British experts try to incentivise mothers to breastfeed their children

British experts try to incentivise mothers to breastfeed their children

In order to motivate British mothers to breastfeed for at least six months, experts now advocate rewarding mothers who persist for some time with gift vouchers.

To reinforce the proposal, the researchers decided to hold a trial at the University of Sheffield to reward 5,000 breastfeeding women with gift certificates for supermarkets, clothing stores and (fast food) restaurants. Of the mothers who received no gift voucher as a stimulus, only 32 percent started breastfeeding. The mothers who did receive gift vouchers were slightly more motivated: 41 percent started breastfeeding. "Mothers indicated that they felt rewarded for their efforts," says Clare Relton from the university.

One percent
In Britain very few mothers breastfeed.  Where the advice is to breastfeed exclusively for at least six months, for all sorts of health reasons for both baby and mother, only 1 percent of mothers do so. The government is therefore wise to look for a way to motivate mothers to breastfeed. But is the best way by means of gift vouchers?

There are other experts who wonder how mothers can prove that they are actually breastfeeding. Moreover, they believe that money should never be a motivation for breastfeeding. However, Shirley Cramer of the Royal Society for Public Health states that payment can be 'just that little help that mothers need'

What do you think? Would gift cards be a good incentive for you?

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