Mobile phone usage has become a prevalent practice in modern times, with many individuals, including new mothers, resorting to them to pass the time during maternity leave, and even while breastfeeding their infants. However, research has suggested that babies may be more vulnerable to the dangers of radiation from mobile devices due to anatomical and physiological differences. Additionally, excessive usage of gadgets can impede the development of mother-child bonding. Hence, a pertinent question arises – can we use mobile phones while breastfeeding? and if so, what are the potential harmful effects, and how can we minimize them? We delve into the subject, exploring the adverse effects of mobile usage while breastfeeding and strategies to mitigate their impact.
Nowadays, almost all are using mobile phones 24X7 including moms who use it to kill boredom during maternity leave and happen to use phones while breastfeeding their baby. Research has shown babies are more vulnerable to danger of radiations from mobile due to anatomic and physiological differences. Also, it can impair mother child bonding. So, we will be discussing the harmful effects of mobile use while breastfeeding and how to minimize them.
Importance of Breastfeeding
There are many advantages of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby. Breastfeeding contains all the vitamins and nutrients the baby needs, also breast milk is full of cells, hormones and antibodies to protect the baby’s developing immune system from illness. It also helps the baby’s developing digestive system causing fewer problems with constipation, diarrhoea and food allergies. It is rich in fatty acids that protects brain cells and provides the perfect mix of proteins for building muscle tissue.
One of the most important benefits of breastfeeding is the emotional bond developed between you and baby. It is a time for you to connect with your baby and form a bond. Your baby relies on your presence and engagement to feel safe and secure. For mothers who wonder, “can we use mobile while breastfeeding?”, when you use your mobile phone while breastfeeding, you risk missing out on this important time and potentially harming your bond with your baby. Research has shown that excessive screen time and multitasking can decrease the quality of the breastfeeding experience, memory impairment and lead to difficulty in learning new things.
While breastfeeding has a huge impact on your baby’s development it can also have many benefits for your body as well, helping your body recover more quickly and painlessly.
Also, moms who breastfeed their babies have a decreasing risk of developing osteoporosis cardiovascular disease and breast and other cancers throughout their lives.
Effects Of Using Mobile Phone While Breastfeeding Your Baby
Mobile usage during breast feeding can effect in following ways:
- Eye contact:
A mother and a baby need to have a certain level of eye contact to establish a better bond. When babies are born, their only vision is from the breast till the mom’s face. That way they keep staring a lot and try to recognise their mommy. Imagine, if your baby can only see the phone instead of your face. Are you going to have a good relationship with your baby?
Your baby may not have latched onto your breast but you wouldn’t know as you’re already engrossed in your phone. Ironically, you might be breastfeeding right now and reading this article without realising the potential harm it can cause to your baby.
3. Physical touch
With your hands holding the phone, you’ll never know when your baby fell asleep. Moreover, you won’t even find out if your baby has had enough breast milk to drink. Your baby might fall asleep midway while breastfeeding. It is important that you touch your baby and caress him gently.
4. Behavioural problems
Babies can throw a fit if they aren’t given attention when demanded. They chuckle a lot, smile, and make sounds when you’re not looking. They would try to hold you with their little hands and get you to look at them. If you don’t look at them or reciprocate their emotions and feelings, they might feel vulnerable and left out. They are sensitive and have to be looked at a lot!
5. Radiation from the gadgets
Babies’ bodies are so little that they easily absorb those harmful rays that are emitted from the gadgets. It is really dangerous for them to absorb such harmful materials as they could alter their genetic construct or probably promote the growth of cancerous cells. It is also known to hamper the brain’s developmental processes. Just because, you cannot be using phone while breastfeeding it doesn’t mean that it is a torture or a burn on you. It helps you lose weight and at the same time, it gives you special moments with your baby to connect with.
6. Less oxytocin release
When a mother is distracted by her phone during breastfeeding, it can lead to a less enjoyable experience for both the mother and the baby. The baby may become fussy or stop feeding, and the mother may feel stressed or distracted, which can interfere with the release of the hormone oxytocin, responsible for milk let-down.
