According to a study by the University of Sheffield, mothers should be offered a cash incentive to encourage breastfeeding. The scheme, which was launched in 2014, offered £120 in vouchers to new mothers who breastfed for six weeks, rising to £200 for those who continued for six months. More than 10,000 mothers across South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire participated in the trial which saw an increase of 6% in areas where the scheme was offered, compared to areas where the scheme was not.
Postnatal depression, much like depression in general, is a horrendous, crippling condition. But it's something that may have been developed over time to benefit our survival as a species. As much as we like to think we've come a long way since our ancestors of the Neolithic era, in reality, we're not that different. Of course, our technology has drastically changed, but underneath the gadgets and the gizmos we're still pretty much the same animal.
It’s probably one of the biggest fears of soon-to-be parents. Colic is a condition described as excessive, persistent crying in seemingly healthy babies that lasts for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks. It can effect around 20% of babies and is one of the more stressful things a new parent can go through. Generally its effects are more prevalent between months 1 and 4, after which the length of crying trends less and less until eventually stopping.
An interesting question, and one I’ve had to ask myself when bringing our baby home earlier this year. Opinions, and even research, seem to have come to different outcomes. Whilst no one will really argue that a dogs mouth can play host to an array of parasites and bacteria, people easily forget that the extent to which this is true is highly dependent on the dog, and their behaviour. Things like their diet, whether it’s raw meat or dry food, have they been wormed and treated for fleas, or even whether they've just been eating something the cat left in the garden, all play a role in the amount of bacteria found in their mouth.