In the poorest regions of the UK, where babies are traditionally fed with formula from a bottle, a program is launched which aims to initiate breastfeeding. As written in The Guardian, mothers who will be breastfeeding their babies for six months will receive two-hundred pound vouchers for the purchase of goods.
The project was launched by the representatives of the University of Sheffield. This program has included 130 young mothers living in rural counties of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, where the population with very low incomes prevails. In these regions, only a quarter of women prefer to breastfeed. At the same time, about a half of the mothers in the country do that.
As noted by Mary Renfrew, a specialist in maternal and child health, who works at the University of Dundee, the breastfeeding procedure is considered something indecent in the rural communities of these counties, and artificial feeding is elevated to the norm. Moreover, women have virtually lost the skills of breastfeeding infants and are not able to determine whether the child gets enough milk.
The experts plan to find out whether financial reinforcement will be helpful in overcoming the existing traditions and cultural barriers. According to the developed pilot scheme, the mother will be able to get a voucher for forty pounds if she starts breastfeeding the baby two days after birth. Next, she will continue to receive vouchers for the same amount of money, if breastfeeding continues for ten days, six weeks, three and six months. Women must understand that breastfeeding is the key to future success in their child’s life.