The breastfeeding compensation scheme: Will £200 make you think breast is best?

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The government are trialling a new payment scheme in South Yorkshire...

woman breastfeeding

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The government has announced a controversial new scheme to pay new mums to breastfeed their babies in deprived areas.

Women will receive £200 worth of shopping vouchers if they agree to take part in the scheme, which will target South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

If the programme is successful the people on top could roll it out nationwide next year.

So, how will it work? A group of mothers from specific parts of Sheffield and Chesterfield will be offered vouchers if they can breastfeed for six months.

Theses areas have been chosen because of their low breastfeeding rates - roughly one in four mothers feeds to the eight week mark, compared with the national average of 55%.

The scientists behind the scheme say babies who are not breastfeed suffer 'health inequalities', plus higher risks of upset stomachs, chest infections and lower educational attainment.

Currently, The World Health Organisation recommends infants are breastfed for at least the first six months, but many women choose formula milk for their baby instead.

Critics are fuming that the government have decided to pay women to be healthy, while others claim this is another instance of the 'breastfeeding dictatorship' - pressuring new mums into something they don't really want to do.

Others have argued the money should be spent on a larger scheme that educates women on the facts about breastfeeding so they can make an informed decision.

Should women be given a financial incentive to breastfeed?
Absolutely, it's not exactly easy! 8.00%
No way! The money should go towards better things. 60.00%
It's a good idea as long as it's combined with better education32.00%


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