The Ls Mum Talks Payment incentives
In the last few years it has been reported that an incentive to breastfeed could be introduced in the form of payment of vouchers. There has been a study taking place. Most recently there is now reports that women who are pregnant will be incentivsied to quit smoking and I find the whole thing a little confusing. Here is the BBC report.??A case study has taken place and the results are in.
Firstly I am an individual born and bred in the UK and I dont smoke and I didnt breastfeed so therefore I am not entitled to anything, but yet someone who cant or wont quit smoking, for one reason or another, even though there is evidence to state that it isnt healthy during pregnancy should be given financial reward to actually quit the vice for the sake of their baby.
Secondly I am a woman who just couldnt face breastfeeding. It was a personal choice that I made that was right for me and my baby. I am totally aware of the whole breast is best concept and genuinely hand on heart I actually wish I could have had that feeding bond with Baby but the thought of actually breastfeeding sent me a little funny. You may not agree with my decision but that was the truth, no financial incentive could have gotten me to change my mind because I just knew it wasnt right for me. Forcing me to do something I couldnt and didnt want to do would have caused added pressure to myself and my baby, it would have caused feelings of inadequacy in an already overwhelming phase of my life, and quite frankly I find it a little insulting that people arent accepting my right to make that decision.
But back to the smoking.
I have absolutely nothing against people who smoke, people can choose to do what they want to do. I enjoy a few glasses of wine in an evening. Each to their own.??
Surely though when you are pregnant, like I did myself, you want the absolute best start in the world for your unborn child. I get that this goes against the grain in regards to my view on breastfeeding but lets not think about that for a moment. Alcohol is also reported to be bad whilst pregnant, so I gave it up for the pregnancy. Sure it was hard, I admit it wasnt an addiction like smoking is so I understand its not a totally fair??comparison but I made some lifestyle choices and changes when I found out I was expecting for the sake of my baby.
However according to researchers incentivising in the form of shopping vouchers takes the pressure off the individuals. I do understand that it is an addiction, and its not just as easy as saying you will stop. I also appreciate that their is the need for help and support. Like anything, things are often easier to tackle when approached with a support network around you.??
My point though is knowing how much cigarettes cost surely there is enough financial incentive already there. People can spend ??4 upwards on packet of cigarettes and perhaps go through a fair few a week if you are serious smoker. You can tell I dont smoke as I have no idea about these figures, and so I see a financial reward already that could be at least ??20 a month if not more. People giving up smoking for pregnancy could at least see themselves financially better off by about ??180 and of course this could be so much more depending on your level of smoking and expenditure.
Even myself giving up alcohol I noticed I was saving myself a little money, especially as my hubby chose not to drink as well. We could spend around ??20 a week on wine and beer for the week giving me a whopping saving of ??80 a month which went straight towards purchases for Baby.
So why should there be any further financial incentive?
I guess the answer is that money is a huge motivator. I am a money motivated person myself. I have a sales background and I loved the thrill of earning extra bonus and commission, it was made me go the extra mile in my job. Money these days is a huge factor in anyones life, whether you have lots of it, or nothing at all money buys our food, pays for our clothing and housing, and much much more.
Couldnt it be seen as a form of bribery?
Possibly. But then as I pointed out above money is just something that motivates people to do things.
However the results do show that people are more likely to continue not smoking after receiving the incentive. That they are more likely to continue down this road which is of course enabling a healthier lifestyle for themselves and for others. I also see that the financial incentive can really help struggling families, the shopping vouchers were given in stages and the last payment was a ??200 voucher which of course can pay for larger items for their baby such a cot or pushchair. I genuinely do understand that there are some families out there who dont have a choice, but what I dont understand is if money was so tight in the first place why it would be spent on cigarettes when it could be put towards other things. Just my opinion. There are many many families in the exact same position as the geographic area this study took place in who dont smoke, with little income and options and wont be able to have the luxury of additional finances. How do they afford their big ticket items like the pram?
Im sure opinions will be split, I see why the financial incentive would work, but I dont quite understand why it is necessary in the first place. Maybe you dont share my opinion, but its just what I make of the whole situation. Do you agree that their should be financial incentives in place for smoking and breastfeeding?