Mums 'paid' to breastfeed

New mothers in Derbyshire are to be paid to breastfeed as part of a research project examining whether or not uptake rates could improve if women are offered financial rewards.

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Reaction to breastfeed voucher plan

ITV News has been getting reaction from new mothers in Derbyshire about plans to offer them up to £200 in shopping vouchers to encourage them to breastfeed their babies.

Deprived areas in the county are being targeted as part of the scheme, which is being funded by the government and the medical research centre.

Your views on mums being 'paid' to breastfeed

Research by the University of Sheffield is offering shopping vouchers to new mums in Derbyshire as an incentive to get them breastfeeding their babies.

We posted this story on our Facebook page, here are some of the comments:

They don't need vouchers, they need somewhere nice to breastfeed! I've had to breastfeed in some really grotty toilets/places. Not nice!

– Claire Howard from Facebook

I wanted to breast feed from the moment I find [sic] out I was pregnant. I tried and tried but had to stop due to my baby not latching properly and poor milk supply. I already feel bad each day that I couldn't breast feed, no amount of money would suddenly fix the latching and milk supply. How about putting all that money into training more midwives?

– Helen Bashford from Facebook

This is wrong and unfair as there will be some mums who for what reason may not be able to breast feed.

– Kim Fletcher-Poole from Facebook

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Breastfeeding 'stigmatised in parts of the UK'

Researchers at the University of Sheffield said women in the UK feel stigmatised by breastfeeding, despite being aware of the "breast is best" health message.

Despite numerous attempts to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies, rates remain stubbornly low in parts of the UK.

  • 34% of UK babies are breastfed at six months
  • Only 1% of babies are exclusively breastfed at this stage - despite recommendations from the NHS that breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs at this stage of development

The new study aimed at looking at ways to encourage more women to breastfeed by offering vouchers will be trialled in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire - in areas where breastfeeding uptake rates are low.

If the mothers breastfeed their children for a full six months they will receive £200 shopping vouchers - half for supermarkets and half for high street stores.

The vouchers, which are being funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative, will be distributed in five stages of £40 each.

  1. National

UK 'one of worst breastfeeding rates in the world'

The UK has one of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world, with breastfeeding rates varying significantly, depending on where you live, scientists from the University of Sheffield said.

In a new feasibility study which will see women being given vouchers for breastfeeding, Dr Clare Relton said it was vital to look into creative ways to boost the levels of breastfeeding across the UK.

The UK has one of the worst breastfeeding rates in the world and breastfeeding rates vary very widely across different parts of the country.

If you are a six-week-old baby the chances of you being breastfed vary depending on where you live. If you live in an affluent area you are four times more likely to be breastfed than if you live in a deprived area.

Babies who are breastfed have fewer health problems such as upset tummies and chest infections, and are less likely to develop diabetes and obesity when they are older. Breast milk is perfectly designed for babies and provides all they need for the first six months of their life.

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