Have Smartphone, Will Nurse

“No pictures, Ma!” A photo of Leo nursing, taken with my iPhone.

In the 4+  years between my babies, the smartphone was born. I held out for a while, not needing one of them fancy contraptions, but finally my dinosaur phone (i.e., just over 2-year-old flip phone) was falling apart and I figured, why not? Maybe I will love it as much as everyone else seems to. I got the iPhone last summer, and as predicted, most of the technology is lost on me. I downloaded some apps but never use them. I still use an actual laminated map if I’m going someplace new in the city. I do like the better texting and being able to check email, the odd website, and Facebook. I also occasionally use the camera to snap a photo or video of the kids and send it instantly to the grandparents. I listened to some Hypnobabies tracks while I was pregnant. That’s about it.

And then suddenly I had a baby nursing at all hours and I was busting out my phone A LOT. It helped me wile away the time during those marathon nursing sessions in the wee hours. Specifically, I’d fallen in love with the Dear Sugar column a few months prior to Leo’s birth, and was able to catch up on the backlog of her beautiful posts while nursing. Additionally, I used a breastfeeding appto help track feedings, diaper action, and sleep (ha ha ha) since I couldn’t remember one moment to the next in the newborn fog. With my older son, I have notebooks filled with my OCD scrawling of every nursing and diaper change until whatever time I realized I could let it go already. So, what are the pros and cons? Let’s see:

Pros:

  • a toy to keep you company during long nursing sessions, especially if you watched the whole Battlestar Galactica series with your previous baby
  • a variety of apps to track feedings, changes, and sleep
  • keep up with friends via text, email, Facebook, and maybe even a good old-fashioned phone call while nursing– helps to feel less isolated and find instant support at any time if you’re in a rough patch
  • you could follow a suggestion I saw on Best for Babes (probably while nursing) and video your baby nursing, to be viewed later when you’re back at work or otherwise separated to help get your milk a-flowin’ for the pump

Cons:

  • you’ll totally jack up your eyeballs from squinting at the tiny screen in the middle of the night
  • perhaps you could have safely dozed while nursing but now you’re obsessively ‘liking’ stuff on Facebook
  • the electromagnetic waves are probably melting your baby’s brain
  • maybe I should be cooing over my baby now and then rather than the pretty phone?

So, that’s been my experience and inner struggle so far with the smartphone in my role as a breastfeeding mother.

What about you? Do you play with a fancy phone while nursing, or something else? 

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4 Responses to Have Smartphone, Will Nurse

  1. KO says:

    this is interesting… I’ve actually wondered how this will affect our babies, if only because we’re not completely focused on them if we’re holding our phones and perusing facebook, etc. while we’re doing the ONE thing that really connects us. It definitely makes a difference …. and what does it teach our little ones? Oh, I’m guilty, alright. But there are pros and cons, as you say. If a 4am facebook post keeps you from feeling lonely and despondent because you can’t keep your eyes open anymore on the 100th feeding…. I’m not going to judge. But if you also can’t spend a single nursing session simply holding and enjoying your baby, and really listening to what they’re telling you during that time…. you’re also missing something very important. They tell us a lot in those moments.

  2. Liza Wyles says:

    I too gave birth to a smartphone between kid #1 and kid #2. It is awful/wonderful. Awful that I can check work emails while doing the bedtime nursing session. Wonderful that I don’t feel so alone in the middle of the night during those feedings when TV offerings were slim. We have our tech house rules (no tech at the table, no tech while actively pushing a stroller…) so do what works for you! You get to make the rules, sometimes. :)

  3. hannahmumsdays says:

    I bet you do loads of coo-cooing over your baby so I wouldn’t worry too much about a bit of company in the middle of the night – and at least you can still see baby past your phone…if it were an ipad on the other hand… ;)

  4. Thanks for the comments. It is definitely different now with a baby who is older and more interactive. I play on the phone much less frequently during nursing now– either because he wants my attention (and I want to indulge him!) or because I’m dozing or because the sessions are so short now. But for those few months of marathon nursing, it was a welcome distraction and tool. I hear your concerns, KO, and it’s probably a rare mama who can gaze at her babe for full nursings. I think most of us are attentive while still needing some distractions now and then. Thanks again, all!

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