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Along with the 4 million other questions you have since becoming a new mom, you may have been wondering about using your cell phone while breastfeeding. Did you know that if someone is exclusively breastfeeding they will likely spend about 1,800 hours breastfeeding their babes? That’s a lot of time and it makes sense that you might want something to keep you busy (or awake). If you are a nursing parent, you’ll likely use your phone while feeding your baby. However, some parents may be thinking ‘is it safe to use my phone while breastfeeding? Let’s explore this topic together.
The importance of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has the opportunity to be a wonderful experience. Not only will the process give your baby the nutrition they need, but it’s also a sweet bonding opportunity for the both of you. That being said it is also a lot of work and a lot of time with just you and your baby, often sitting, in one spot.
New moms often struggle to find the rhythm of taking care of a newborn, the adjustment to postpartum, and the repetition of caring for an infant. It’s normal to find yourself looking for a way to be in connection to the outside world or trying to multitask. That’s where having your phone with you during feeding can feel like a useful tool and even a necessity.
Is it okay to be on your phone while feeding?
We find that parents are using their phones all the time to juggle through life. With so much time spent feeding your baby, it only makes sense to use your phone to catch up with work, with friends or with family (or with Netflix).
Some parents are concerned about using phones in such close proximity to their babies, while some wouldn’t give this a second thought.
Not sure where you stand? Take a look at the following to see why you might decide to use your phone during the feeding time— or not.
You’re allowed to multitask
Multitasking might not just be a desire; it’s a necessity for most parents. If you find that sitting down with your baby is the only time you have to yourself to make a quick phone call or slide in an extra email, then why not take advantage of the moment?
There also might be a few instances where you find it’s the only time during the day to take your own deep breath and just scroll on your phone to take a break. And that’s perfectly understandable, too!
You may not have the extra help
There are many instances where mothers are parenting their child by themselves, with no help or relief to give them a much-needed break. For these parents, it might not seem like an option to put the phone down.
A lot of the time, mothers either don’t stop working or can’t afford to stop working after giving birth. If this is the case, they might have to squeeze in every moment they can to ensure their work is completed successfully and in a timely manner.
It’s your way of getting a break
Sometimes, phone use can be seen as a stress reliever, where you’re finally able to press pause and scroll through your phone. Are you looking through Instagram? Checking out pics from the weekend? Listening to a parenting podcast?
Every mother deserves a feeling of relief, and sometimes even breastfeeding can feel like a chore. So, it’s completely understandable to want to find ease, especially since breastfeeding can take a physical toll on the body.
You can communicate with your pediatrician
There may be times where instant communication is needed, and the health of your baby is one of those times. You could use your breastfeeding time to call your baby’s doctor and get answers to important questions regarding breastfeeding or anything else you may be wondering.
In this study on smartphones, many of the mothers who do use their phones during feeding time are doing so to research and investigate breastfeeding normalcy. This is often done to ensure breastfeeding is conducted safely.
Whatever the case may be, if you need help or need to get into contact with someone, then a phone by your side will put your mind at ease.
Why some mothers choose to avoid phone use
While there are a few clear multi-tasking and relaxation benefits to using your phone while breastfeeding, there are also a few reasons why mothers have been hesitant to whip out their phones in the past. Curious? Well, let’s highlight why some parents may choose to place their phones far away in another room.
It can distract you from your baby and feeding
There have been studies conducted that show eye contact between mom and child while breastfeeding is an important part of development. This is especially important for infants who are in their first six months of development, as it’s been known to strengthen maternal attachment.
If a phone is present, eye contact might not always be there, but likely you are getting plenty of face time with your baby.
Breastfeeding is also a skill, so early on, it might be challenging to multi-task while figuring out latch and paying attention to your baby’s cues.
There’s a lot we don’t know about phones
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cell phone radiation has Class 2B carcinogens. There’s a lot we don’t know about phone safety and if it is safe to have phones at close proximity to an infant. Some professionals may suggest trying to keep your phone at a distance from your baby while using it, rather than close to their head or resting on their body.
Is it bad for a newborn to look at a phone screen?
Phone screens (and all screens) can interfere with melatonin production (our sleep hormone).
Breastfeeding and cell phone use
We find that the final decision here rests on your personal preferences as a loving parent when caring for your newborn. It’s understandable for every mother and father to have a different feeding routine. In fact, it’s completely normal!
If you need or want to use your phone, of course it’s up to you. It’s also understandable to take safety precautions at the same time, too.
So, simply take all of the above into consideration and make an informed decision that suits you and your baby best when the time comes!