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to be absolutely freaking fuming about breastfeeding vouchers! !!!

(484 Posts)
harriet247 Tue 12-Nov-13 06:15:16

Cannot put into words how annoyed I am,have just switched on the news to be told that the government are considering offering breastfeeding vouchers to new mums.
160 quid in shopping vouchers for the first 6 weeks of the babys life and 200 if you go up to 6 months.
Im a ftm and I had crippling horrible guilt that I couldn't breastfeed. I really wanted to but my milk didnt turn up until 9 days after my baby was born. I think was something to do with 44 hour labour which ended in an emc a few weeks before my due date.
I am just furious, furious that women are being treated like foolish little ladies who need a cash incentive to feed their babies in the way the powers that be say is best.

Doodledumdums Tue 12-Nov-13 06:18:29

YANBU- I havem't heard about this, but from what you say, it sounds bloody ridiculous. So basically you are rewarded for breastfeeding, and therefore penalised for formula feeding? Absolutely disgusting.

grumpalumpgrumped Tue 12-Nov-13 06:21:36

I was cross at this too. The way to up breastfeeding numbers is to provide proper support if needed (although in some cases such asa yours that wouldn't help)

The cash incentive is already there in the savings on formula.

Don't feel guilty, took mw a long time to stop feeling bad.

cupcake78 Tue 12-Nov-13 06:23:26

Yanbu! Its ridiculous. I really don't understand what the desperation from HCP to breastfeed is about. Yes its a great idea if you can. I agree research says its good for baby but I am yet to see any research that takes social conditions, quality of upbringing and feeding into consideration and actually researches the effects of feeding alone.

To think the other story of the day is mums mental health.

I need to go and poison my baby with prescribed baby formula due to her health problems. I also have PND. I must be a terrible mother wink

likelytoasksillyquestions Tue 12-Nov-13 06:25:54


They (= NGOs, mostly) use these sorts of schemes (conditional cash transfers) a lot in developing countries and it's stupid and wasteful. As if the ultimate incentive is to receive a token payment. As if anything is that simple.

And fwiw I ebf.

grumpalumpgrumped Tue 12-Nov-13 06:26:13

cupcake - my problems with breast feeding, I am sure, pushed me into PND.

MigGril Tue 12-Nov-13 06:27:45

well actually if it's aimed at mums who would currently get milk vouchers to pay for formula. it'smaybe not a bad idea as they would then benefit by getting free food instead.
But frankly they would be better off investing the moneyin better breastfeeding support for mums. there is no reason that you couldn't have breastfed if you had been given the right support even if baby had needed some formula before your milk came in. But you would have needed specialist help not currently avaible in most hospitals. This is where the problem lies really and until this type of help is available to all mums who need it then breastfeeding rates aren't going to increase much.

BellsaRinging Tue 12-Nov-13 06:28:04

Although it's not an incentive to save on formula if you're eligible for vouchers grump as the vouchers you receive pay for the formula. tbh when i was bfeeding i did think it was odd that if you ff you got vouchers but bothing if you breastfed as surely one of the main incentives to bfeed is the cost saving. think you should get vouchers but for free fruit and veg for you whilst b feeding.

Sirzy Tue 12-Nov-13 06:28:07

I agree it is wrong on so many levels and is putting even more unneeded pressure on new mums.

redpipe Tue 12-Nov-13 06:30:40

They should not incentivise something that has the potential to discriminate. Some women truly can't breast feed.
How on earth can they possibly monitor this, surely it is also open to abuse or have costly monitoring implications.
Save the money for educating.

grumpalumpgrumped Tue 12-Nov-13 06:32:15

Had no idea they offered formula vouchers (although why this never occured to mw i will never know).

I was begging for help before i was discharged and was told 'well you have formula at home' - no help offered

MigGril Tue 12-Nov-13 06:34:03

the benifit to the NHS it's saving millions (think it mite actualy be billions) in treating babies who are bottle fed for heath problems. There was a report last year on how much they would save, that's there incentive.