7. Poor bonding experience
Studies have shown that excessive screen time and multitasking while breastfeeding can decrease the quality of the bonding experience between the mother and baby. Babies are highly sensitive to their environment and need the mother’s full attention to feel safe and secure.
8. Impact on attachment
When a mother is using mobile while breastfeeding, the baby may not be getting the physical and emotional connection that is so important for their growth and development. This can lead to a less secure attachment and potentially impact the baby’s future relationships.
9. Negative impact on feeding patterns
Additionally, using a phone while breastfeeding can also negatively impact the baby’s feeding patterns. Babies rely on the mother’s cues, such as eye contact and body language, to know when it is time to feed and when they are full. If the mother is focused on her phone instead of the baby, the baby may become confused or frustrated, leading to an increased risk of over- or under-feeding.
How to Minimize Risks While Using a Mobile Phone ?
If you still need to be using phone while breastfeeding, there are several tips to minimize distractions and maintain the quality of the breastfeeding relationship. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Set Boundaries
These include turning off notifications, putting the phone on silent, or limiting the time you spend on your phone while breastfeeding.
2. Use your phone for helpful resources
If you need to use your phone, consider using it for helpful resources such as lactation apps, breastfeeding tutorials, or online support groups. This can help you feel more informed and confident, rather than feeling stressed or distracted.
3. Take breaks
Taking breaks from technology will give you time to connect with your baby and focus on your breastfeeding relationship.
4. Be mindful of safety
If you still want to be using mobile phone while breastfeeding, be mindful of safety concerns. Avoid placing the phone directly on your lap or near your baby, and use a phone case to minimize the risk of injury.
5. Get support
Reach out to a best lactation consultant, doula, or breastfeeding support group for additional help and support. This will help you to stay focused and minimize distractions while breastfeeding.
Safety Tips While Using Mobile Phone While Breastfeeding Your Child
- Avoid direct contact
Do not place your mobile phone directly on your lap or near your baby while breastfeeding, to reduce risk of exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Experts advise holding your phone at least 6 inches away from the body to reduce radiation risks.
2. Use a phone case
Consider using a phone case to protect your mobile phone and minimize the risk of injury to your baby. Case should be made from a safe and non-toxic material, such as silicone or polycarbonate.
3. Keep the phone out of reach
Keep your mobile phone out of reach of your baby to prevent them from accidentally grabbing it or knocking it over.
4. Be mindful of battery life
If your phone has a low battery, avoid using it near your baby. In the unlikely event that the phone overheats, the battery could leak or explode, putting your baby at risk.
Breastfeeding is a special time for mothers and babies, and it is important to find a balance between technology use and creating a positive experience. By setting boundaries, taking breaks from technology, consuming nutritious snacks, and prioritizing your time with your baby, you can minimize distractions and maximize the benefits of this special time. Whether you are using your mobile phone to access resources or simply taking a break from technology, it is important to be mindful of the impact it can have on your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. Remember, breastfeeding is about forming a bond and providing essential nutrients to your baby, so make the most of this time by being present and engaged.
To conclude, new moms using phone while breastfeeding their child can have both potential benefits and drawbacks. It is important to find a balance that works for you and your baby by setting boundaries, taking breaks from technology, and being mindful of safety. By doing so, you can create a positive breastfeeding experience that supports your bond with your baby and promotes their health and well-being.
Using a mobile during breastfeeding can present some safety concerns, but with the right precautions and strategies in place, it is possible to minimize the risks and maintain a positive and safe experience.
You can minimize distractions while using mobile phone while breastfeeding by setting boundaries, using your phone for helpful resources, taking breaks, being mindful of safety, and seeking support.
To ensure the safety of your baby while breastfeeding using a phone, it is important to avoid direct contact, use a phone case, keep the phone out of reach, be mindful of battery life, and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.