One of my favorite parts of breastfeeding — especially during the newborn days — is watching TV. When I was feeding my baby I was able to catch up on shows I had missed, enjoy old favorites, and find new distractions from the monotony of motherhood. I did learn, however, that during all those late-night feedings, early morning power pumping sessions, and sleepy afternoon snuggles there are some shows you absolutely don't want to watch when you're breastfeeding. You might even say they are dangerous.
For instance, I am not saying that you shouldn't watch scary shows like The Walking Dead or disturbing shows like The Handmaid's Tale when breastfeeding your baby, but I am saying that you should be prepared to get so freaked out that you wake up your baby. As a breastfeeding mom, I found that some shows, like Jane the Virgin, and The Letdown, are pretty damn accurate when they show the challenges of being a nursing mom... to the point that they're arguably too accurate. Other shows, like Grey's Anatomy, not only show breastfeeding and pumping moms on the job, but they are so addictive that you won't be able to stop watching. And let's just say that watching cooking shows while breastfeeding is a straight-up bad idea. That is, of course, unless someone is available to bring you food.
As a nursing mom you might find yourself with time on your hands and longing for a new show to devour. That's great and all, but trust me when I say that you might find the following shows too "dangerous" to handle:
Breastfeeding made me so damn hungry I could hardly stand it. I could have probably eaten all day, every day, and still wanted more. So it wasn't the best idea to watch Top Chef when I was breastfeeding. Not only did it make me even hungrier, but I was stuck under a baby and unable to do anything about it.
I am a huge Grey's Anatomy fan. While I love their inclusion of breastfeeding, and their totally real mom moments that involve leaking breasts, pumping, and sleep-deprivation, it's totally dangerous for me to watch,while nursing, especially at night. Turns out, it's a show I just have to keep watching. As a mom, however, you need to spend your free time sleeping and not following the drama of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
I love Scandal, I really do. I try to be a little like badass Olivia Pope (not to mention Kerry Washington who plays her on the show) every day. Unfortunately, and I am more than a little bit ashamed to admit that after birthing and breastfeeding three kids, my breasts will never look as good as Kerry Washington's look on that show. All of this is extremely ironic when you consider that she was secretly pregnant with her second child while filming the series.
'The Walking Dead'
I've learned that if you watch a scary show like The Walking Dead while breastfeeding, you need to be prepared to jump or scream and wake up your baby. And I don't know about you, but post-apocalyptic shows and movies always make me worry about the babies. It's so depressing.
'Game Of Thrones'
Any Game of Thrones fan knows that the show doesn't exactly paint breastfeeding in a positive light. I'm actually pretty sure it should win an award for the worst depiction of extended breastfeeding in television history, with Lysa Arryn (played by actress Kate Dickie) breastfeeding her whiney pre-teen son (played by then 10-year-old actor Lino Facioli). I'm not saying you shouldn't watch Game of Thrones, but it might really make you angry when they use breastfeeding for shock-value.
'13 Reasons Why'
If there's anything a mom needs less, it's more things to worry about. The show 13 Reason's Why made me contemplate my own time in high school and made me worry about how my kids will handle life in a world where kids bring guns to school and bullying happens online.
'The Handmaid's Tale'
The television adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is beautiful and captivating, but it's also chilling and devastating to watch, especially as a woman and a mother. The way handmaids in the series like June (played by Elizabeth Moss) and Janine (played Madeline Brewer) cope with the loss of their children, bodily autonomy, and human rights is enough to send any new mom into a depressive tail spin. Don't do it. Trust me.
In my opinion, few shows objectify women the way Westworld does. I mean, the majority of the women characters on the show are literally sex robots made to please men with near perfect bodies that, in true HBO fashion, have to be naked in every episode. Don't get me wrong I have no problem with nudity, and I so wanted to like the show for its all-star cast featuring Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Anthony Hopkins. But I couldn't handle the gratuitous sexual and physical violence for entertainment value, especially while snuggling my baby.
'Jane The Virgin'
I decided to watch Jane the Virgin one day during maternity leave, and without knowing how delightful and addictive that show would be. For a show that's based on the style of Spanish-language telenovelas, it is so accurate when it comes to it's depictions of relationships, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and motherhood. Jane's struggles with figuring out how to latch her newborn, and her worries about her milk not coming in, were spot on. The dangerous part of watching Jane the Virgin while breastfeeding is that you are definitely going to wake up the baby with your laughter.
'The Great British Baking Show'
I love to bake, and I love watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix during late-night feedings. The only problem was their gentle British accents and pleasant banter would lull me right to sleep, so I could never stay awake for a whole episode.