Ring, ring! Who wants the 411 on cell phones and breastfeeding? Let’s talk about using your cell phone while breastfeeding. It seems kind of like a pretty normal thing to do, right? Well if you are a parent in 2020, that seems to be the case. However, it’s actually a widely debated topic for you to have your phone in such close proximity to your baby while you’re breastfeeding.
As many of us know, our phones have become extensions of ourselves. We think about it as if it’s a third arm. In fact, it’s arguable that we might get more upset over losing our phone than our own purse or wallet. So, why is it in question whether or not you should use your phone while feeding your baby?
Let’s explore! Together, we’ll go into detail to explain why it can be seen as acceptable as well as why some mothers might hesitate to whip out their cells so close to their babies. Interested in the details? Well then, let’s dive in, shall we?
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. Surprisingly enough, alone time with your baby might be rarer than you might originally think. This is simply because there will be so many trying to grasp the attention of your newborn.
New moms might struggle to find the rhythm of taking care of a newborn, so it’s natural to find yourself multitasking and taking on multiple actions at once. If you’re feeding, you might be listing out what your own next meal will be. And if your infant is sleeping, you might be cleaning and working while you have two free hands.
A new baby will change your life in more ways than you can imagine, and starting a breastfeeding routine is certainly one of them.
How Can You Use a Cell Phone and Breastfeed?
For some, it might seem like a magic juggling act to be able to be productive on your phone and feed your baby at the same time. But we’ll explain how it can actually be much easier on you.
While holding your baby in one arm and allowing them to feed, your attention can then be refocused to your other hand, as you text and make all the phone calls you please. It really is multitasking at its finest! And that’s what parents do best, right?
Is it Acceptable to Use Your Phone While Feeding?
We find that using a phone while doing any sort of parental action is ultimately a parent’s choice. If they want to, then why shouldn’t they be able to?
There are also quite a few reasons why some mothers opt into using their phones while breastfeeding. While some enjoy having the ability to do so, others may feel like they don’t have a choice due to time constraints.
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.
You’re Allowed to Multitask
Multitasking might not just be a desire; it could also be a necessity. 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 some 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? Perhaps you’re resting your feet to read a book while feeding your infant?
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 case study alone, 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 in the midst of 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 as far as in another room.
It Can Distract from Loving Eye Contact
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, so it could cause a break in that maternal bond.
Your Baby Might Be Trying to Get Your Attention
While breastfeeding, moments can arise where your baby is trying to get your attention. Your infant may also be able to feel your shift of attention, and this can cause them to start making noises or pulling on you as a result.
If this continues, then your baby might become more sensitive as time progresses. To combat this, it’s a good idea to turn away from your phone every so often to show that you’re there for them.
Believe it or not, your baby can easily sense what’s occurring around them. They crave attention from those caring for them, so their stress might start to rise when those needs aren’t completely met.
It Distracts You
When balancing breastfeeding and phone use, it can break down your own level of focus. You won’t be able to focus on your baby fully, and you might have difficulty doing everything on your phone correctly.
Plus, your baby may not be receiving all the milk they need during the breastfeeding process. Make sure to slide your eyes away from your phone for a few moments to ensure your baby is eating enough and doesn’t want to just bond with you for a few precious moments.
There’s a Potential Risk of Radiation
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cell phone radiation has Class 2B carcinogens. A cell phone is also known to contain the same radiation levels as lead, jet fuel, and DDT. Some mobile phones have the capability to transmit these radiation levels to people, especially infants. Babies are also more susceptible, so phone use can potentially damage their DNA structure or brain cells.
Some pediatricians may recommend keeping your phone put away not only while breastfeeding, but also when your sweet baby is in the room.
You Might Not Be Able to Track Nursing Patterns
Babies are able to develop nursing patterns when they breastfeed, and it’s important to keep track of them. This way, they’ll be able to get the right quantity of milk and nutrients in their system.
Sometimes, your baby will also need to shift their position, so they’re able to suck the milk more effectively and not get too much air while feeding.
In rare instances, your baby might also fall asleep while breastfeeding, which may not be so easily caught right away if your phone is involved.
The Final Verdict
We find that the final verdict 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 to submit a work email or make a quick phone call, it’s perfectly okay. It’s also understandable to take safety precautions at the same time too. Since mobile phones can radiate harmful carcinogens, an extra level of precaution is always a great idea when it comes to your newborn’s health. And knowing your baby’s feeding patterns will also help to aid them for future feedings.
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!