But better breastfeeding support would be more helpful then this.

lyndie Tue 12-Nov-13 06:35:22

How do they prove you're breast feeding? The mind boggles! I suppose it's a trial area, and the results should show if it's a success or not.

wrigglebum Tue 12-Nov-13 06:35:23

Well, if you would otherwise be getting vouchers for formula then I can see that it is fair to get vouchers for bf. You need to eat more when you are bf but not as much as I did.

Otherwise it is just silly really, I ebf both times but it was as much for the convenience as for cost.

Jinty64 Tue 12-Nov-13 06:35:53

YANBU. And how would they police this. Ds3 was tube fed (expressed bm and formula as i couldn't express enough) in SCBU and although I managed (to a degree) to establish bf he always needed formula top ups. If he had been my first dc I don't think I would have managed it at all.

lljkk Tue 12-Nov-13 06:35:58

YABU. It's not about (you) people who can't breastfeed. It's about encouraging a positive choice for those who do have choice.

I never got government help with my mortgage (not buying now).
I never got Nursery vouchers (wrong employer).
We don't qualify for lots of benefits.
No grants to pay for my university degree & living costs (wrong nationality).
I never got a young person's railcard (always one year too old).
Lots of other people got those things or will get them soon, we just missed out.
Luck of the draw.

Culture of envy or what?

nicelyneurotic Tue 12-Nov-13 06:37:07

Surely not paying for formula is already a cash incentive?

Very strange and what about people who mix feed? I can't see this happening. How will you even prove how many breastfeeds a baby has.

On another note, I do think you can still establish bf if your milk comes in late, if it's something you want to do. I didn't start to breastfeed until DC was a week old because of late milk production. I had given up on the idea but then a midwife told me that some cultures don't start to breastfeed until the baby is two weeks old. I have no idea if this is true but it encouraged me to give it a go late.

Sirzy Tue 12-Nov-13 06:37:26

I thought the "formula" vouchers were actually for milk (formula or cows) or fruit and veg so surely a parent who was breastfeeding would just use them for fruit and veg for themselves?

redpipe Tue 12-Nov-13 06:38:42

The stats on health problems for FF babies often don't take into account other factors like genetics, class of parents, area lived in etc.

Sometimes the stats take one or two factors but never all factors.

harriet247 Tue 12-Nov-13 06:39:09

wonder about the logistics of it too-is there an aofficial boob squeezer who is going to check your are still producing?!
I still get mad moments where im convinced my baby will get every illness going and be a little weak thing eith a permanent runny nose.
Fwiw shes not shes a happy bouncy chunky thing smile

Sirzy Tue 12-Nov-13 06:39:54

It's not about envy at all. I haven't seen one post here that sounds vaguely envious, my problem with it (and it seems other peoples to) is the fact that this adds yet another source of pressure to new mums, another way for them to feel like a failure if for whatever reason it doesn't work.

Surely that money would be much better invested in support for new mothers who are struggling with feeding?

OrangeMochaFrappucino Tue 12-Nov-13 06:40:40

If that kind of money is available, it should go into providing proper support and help to breastfeed. I only managed because I was in a lovely birth centre which kept me in for five days in my private ensuite room so the midwives could help me establish breastfeeding. Without that, breastfeeding would have been impossible for me, no matter how much money was in the offing! My experience was a million miles away from the standard post-natal ward I hear about - if every woman was offered that, then maybe breastfeeding rates would be higher but vouchers are not going to help!

Is this really a possibility though? Surely the government don't have the budget for this? When is it being proposed for?

VashtaNerada Tue 12-Nov-13 06:40:41

YANBU -I'm sick of the demonisation of people who can't BF by truly ignorant people. Mothers need support in looking after their babies but certainly don't need a heavy implication like this that BF is the 'right' way to feed your child.

Piddlepuddle Tue 12-Nov-13 06:42:32

YABU. This is being offered in two areas of high deprivation to low income mothers. Presumably they will get this "allowance" instead of vouchers for formula (ie it is an alternative, so no reason to lie or for anyone to need to check if someone is still breastfeeding). There of plenty of other "benefits" low income families get that I don't get cross about, and this is just a different one that will actually have some health benefits.

SanityClause Tue 12-Nov-13 06:45:25

Just what I was thinking, redpipe. Are they going to have a Nipple Inspector who comes round and checks out your boobies for wear and tear?

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