What does it say about us as a society when mothers in disadvantaged areas are offered breastfeeding vouchers, a payment, as an incentive to improve breastfeeding rates?
There is no substitute for qualified, informed advice and support in my opinion. What does it say about us as a society when there is an organisation who are inclined to offer remuneration for breastfeeding mothers?
The mothers in question will be offered a payment equivalent to STG£200, broken down to STG£120 if they are still breastfeeding at 6 weeks and a further STG£80 at 6 months.
What motivates women to breastfeed?
I can tell you that all the gold in the land would have been useless to me if I hadn’t had a partner and family who supported me, who helped when I was tired, who understood that I wanted the very best for my baby. A voucher wouldn’t compare to the value of this support.
When I was struggling with breastfeeding my first child, a voucher wouldn’t have been an incentive to continue. A qualified lactation consultant available to call to the house might have been.
When I was exhausted after labour on both births, vouchers wouldn’t have been much incentive to keep on breastfeeding. A helping hand and someone to watch over the baby while I slept would have been.
We have low breastfeeding rates in this country. A huge part of this is the cultural attitude towards breastfeeding, a lack of real tangible support for new mothers directly after delivery and in the few precious weeks while breastfeeding is established.
Invest in supports, not in vouchers.
Every feed counts.
You may be interested in my personal experiences while feeding my children and those of the other Irish Parenting Bloggers. Click here to find out more.