Encouraging breastfeeding: financial incentives

Heather Whitford, Barbara Whelan, Patrice van Cleemput, Katharine Thomas, Mary Renfrew, Mark Strong, Elaine Scott, Clare Relton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The NOSH (Nourishing Start for Health) three-phase research study is testing whether offering financial incentives for breastfeeding improves six-eight-week breastfeeding rates in low-rate areas. This article describes phase one development work, which aimed to explore views about practical aspects of the design of the scheme. Interviews and focus groups were held with women (n = 38) and healthcare providers (n = 53). Overall both preferred shopping vouchers over cash payments, with a total amount of £200-250 being considered a reasonable amount. There was concern that seeking proof of breastfeeding might impact negatively on women and the relationship with their healthcare providers. The most acceptable method to all was that women sign a statement that their baby was receiving breast milk: this was co-signed by a healthcare professional to confirm that they had discussed breastfeeding. These findings have informed the design of the financial incentive scheme being tested in the feasibility phase of the NOSH study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-21
Number of pages4
JournalPractising Midwife
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Breastfeeding
  • financial incentives
  • qualitative interviews

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