Financial rewards for breastfeeders...

What do you think? Good idea hate ridiculous scheme?


  • Personally I think it's terrible.. Yes it's good to encourage people to breastfeeding, but what if you can't physically do it?

    Surely people shouldn't have too have some sort of reward for them to consider it?

  • My sis is ranting on fb about this! Surely if they can afford to reward each woman who will breast feed, then they can afford more breast feeding counsellers, preferable to make initial contact in hospital.

    Plus, how are they going to police it? Are you going to have to whip out your boobs and feed in your local clinic to get your vouchers? Is mix feeding allowed?

    Some women are physically unable to bf, or lack the confidence in their abilities. Some need to return to work before six months. It's a horrible approach in my opinion and not the way to increase breast feeding rates

  • Exactly what weekender said. Why  can't they put the money towards additional support? Totally wrong approach IMO.

  • Awful. I really want to bf but was at the end of my tether with it at the weekend. It's better now but if it had carried on then no amount of money would have kept me going as it just couldn't compensate for my baby's health and my own mental state. If they have this money available it should be spent on more support workers as having someone watch me feed and make adjustments to make it better has helped me enormously but I know not everyone gets this help.

    Also agree with the point about some people not being able to bf, plus I don't know many who have up just because it was a bit of an inconvenience - it's a decision made after a lot of soul searching. No need to make women feel even worse about decisions they may not be entirely comfortable with.

  • How will they even police it though, surely anyone can say they are bfing exclusively, its not like anyone can watch every feed. Also why not put everyone's £200 into proper training and support.

    I also think that its again sort of making bf a big deal, rather than putting bf in the spotlight and more or less bribing people to do it, why not just have support services in place and wide advertising where people can access the support?

  • I think it is a ridiculous idea. They give the vouchers in installments too, £40 at a time I think. As if a mum isn't going to feel bad enough if she's had to stop when she hasn't wanted to to then get hit with 'ah well, no luck, you've lost your next £40'.

    The money should def be spent on additional bfing support workers. We have 1 here to cover a massive area which is a joke

  • Agree that the money could be used more wisely. Personally... I found that there was a hospital-run BFing support place, but that's no good to you if it's January and snowing and you have to take public transport to get there. More support for women at home would be better. There was also zero information given about a) places like La Leche League or other lactation specialists; b) Milk Spots and breastfeeding drop-ins in neighbouring boroughs, which would be massively helpful for women like me on the border between boroughs. Basically more joined-up thinking would be nice.

    Also support during the day is all well and good but when it's 3am and you are on your knees it would be good to have a 24-hour helpline to at least get you through the night and then you can see someone in the daytime.

    I'd far rather have had the support listed above, than £200 to spend on new clothes. I do think it is worth spending money on BFing support, because if done properly then it will ultimately pay for itself through lower rates of illnesses etc. But the money can be spent much more wisely than bribing women and essentially giving the middle finger to those who cannot or who have chosen not to BF.

  • No money in the world could have made me try harder to BF than I did, yet I still failed and still have the guilt associated with this. On both occasions I was forced to give formula by my HV, which effectively then stopped BF for me as neither would then latch after being bottle fed so early - how would situations like this affect your claim? One of the most stupid incentives yet.

  • Yep, agree with everything that's been said already been said. If they want people to try to breastfeed then they need to put more money into providing proper support both in hospital and after. Or what about trying to reduce tongue tie division waiting times (or more midwives trained to diagnose it properly)? Two midwives missed S's TT but there was another mw who found it. She was a privately trained division specialist outside of the nhs. Unfortunately she explained that hospitals just don't have the equipment to do it there and then and an nhs referral can take 3-4 weeks. If we'd have waited for the referral, I can guarantee that we would have given up BFing, his latch was terrible, I was in so much pain and he couldn't get enough milk out. Its not right to incentivise something that can be physically impossible.

  • There's already a financial incentive to breastfeed in that it's free and formula's not! I do think we need to do more to encourage breastfeeding, but via significantly better support. Ridiculous idea.

  • Agree with the others.  Ridiculous and you can guarantee that not all breast feeding mothers will be eligible anyway

  • Agree more money needs putting into breastfeeding support instead .... Financial incentives exist already in not buying formula etc!

  • This really annoyed me when i saw this.  I had a terrible experience with Breastfeeding.  I was the only one on my ward the whole time i was there that was trying to breastfeed, and there were at least 9 others that i saw over the course of my time on the ward.  Now i believe that it is entirely up to the mother as to whether she wants to BF or FF.  But as i was the only one trying to breast feed, i'd have thought i might have got a bit more support than i did. And then to see this 'incentive' really irks me. Put the money into supporting those who are choosing to do it.  You will never change someones mind by offering them money.  

  • Totally agree with all of you. It's a complete waste of money. They should use the money on training up healthcare professionals so they can help mothers with breastfeeding. Perhaps there should be more to be done to counter the 'urgh, breastfeeding is disgusting' attitude that there is meaning that more people would take up bfing.
  • Totally agree with everyone elses view, the money would be better used elsewhere. Surely a mother chooses to breastfeed because she made an informed choice rather than becuse she would get a voucher. Like others said how would they police it, do you have to feed for x amount of time, if you try to feed and are unable to would yoi still get them?

    my other annoyance with this, and I may get shot down for this but as someone who didnt try to BF why am I being alienated against, its been bad enough in the hospital and with HV.

  • not very fair, especially if you have a poorly baby who can not orally feed.

  • A terrible idea. Agree that the money would be better spent onmotre support

  • This story has been reported poorly - it's a study to see whether or not offering financial reward can overcome stigma about breastfeeding. A fairly balanced report on it is here:

    I don't really agree with 'paying' people to breastfeed, but if it means normalising breastfeeding in communities that are currently hostile to breastfeeding then maybe in 3 generations' time bfing will be the norm. If it doesn't work, then that approach can be ruled out and new approaches looked at.

    I really wish bfing could just be seen as a normal thing, and not bring on heated debate every time there's a story, some of the comments online are vile!

  • Money would be better off being spend providing proper support. I had twins and received no support at all. Midwives were fine but too busy to really help. NOT THEIR FAULT I must add. I was brought a breast pump but not shown how to use it. It was just dumped in the room. When I got home I was still not sure what I was doing. I researched online but could only find groups & courses that I had to pay for. Not good post C-section when you cannot drive.

    Too much pressure to "do the right thing" but bugger all support.

  • kirstielou I witnessed that when I had C. A lady opposite me in the post op bay couldn't get her baby to feed, latched perfectly but wouldn't feed. her baby didn't feed all day, that night or the following day and the mum was very very distressed no body had time to help her :( There was only 1 midwife to 16 of us and we were all post section :( . I had a set of observations done when I got to the ward and no more until late the following day. It was terribly sad :( The money as everyone else has said would be better going towards more support to BF. x

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