While you could be forgiven for thinking that ‘brexting’ sounds like a new biscuit or perhaps a TV show. If you’ve been on social media over the last couple of days you may know that it’s the new term being used to describe texting/scrolling social media while breastfeeding.
You may have ‘brexted’ earlier today. You may be planning on ‘brexting’ this afternoon. Heck, you may well be ‘brexting’ right now.
There’s been some noise in the media and breastfeeding literature lately to highlight issues with smartphone use while feeding.
The chief complaint is that it can interfere with bonding and distract mums from spending quality time with their little ones.
Some extreme views even hint at a relationship between ‘brexting’ and anxiety issues later in life.
Any mother who has ever fed a baby, breast or bottle, will know just how many hours a day and night you spend ‘boobing’ or ‘bottling’. Newborns in particular feed anywhere between 8-12 (or more!) times in 24 hours. While some feeds, especially those when bubs is awake, may be spent gazing at or communicating with your little one there are others where you are quite literally marooned on the couch with a sleepy, suckling baby and not much else to do!
10 years ago, women would have reached for the remote. 20 years before that, it would have been a book or a magazine. Finding ways to enjoy some ‘time out’ while feeding is nothing new. It’s only the advent of the smartphone that has changed the way we spend that time not the idea of time out itself.
Smart phones allow the modern day mama to stay connected, be it to a wider social circle, her immediate community and even her workplace. Using feeding time to catch up on the news headlines, organise a play date or send an email often means that mum can be (and feel) productive during periods of time where they are quite literally forced to stop.
It can also mean that during ‘awake’ periods, mothers can give their full and undivided attention to their little one or little ones as they’ve taken care of paying the swimming bill/answered a question from work/done the online shopping order.
There is always going to be a line when it comes to things like smartphone use and children and understanding your own limit or what you feel comfortable with is key.
‘Too much of a good thing’ i.e. being glued to a phone screen for hours a day is probably going to mean missing a lot of beautiful opportunities with your baby. Banning the smartphone altogether may lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
At the Healthy Mummy we believe a happy medium is the best thing to aim for and that no mum should ever feel guilty for taking care of their baby.