UK authorities ought to take action to prevent the increase in the price of baby formula.

According to pregnancy campaigners, regulators should take action to control a significant increase in the price of infant formula. This comes after a survey in the UK revealed that over half of women feel anxious about the cost of feeding their babies, with the number of concerned women increasing by 25% in the span of two years.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) found that 65% of mothers are worried about the price of feeding their babies, and the same percentage said it has a negative impact on their family’s finances. Despite there being no nutritional benefits, one-third of women believe it is “better” for babies to be fed the more expensive milk.

The report follows the findings of the Competition and Markets Authority, which discovered a 25% increase in prices during the cost of living crisis. Branded suppliers raised their retail prices more than their input costs, resulting in high profit margins.

The charity is urgently calling for measures such as price caps and subsidies to alleviate the financial burden on households.

The BPAS survey, which included 1,000 women who have formula-fed babies under a year old in the past year, revealed that some women are resorting to introducing cheaper cow’s milk earlier than planned, cutting back on other expenses, or attempting breastfeeding despite experiencing pain.

Clare Murphy, the chief executive of BPAS, emphasized that their report highlights the toll of current formula costs, which is exacerbated by the guilt and shame women face when not breastfeeding.

She added: “Supporting breastfeeding doesn’t mean we should ignore the issue of access to affordable and consistent formula milk.”

Most of the surveyed women (83%) expressed a desire for immediate interim measures to alleviate costs, such as the ability to use supermarket loyalty points and vouchers when purchasing formula milk. The report also suggests the implementation of free or subsidized national infant milk, price caps, and a renewed policy focused on supporting mothers in infant feeding.

Justine Roberts, the chief executive at Mumsnet, one of the largest online forums for parents in the UK, stated that they frequently hear from parents who are struggling with the cost of infant formula. She called for improved support for new mothers in infant feeding.

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