True story: When my husband and I
hired a nanny for our first child, we actually inserted a clause into her
contract stipulating that she was not to have a cell phone on her while holding
our baby. We also reprimanded our parents if they attempted to rock the baby
with a cell phone in their pocket. We wanted our daughter to have everyone's
undivided attention, plus we were worried about radiation emanating from their
We were freaks, clearly.
By the time No. 2 came around, we basically let anybody hold our child who has at least one working hand and
seems like s/he's a slow enough runner that we could chase them down should
they attempt to abscond.
As for the cell phone, how did I
ever make it through Baby No. 1's first months with no texting, no email, no harsh
blue glow to carry me through those midnight feedings? Our current baby has
been physically bonked on the head many times from a dropped cellphone as I
attempt to nurse while simultaneously answer work emails or "like" a
pic on Facebook.
Looks like I'm in good,
borderline-negligent company: Brexting is having a moment. Brexting—aka texting
while breastfeeding—is something most multitasking nursing moms do, but now
experts are claiming it might compromise mother-child
"It is very hard to bond and
talk to the baby if you are on the phone," Terry Bretscher, a nurse and
the lactation supervisor at Pomona Valley Medical Center, told
Southern California Public Radio.
Maternal mental health psychologist
Katayune Kaeni added: "When babies are first born, their vision is only
basically from the breast to the mother's face. That's as far as they can see.
So babies do a lot of staring and bonding in that way." Kaeni warned that
TWB (Texting While Breastfeeding) could cause a mom to miss important cues from her baby.
When she was a newborn, the phone was a lifeline during bleary-eyed, late-night feedings.
Awesome. One more thing for me to
guilt over, in addition to the fact that I work, occasionally feed my kids non-organic eggs and haven't gotten around to replacing the stock photo on the
cover of our younger daughter's baby book with her actual picture.
If I'm being honest, though, I see
Bretscher's and Kaeni's point. I've been actively trying to reduce my screen time
when in front of my kids because I don't want them growing up thinking an
iPhone is part of my visage. I'm more present and engaged with them when the
phone is out of reach. And true, when I'm nursing, being tech-free allows me to
fully enjoy the moment, stroking her hair, singing to her, making goofy faces
and watching her smile sneak through in return.
But when she was a newborn, the
phone was a lifeline during bleary-eyed, late-night feedings. And even now, I
occasionally brext, read a snippet of a magazine ("breading"?) or catch up on
five minutes of "Project Runway" on TV
("Broject Runway"?). However, I have yet to briPad, brInstagram or briPod.
Whether you nurse by candlelight, pioneer
woman-style, or #brextlikeaboss, do what feels right to you. As
long as you and your little one are bonding, and nobody gets accidentally
concussed, things should shake out OK in the long run.