Nursing your baby gives you a span of time when no one expects you to do anything else. There’s nothing you need to do right at that moment except feed your baby and relax. For a lot of us, relaxing includes catching up on our Facebook feed, browsing Pinterest, or playing a game on our cell phone.
Let me say this nicely: DON’T. Not now anyway. Please put down your phone while breastfeeding.
Your cell phone will be there later. Social media will be there later. Whatever it is that’s calling to you will be there another time.
Right now just hold your baby, savor the moment, maybe even close your eyes. Unplugging is incredibly relaxing. Do it – not just for you, but for your baby too.
See, babies need constant interaction because their little brains are constantly learning.
Another thing they’re constantly doing? Absorbing radiation when they’re close to a cell phone. Cell phone radiation can be devastating for your baby’s health. It’s not worth it.
Please understand, I’m not anti-technology. I looove my cell phone. Maybe too much. Hardly an hour goes by when an app doesn’t come in handy.
But there are good reasons I say to lay it down for a few minutes. Here are four compelling reasons you may want to nix phone while breastfeeding.
1 Losing precious time to a phone while breastfeeding
I may love my phone, but I love my baby more. And while my phone stays the same, we all know that babies don’t. Your baby is growing daily. Every day, he’s a little bigger, a little smarter, a little stronger. The time is quickly approaching where he won’t stare happily in your eyes for minutes on end or let you snuggle him and breathe in the scent of his hair.
While you’re feeding him, this is the perfect time to just soak in the baby you worked so hard to have. Once you’ve perfected the latch, feeding your baby will be a painless, quiet event. Revel in it. It truly is a limited time gift, one you won’t notice if you’re playing sudoku on your phone.
2 Interact with your baby
Babies learn by interacting. When you’re feeding him, your face is the perfect distance for him to be able to focus on you. He’ll learn everything about you – the most important person in his world. He’ll be fascinated by your eyes, your smile, your voice.
- When you hold his gaze, you’re teaching him to pay attention.
- Whenever you talk to him, you’re helping his little brain learn our tricky language.
- And as you interact with him for those few minutes, you and baby are strengthening your bond.
Words can’t express how much your baby values your undivided attention, even if it’s just rubbing his head and cooing to him while his eyes are closed.
3 Be more in tune
While you’re giving Baby your undivided attention, you’ll notice his nursing patterns.
Does he struggle and gag a bit when your milk lets down? Perhaps your letdown is a bit overwhelming and a different position would be helpful for him.
Does he tend to get drowsy five minutes into feeding? You can stop that from happening by tickling his toes and blowing on his hair 4 minutes into his feeding.
Does he need to burp partway through a feeding?
Maybe he just loses interest after a little while and starts looking around the room to see what else is out there.
These are all things you probably won’t notice if you’re involved in drama from your Facebook feed.
4 Protect your baby from cell phone radiation
Many people don’t realize that cell phones and tablets are dangerous to kids and especially babies. They emit microwave radiation, and the closer a baby is, the more their little body absorbs.
This isn’t the same kind of radiation like your microwave emits – that kind is continuous. The kind from phones and tablets is intermittent, and it can damage brain cells, cause cancer and other diseases, and harm a baby’s DNA structure. According to the World Health Organization, cell phone radiation is a Class 2 B Carcinogen. That’s the same classification as DDT, lead, and jet fuel.
Healthychild.org chillingly lays out the effects, says that cell phone radiation
…does disrupt DNA, weakens the brain’s protective barrier, and releases highly reactive and damaging free radicals. A five-year-old’s brain, healthy or otherwise, is encased in a thinner skull and contains more fluid than an adult brain. The bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more.
The emphasis on the last sentence is mine.
If adults are advised to keep cell phones 8 inches from their head, and an infant will absorb more than 10 times the radiation of an adult, how safe is a safe distance?
Please don’t risk your baby. Your phone will be there later.
And if you just can’t keep your phone down?
I work from my phone a lot, so I get it. I can’t keep it away from my baby all the time. Or the tablet either, for that matter! And I don’t want to live my life in fear.
If you’re in the same boat, there’s a really great option for you, and one I strongly recommend for ALL parents. It’s an anti-radiation phone shield.
Be careful which one you buy, though. Third party testers found that some shields actually increase your radiation exposure! Two brands I recommend based on third-party testing is 1) DefenderShield (and they have a great 15% off coupon!) and 2) Vest phone cases.
Once again, be careful choosing an anti-radiation case, some will increase your exposure instead of minimizing it!!
Putting it in action
A safer baby, a more perceptive mom, a stronger bond, and making precious memories all add up to make a very strong case for putting away the cell phone while breastfeeding.
I’m guilty of doing everything I mentioned in this article before I realized what was at stake. Hopefully, you realize the stakes now too. Let’s just play it safe and find genius ideas on Pinterest later.
What’s your favorite thing to do while your baby is nursing? Comment and tell me below!