Breastfeeders for Hire: Should Women Be Paid to Nurse Their Babies?

Mother Breastfeeding her newborn
Image via iStock

 

So, there’s a stigma that is facing our gal friends across the pond (meaning our British sisters, of course) that breastfeeding isn’t the way to go. According to Clare Relton, of Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, only one out of three moms are breastfeeding their children up to the age of six months.

In addition to that statistic (which may or may not be shocking to some of the moms that will be reading this) babies that are born to wealthier families are four times more likely to be breast fed within the first six weeks of life than a baby that was born into a relatively poorer family.

So how do you fix this problem and get moms to breastfeed their babies?

You make them rich!

Well, kind of.

In England, 130 random women have been picked to do one job: breastfeed. These women are going to be given $200 worth of shopping vouchers just to breastfeed their children during the first six weeks of their babies’ lives. The catch? There is no catch!

These women will be paid to start breastfeeding to support a study considering what cultural issues in these poorer areas have done to the popularity (for the lack of better words) of breastfeeding. Relton says that the reason people don’t breastfeed their babies is because they have never seen it done before.

Is she saying this because she’s trying to get other new and soon-to-be moms to say, “Hey, that lady is breastfeeding her baby. Maybe I should try that out?” I’m not quite sure. Not to mention that 130 women is a pretty small sample size to see if shelling out money to breastfeed is going to work.

And if it does, are other women going to want the government to pay up?

Do you think a culture of bottle-fed newborns can be changed with some gift cards to the mall?

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister of England, wanted to make it very clear that this pay-to-feed scheme had no hopes of going nationwide, which is probably a good thing. That would get expensive!

What do you think?

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I just don’t think that something like breastfeeding is a fad or a fashion that can be bought into popularity. These women need education when it comes to the benefits of breastfeeding their children.  

Do you think a culture of bottle-fed newborns can be changed with some gift cards to the mall?

{ MORE:  Take our Breastfeeding 101 Course }

What do you think?

Breastfeeders for Hire: Should Women Be Paid to Nurse Their Babies?

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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5 comments

  1. stephanie says:

    It would be nice to get paid for breast feeding. After all its not like the government is really using its taxes on the people ( mind you taxes are unconstitutional) But aside from that, there are all these programs that help women pay/purchase formula but nothing really for a breastfeeding mother. I didn’t breast feed with my first two daughters but I’m planning to with my son this time around. No one in my family breast feed including my mother so I’m gonna give it a shot one last time and hope I get it right.

  2. JoyRied says:

    I agree that doing this might get fairly expensive for the government. I don’t think it’s a good idea. Women need to be educated about breastfeeding. Hopefully, when they see how beneficial it is for their baby (not to mention it’s totally free) they should want to.

  3. jesster131 says:

    I could not nurse due to medication issues. Antiseizure meds that could not be changed. We treid before with disastrous results. I do know That I had a hungry eater on my hands. On formula it seemed he was always eating. Makes me wonder how he would have done nursing. He was also a get it in me as fast as I can eater. He would have felt like he was taking my nipples off.

  4. CherylHaver says:

    If poorer women did get paid that might not be a bad thing. Programs like WIC fork out lots of money for women to feed their babies formula. If you gave a woman a gift card for her to breast feed for 6 months, wouldn’t that be cheaper than 6 months of formula?

  5. Mariah Adams says:

    I very much agree with the last part: EDUCATION. There are a lot of women who desperately want to breastfeed but end up quitting because they are in pain or think they’re not producing enough. This causes the widespread myth that many women can’t breastfeed. In reality there are very few women who truly cannot breastfeed.

    The most important things women need to know about breastfeeding (and the biggest problems I’ve heard of) are getting a good latch and nursing as often as your baby wants to nurse. I read the book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,” which was a huge help in getting my baby to latch right. I think you could get help from a La Leche League leader or the La Leche League website too. I haven’t had much pain at all nursing my baby (and he’s now 6 months old), and I definitely haven’t had cracked or bleeding nipples, and I attribute that to knowing how to get a good latch.

    As for nursing your baby often, for the first four or five weeks after my baby was born I could hardly get up because he was nursing around the clock, but he’s always been very well-fed. He’s always been at the top of the weight and height charts or above them.

    Sorry for the long post. I just want people to know what they need to know so they can succeed at providing the healthiest food for their babies.

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