According to experts, using your mobile phone and other electronic gadgets during breastfeeding can cause long-term harm to your baby.
It is common for breastfeeding mothers to be on their phones as a means of killing time while they feed their child. However, focusing on your phone rather than your child can lead to issues in the long run.
According to Dr. Kateyune Kaeni, a psychologist from the Pomona Valley Medical Center in California, looking at your phone rather than making eye-contact with your child as it breastfeeds affects the vital bonding a child makes with its mother.
Dr. Kaeni believes that “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.” Dr. Kaeni states that it is very important for a mother to partake in the bonding stage with her child as it breastfeeds as this may affect their relationship in the long run. “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 behavior until you pay attention.”
“Distraction such as a smartphone could mean mums are missing cues that baby is full or they’re still hungry or their latch isn’t secure or if they are having trouble swallowing,” added the Dr. Kaeni, a specialist in maternal mental health.
According to Terry Bretscher, a nurse that assists Dr. Kaeni in her work, mothers seem more focused on their mobile phones than their children while they nurse them. It is true that a mother needs to answer a lot of questions such as: Is it a boy or a girl? How much does he/she weigh? Could you send me a picture? However, integrating with other people in society can wait until your child is done with its feeding and is fast asleep.
Terry feels that mothers need to be more attentive towards their children as they nurse them since they are strangers to the world around them. It is really important for them to know that their mother is there to comfort them as they take in their surroundings for the very first times in their life.
Terry expresses that, “You assist them latching on and you can see the phone buzzing, they’re getting an alert or something, and you see their eyes move down and look at it. Sometimes they will actually answer that right then and we go, ‘well let’s work on this now.’ It is very hard to bond and talk to the baby if you are on the phone.”
Furthermore, the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from mobile phones, as you use them, may cause serious harm to your child. Radiation from mobile phones has been linked to cancer and developmental disorders. The harmful radiation emitted by your phone as you connect to the Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G network can damage your child’s brain.
Not only are you missing out on a crucial bonding phase with your child when you opt to use your phone while breastfeeding, but also putting your child at risk from the radiation emitted from the phone. It is best to wait until your child is done feeding before you can get back to using your smartphone.