

Good grief, if you can't breastfeed your baby because it is best for it but you could do it for money, you shouldn't be having kids because you are too selfish and money grabbing. Also, what about the ladies who are desperate to breastfeed their babies but for whatever reason, can't?

Greengage Wed 13-Dec-17 11:04:38

Definitely think payment is wrong, but education is right. Breastfed my daughter with no difficulty. My son was 15 weeks premature and the milk never kicked in. I produced the odd few drips which were fed to him and he was topped up with donated milk from other mums in the early weeks for which I was very grateful. Then he was moved on to formula. My daughter has recently had her own babe and has breastfed but not without difficulty. She has persevered through quite a number of problems along the way although a couple of times she almost gave up. Overall she is chuffed that she fought through pain and other problems. I do think breast should be first choice, but definitely think those who can't, shouldn't be made to feel bad about it.