I’m watching breakfast television this morning and the story about incentives for breastfeeding mums has caught my attention.
A pilot scheme in the UK is offering £200 worth of shop vouchers to mums who continue to breastfeed. The scheme has been launched in the areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, where just one in four mums are breastfeeding by 6-8 weeks, compared to a national average of 55 per cent.
The trial and the surrounding debate has got me thinking about what would work to increase breastfeeding rates in Australia.
Australian statistics show that most mothers (96 per cent) initiate breastfeeding but by four months that number had dropped to 39 per cent.
So, most Aussie mums start with the intention of breastfeeding but something happens along the way.
Of course, there are those who don’t want to continue or couldn’t due to outside factors such as having to return to work full-time. But what about all those mums who DO want to … what are the issues getting in their way? How could these issues be addressed? Is it a matter of there being not enough support? Too much conflicting advice?
And whose responsibility is it to ensure women ARE being supported through any breastfeeding hardships they face? Who should be ensuring woman are receiving the right advice?
So many questions – would love to hear your thoughts and your own experiences with breastfeeding!
– REBECCA GALTON
Image credit: fiamoli/123RF Stock Photo