I have no idea what moms did while breastfeeding before the advent of smart phones. I'm sure there are sanctimommies out there who insist that they only ever gaze into their baby's eyes while breastfeeding, but on the list of things that make breastfeeding easier, we all know that phones are at the top. There are only so many activities one can participate in with partial use of a hand, the inability to move, and the desire to avoid distractions for the little one you are feeding. And I hate reality TV (I know I'm in the minority here).
In the beginning, babies take forever to breastfeed. Their little mouths are still getting used to sucking the right way, and so a 45-minute run to feed your newborn isn’t unheard of, I’m sorry to say. And when they cluster feed, all bets are off...for hours. The smart phone has revolutionized how mothers can spend their time while feeding their newborns. Whether it’s cruising social media, replying to emails, posting #brelfies, online shopping, or reading an ebook, most women I know can’t imagine spending the countless hours per week breastfeeding without the welcome distraction of their phone.
And yet, it’s happened to all of us: We’ve all settled in and started to feed our baby, only to realize that our phone is…elsewhere. This elicits a cascade of distinct emotions that have been listed here, so you’re able to recognize and work through them.
This can’t be happening. You know you left your phone in your pocket for this exact reason, so where the hell is it? It has to be somewhere, if only your sweet baby would let you take your breast out of her mouth for one minute without screaming like a banshee. WHY IS IT NOT IN YOUR POCKET, DAMMIT?! There’s no way you could have done this. It has to be your partner’s fault. Somehow, it's their fault. This is a nightmare.
You cannot believe what an idiot your partner is. Or you are. You’re not sure who to be mad at, so you’re mad at everyone right now. Except your baby, of course. It is impossible for you to be this dumb, even in your sleep-deprived state. Your phone is your LIFELINE, your tether! You are going to kill your child's other parent, when they get home later, even if it wasn’t their fault (which obviously it wasn't, but again, you're very irrational right now).
Your baby must be able to understand on some level what you’re going through. So you begin talking to him. You beg him to relax for just a minute, while you scramble around the house, looking for your stupid phone. You promise him the biggest ice cream sundae he can eat, as soon as he’s old enough to eat that stuff, if he’ll just. let. you. find. your. phone.
This sucks. There are so many things you could be doing right now! You were going to watch the latest episode of The Bachelor, or respond to your best friend’s text, and maybe check out what’s new in the baby department of Amazon. Now you have to stare at the wall and count the leaves on the tree in the framed photo that’s hanging right in front of you.
Or perhaps you could spend a bit of time enjoying the cuteness of your baby. He is incredibly cute…and wow! Look at that adorable way he curls his fingers around your shirt. And you just realized how hunched your shoulders are, when you feed him in this position. Sit up; maybe you won’t feel quite as tired. And take a few deep breaths. Oh. He’s done already? That wasn’t so bad.
So I guess the moral of the story here is, while you may start out slightly bored, highly frustrated, and unable to figure out what to do with yourself, chances are, you and your smart phone will live to see another nursing session together. And both of you will have recharged batteries when you reunite.