You can’t make this shit up can you?
Seriously, seriously, who in their right mind thought ‘I know, if we can’t convince mothers to breastfeed any other way why not bribe them?’ HURRAH!
I have problems with this scheme on many levels.
1. It’s not going to fricking work! In order to breastfeed you need to want to breastfeed. It’s the same as with giving up smoking, if the motivation is not there then you will never succeed.
2. You need to address the problem at the root cause, correct the negatives and stigma and re-educate people. Throwing money at a problem and hoping it will go away is not the answer.
3. It heaps even more pressure on many, already fragile, new mums. Imagine you really want to breastfeed but are struggling, you have bleeding nipples, mastitis, a low milk supply and you can’t stop crying. Sometimes you just need someone to say ‘hey it’s ok to stop‘ – you really don’t need someone dancing about wafting shopping vouchers in your face.
4. Ditto the above but for those who are struggling with low income – they keep chugging on because those vouchers could do so much for their family. They become, anxious, withdrawn, they can’t sleep. Have you ever heard of PND?
5. Just, um maybe, BUTT OUT!! Whose business is it anyway how a woman chooses to feed her child. Formula is not the work of the devil.
I had two very different breastfeeding experiences. The first time around it was a disaster, I tried so hard but it was incredibly painful and soon became physically impossible. Should I have been punished because my body seemed to fail me?
Fast forward a few years and I’ve just finished breastfeeding my second son. Luckily for me it was much easier and we avoided may of the problems we encountered the first time around. Because of this ‘luck’ I would have qualified for the 200 quids worth of vouchers if this scheme had of been in existence.
You know what? I would have thrown them back in their faces.
**************P.S. I have TWO books out now! You can nab them on Amazon here or in all good bookshops and supermarkets :)