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We’ve all heard that breast is best. Breastfeeding protects babies against illness, offers them the best nutrition possible and has plenty of benefits for mamas too. However, even with all the facts in hand, long-term breastfeeding rates are appallingly low both in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Now, a new U.K. program aims to change this by rewarding new moms with cold hard cash. The BBC reports that new program, still in the pilot phase, will target deprived areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire and is funded through a collaboration between government and the medical research sector. The pilot phase intends to open with 130 new mothers and their babies. The program will give £200 reward vouchers to any mother who breastfeeds for a full 6 months. These specific moms and babes are being offered a place in the program due to extra low breastfeeding rates in parts of Sheffield and Chesterfield – just one in four new moms are still breastfeeding at six to eight weeks in these areas, which is lower even than the still too low national average of 55%. Apparently the program will depend on midwives and doctors who will be verifying that the mothers are still breastfeeding up until six months of age. If the trial is successful, a nationwide program may be rolled out in England next year.

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