Breastfeeding vouchers – Has it all gone tits up?

I get it, I do. They have run out of ideas. We are so unresponsive as a nation to the real purpose of our tits we now need money to guide us.

To guide our once pink nipples into the mouths of our babies. 

I think £200 is a spot on amount of vouchers. I can pop to my local voucher accepting shop and shit the lot into their cash register and get some nice boots. These boots will obviously calm my cracked to hell nipples and my hungry cluster feeding baby will certainly shut its milk hungry mouth.

For sure.

More than this I understand that this £200 will indeed make me change my mind on the breastfeeding issue. This £120 which I get first surely will replace a nice fat education on the benefits of breastfeeding for me and baby. Who needs educating on breastfeeding when you have some sexy vouchers in your hands.

This £200. Oh boy! It will certainly help me at 2am, 5 weeks in when I can’t get the latch right, I’m crying, baby is screaming and tension is high. Fuck it though, new boots.

These vouchers I hear will also help to ease the already epic pressure on the midwives, they can check some nappies and watch me breast feed for an hour around three months in – y’know, just to verify I’m sticking to my end of the bribe* deal. I meant deal.

Speaking of other brilliant things about this – If I can breastfeed but my pal can’t she won’t get them! I only have to do 6 months (can’t even be that hard right), after that because I didn’t want to breastfeed anyway I can swap straight to bottles. Or what about that mom over there? That one who just looks a bit sad? Ah, she was the one who signed up, is struggling but it’s fine because you chucked her a couple o’ vouchers.

What about, the countless, endless selection of mother who have cried themselves to sleep because they can’t feed their babies? The countless mothers who you’d never have to pay, who have gone to every class, taken advice from support workers, called the breastfeeding helpline at 4am for help and it still isn’t working? What about them? An ‘A for effort’ plastered on them? No? Do they get £200 for giving it a go?

I just don’t understand. I don’t understand in a world were there is already pressure on every single aspect of parenting, that this would be seen as any kind of solution. The breast vs. bottle debate will rage for as many years as there are babies, bottles and breasts. Throwing a – quite frankly – pathetic £200 in the ring is doing nothing other then putting more pressure where it shouldn’t be.

If you want to breastfeed do it (if you can).
If you want to bottle feed do it.

Don’t force mothers, and I think I am talking to younger mothers here really – in to making choices based on a financial bribe. In an already hormonal state, where finance already lays heavy on every new mothers mind do we really need this? 

You know what I wouldn’t mind?

I wouldn’t mind that £200 if it was actually covering a one-on-one session with a breastfeeding expert, providing a booklet or folder with lots of advice as tips – from breastfeeding mothers, first timers and veterans. A little box with some nipple cream, breast pads and other useful shit that you might need when on that journey. Along with that weekly classes/meetings where you can whip out your tit without judgement of your technique (or in my case lack of) for the 6 months.

I think the only merit to the scheme is breastfeeding is once again a debated subject in the media and more woman may see it as a real viable option.

I remember in hospital getting a bag of crap about bottle feeding shoved in my hand and some money off formula. You can’t give money of tits – giving money for them is prostitution?

We are milk prostitues?

What I am saying here, is that rather than try and give us money for our breast milk fatted babies, give us support, give us advice and give us a fucking break about feeding in public.

* Bribery is an act of giving money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.
The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.

Zara

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