Image via www.thestir.cafemom.com
Recently women have been slammed for texting while breastfeeding or bottle feeding. According to 'experts' looking at your phone while feeding your child can interfere with the important bonding and connection that happens during a feed.
When I first found out about this nonsense I was mid-feed and I guffawed, loudly, which led my feeding baby to...oh wait he did nothing - because he was feeding and when he's feeding nothing much disturbs him. Sure, when he first latches there can be some fiddling around, some beautiful eye contact, some cute noises. But honestly once he's got that milk flowing, there ain't nothing going to disturb his feed. He closes his eyes, nuzzles in to my (amazing) breasts and goes for it!
What my baby does next is - he keeps feeding. Sometimes he's on the boob for ten minutes, sometimes forty. Sometimes he doesn't even drink, just plays with my nipple like it's the best dummy ever and falls asleep with his chin on my areola (my sister calls this position 'chin boob'). And because I'm still on maternity leave, when I'm home and willing and able, I just push the recliner back and enjoy letting my baby feed, sleep or nuzzle. This time is priceless.
But while I give my baby my body, literally, I also do other things. I may check my emails, I may text my sister, I may search recipes and plan for the next meal. If I'm really with it (sleep deprivation, argh!) I create some social media content for our business. Does this interfere with our bonding? Does my texting hinder latching? Nope, not one bit.
What about the cues that I'll miss because I'm looking at my phone? Well, my baby, and the babies I've observed at mother's club, ain't all that subtle. He'll either pull off the nipple if the stream has become a waterfall (!), or he'll let the nipple gently drop from his embrace if he's had enough and is dozing, or he'll yank off if he's drained one side dry. In all those circumstances, I will notice what's going on and I will pause - gasp - mid-text and do what is required for my baby. I'll also stare adoringly at him and often cry pure tears of love. Ah those joyful endorphins and hormones. No drug will ever beat it!
So my view is this: any woman feeding a child (by bottle or breast) should be celebrated and applauded. For giving life. For giving. So. Much. Further, any woman that can multitask whilst nourishing a child, should be given a medal. It's actually quite a skill. That's why I'm pro-brexting.
For further reading on the importance of bonding, face-mapping that occurs whilst feeding and the importance of going tech-free every now and then I highly recommend this great read by Dr Kristy Goodwin:
Disclaimer: I'm only 9 weeks into this parenting bizo, I appreciate things may change as bub gets older and requires more of my attention. I look forward to that! But for now...I'll enjoy the occasional brexting sesh.