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.

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Mums to be 'paid' to breastfeed

New mothers 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.