As a first time mom, I often hear people telling me to “soak it all in” and “enjoy every moment” because they grow up so fast. In today’s world, it is easy to be distracted by cell phones and social media. To really enjoy a special moment, you must be focused. This is why I have one rule for myself that I feel all breastfeeding mommas should abide by: No cell phones during breastfeeding!
Scrolling, commenting, liking and sharing has become a normal part of everyday life. I will admit that numerous times during the day I found myself scrolling through my social media news feeds, hypnotized by the drama, videos, pictures and gossip. Before I know it, an hour or more has gone by and dinner wasn’t started, the dishes weren’t done, I hadn’t vacuumed…etc. So this week, I took the plunge. I deleted my Facebook app from my phone. I now only allow myself to go on Facebook on my laptop during my baby’s naptime or late at night. It’s been 48 hours and I have been more productive in these 2 days than I was all last week. I realized I do not want my baby to grow up seeing Mommy always staring at her phone. And I don’t want to miss my baby growing up because I am constantly on my phone. I am not here to convince you to do the same, but I would like to tell you why I think you should never be on your cell phone at least while breastfeeding.
Most importantly, it is not healthy for your baby. I am not a doctor nor a scientist but I believe from what I have researched that cell phones should not be near baby. It is advised to not sleep with our phones near our heads for many reasons, the main one being radio waves. With that in mind, our skulls are fully developed and very thick, whereas baby’s skulls are very, very thin at such a vulnerable age. It is advised to not use your cell phone while holding your infant for this reason. I set this rule for myself the minute I researched it, no cell phones near or while holding baby and as the parents, my fiancé and I have set this rule for all of our friends an family as well. I have even limited the amount of up-close pictures I take of baby (or set my phone to airplane mode to stop the radio waves if I want to have a photo shoot!). With that being said, let me tell you the other reasons I do not use my cell phone while breastfeeding, and neither should you.
Breastfeeding is a bonding experience for you and baby
It is a time to stare into your baby’s eyes, to watch your baby get nourishment that you are providing, and to fall in love all over again, every time your baby feeds. There is nothing cuter, sweeter or more heartwarming anywhere on your newsfeed than what is in your arms, I promise.
Social media is not going anywhere… that cat video, celebrity gossip, sports debate status string, picture of your cousin’s girlfriends dog or your sister’s friends brother’s dinner, the comments on your most recent picture or status….those will all be there when you lay your baby down. But those wide open eyes that are staring up at you, or sweet fluttering sleepy eyes…that tiny little hand resting on your bosom or holding the neckline of your shirt so tightly…that eyebrow raise you see when your baby gets his/her first gulp of milk during your let down, or that ridiculously cute purse of the lips when baby pulls off…those things only last for a moment.
Your baby deserves your full attention
Just like the cashier at the grocery store or the friend you go out to dinner with, your baby deserves your full attention. Have you ever tried to have a conversation or spend quality time with someone who constantly is looking on their phone? It is annoying, isn’t it? Your baby, of all people, deserves your full attention. He/She deserves to be held tightly, with both hands, to feel safe and comfortable while feeding. Your baby deserves to feel like they are your whole world. Some days, I will sit and hold my baby for hours after a feeding, just staring back at those beautiful eyes that stare at me, studying my face, in awe, or watching those sweet little smiles that happen while she sleeps in my arms after a feeding. Just like I used to sometimes spend hours staring at my phone.
The hours spent on social media, when you think about it, honestly, is time wasted. But those hours staring at your baby, no matter how much laundry is piled up or how many dishes are in the sink or dust on the windowsills, those hours will be cherished forever. You are creating memories of closeness and bonding…and it is truly, guilt-free relaxation.
So I encourage you to take the plunge. To normalize breastfeeding, not breast-news-feeding. To gently caress your baby’s hair or rub their oh-so-soft skin instead of scrolling your social media account. To let your baby grip your finger so tight and hold on as long as they want instead of using it to hit the like button. Pick your baby up and put your phone down. One day, when your child is sitting at the table, throwing food on the floor and crying because they don’t like broccoli, you’re going to want to go back in time to these precious breastfeeding moments. So make sure you “soak it all in” and “cherish every moment“, because they grow up so fast.
Are you guilty of breast-news-feeding? Has my blog made you think twice about using your cell phone while breastfeeding? If you already have a no cell phone rule for feeding, do you have more reasons to add? Give me you thoughts!
Do your research on cell phones and tablets near babies and toddlers so you can be aware of the effects they can have on our children. The bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more. Educate your loved ones on cell phone and tablet safety today.
All breastfeeding pictures taken for this blog were taken on “airplane mode” or by my fiancé. Keep taking those #brelfies but switch to airplane mode! 🙂
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