Breastfeeding and mobile phone use: the risks

Mummies, don't use your mobile phones while breastfeeding. That can wait! Instead, use this opportunity to really bond with your little ones.

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Mummies, if you’re reading this while breastfeeding, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN (and come back to this later).

A study has found that using your mobile phone and other electronic gadgets during breastfeeding can cause long-term harm to your baby.

It is not uncommon nowadays to see nursing mums totally engrossed on their phones while in the middle of a feed. But this is so bad for you and the baby in so many ways. 

Breastfeeding and Mobile Phone Use: Why You Should Put Your Phone Away

Firstly, Dr. Kateyune Kaeni, a specialist in maternal mental health from the Pomona Valley Medical Center in California, says that looking at your phone rather than making eye-contact with your child as he or she breastfeeds affects vital bonding time. 

Dr. Kaeni believes that breastfeeding and texting, or “brexting” as she calls it, will negatively affect your baby’s relationship with you.

“When babies are first born their vision is only basically from the breast to the mothers face. That’s as far as they can see. So babies do a lot of staring and bonding in that way,” she elaborates.

“If baby is trying to make contact with you by noises or smiles and they can’t, and they learn over time that they can’t rely on you to respond. It runs the risk of them becoming either anxiously attached to you or insecurely attached to you and they will ramp up their behaviour until you pay attention,” she explains.

While you are distracted, you also won’t be able to pick up cues like when the baby is full or if the baby is still hungry or if the latch is not secure. 

That is just one of the negative effects of “brexting”. 

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Our mobile phones also emit electromagnetic radiation, which may cause serious harm to your child. Radiation from mobile phones has been linked to cancer and developmental disorders.

So, not only are you neglecting the crucial bonding phase with your child when you use your mobile phone while breastfeeding, it also puts your baby at risk. 

It’s best for you to just put the phone down and wait till you’re done breastfeeding to pick it back up again. 

If you have a blocked duct, nurse your baby more frequently on the affected side.

Here are some other really great ways for you to bond with your baby while breastfeeding:

1. Talk and sing to your baby
Your baby is still familiarising himself or herself with your voice. So use this opportunity to talk to them and sing to them. 

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2. Get hubby involved too
Breastfeeding does not have to be a solo act. Get your husband to join in while both of you bond with your little one during these precious moments.

3. Listen to music
You can put on some soothing music for you and the baby to enjoy while you are nursing. This is also a great way to develop your baby’s musical skills!

 

Reference: WebMD