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Paying mothers incentivises breastfeeding, study finds

From BBC - December 11, 2017

Offering shopping vouchers to new mothers can encourage them to breastfeed their babies, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found.

About 10,000 new mothers in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were offered up to 200 in vouchers as an incentive.

Breastfeeding rates increased in these areas, which typically have low uptake.

The vouchers gave mums a "lift" and helped them feel part of a network, according to the researchers.

They could be used to buy food, household items, toys, clothes, books, DVDs or music in supermarkets and other shops.

Overall, 46% of all eligible mothers signed up to the scheme and more than 40% claimed at least one voucher.

Fiona Sutcliffe, 29, from Sheffield, took part in the scheme with her baby girl.

She had considered breastfeeding while she was pregnant but was nervous that a caesarean would make it tricky: "There were definitely times when I was thinking 'this is really difficult, I am really struggling'."

Breastfeeding reduces a baby's chances of:

Source: NHS Choices

Fiona said being part of the scheme encouraged her to breastfeed, and to do so for longer.

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