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Breastfeeding is a natural way for a mother to provide her baby with the nutrients he needs for his proper growth and development. Besides meeting your little one’s nutritional requirements, breastfeeding will also help you bond with your baby, provided that you pay attention to him and keep your mobile phone away while nursing. If you have settled in your new routine with your baby and your baby has learned to latch on properly, you may breastfeed him while using your phone, perhaps to kill time or to connect with your close ones. While it’s quite understandable, there are a few reasons why mixing cell phones and breastfeeding is not such a good idea. Let’s see why these two activities don’t go together.
Why Should You Not Use a Cell Phone while Breastfeeding?
Texting while breastfeeding is known as ‘brexting’. In this day and age, we cannot deny the fact that our mobile phones have become an extra limb in our body. We cannot imagine our lives without our mobile phones. But being glued to your phones might make you miss out on other important life experiences like being fully present with your child while you breastfeed him. Here are a few reasons you should try and avoid using a smartphone while nursing:
1. It hampers eye contact.
Eye contact between a mother and her baby while breastfeeding during the first 6 months of his life is extremely vital to strengthen maternal attachment. Looking at your phone on and off while breastfeeding could cause you to miss out on eye contact with your baby. Research also shows that eye contact between a mother and the baby makes their emotions and brains ‘in sync’. This helps enhance future learning and communication skills for the baby.
2. It can cause your baby to struggle for attention.
When you are distracted on your phone while breastfeeding, your little one can feel the shift in your attention and start babbling or even pull your face toward him. Now, this might be cute but can make him more and more sensitive. A study, known as the ‘still face experiment’ showed that children notice when their parents have a blank expression. The study found that babies tended to lash out to get their parents’ attention. They want to be noticed by adults around them and this causes their stress hormones to act up. When the same thing happens a few weeks later, they even start to panic and cry.
3. It diverts your attention.
Breastfeeding and texting at the same time can make you miss out on your baby’s small cues since it distracts your own focus from the task at hand. For example, to ensure that your baby gets the most milk from your breasts, you need to perfect the latching technique. ‘Brexting’ might cause you to slip from that technique and you may not even notice your baby is having trouble getting adequate milk from your breasts as your eyes will be elsewhere. Breastfeeding is the perfect time to soak in the feeling of being a mother nursing her child. You won’t get to do the same for your baby once he grows up so make sure to revel in it without any texting distractions.
4. It runs the risk of radiation exposure.
Mobile phones do emit radiations and your baby, being so tiny, may absorb these radiations. Microwave radiations are mostly continuous, but cell phone radiations are usually inconstant. However, they can still damage a baby’s DNA structure, brain cells, and can cause cancer and other diseases. So make sure that you keep your cell phone away from your baby not only during breastfeeding but almost all the time.
5. It can make you fail to track nursing patterns.
Babies have certain patterns when they breastfeed and it is important for you to keep track of your baby’s nursing pattern so that your little one gets the best quantity of milk you can give. When you pay attention, you can catch slight changes like if your baby struggles to suck the milk or if he is not comfortable with his position or if he wants to burp midway. Sometimes, you will also notice your baby falling asleep while being breastfed, in such a case, you will have to gently blow on his hair or move his little toes to wake him up. Such things might go unnoticed if you are occupied with texting or watching something on your phone.
Hence, it is important for new moms to use their mobile phones in a limit. Avoid using a smartphone while breastfeeding, as you might miss out on the joy of being this close with your child later in life. Breastfeeding is a phase which you will treasure, so make sure you make it memorable. Do not use your mobile while breastfeeding, focus on your baby’s demands, and strengthen your bond with him!
Also Read: Mom Sleeping during Breastfeeding a Baby