The myth of multitasking may have been debunked, but that doesn’t mean mums are any less required to juggle a multitude of to-do’s–so it comes as no surprise that a recent study shows that many mothers are utilising baby feeding time to check emails, do online shopping, plan family outings…and catch up on the latest Facebook mummy forum sagas (and Netflix). The question is; is eschewing gazing into baby’s visage at each and every feed in favour of some tecchy distractions detrimental?
Recent research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, analysing 75 mother-and-baby pairs, found that approximately 43 percent of feedings (breast and bottle) involved “distractions” – aka screen-scrolling.
While the wording of the findings may raise the hackles of more than a few mums (“distractions” imply a detraction of focus from a matter of importance – shame on you for answering that text!),Pamela Berens, MD, an OB/GYN sets any guilty consciences at ease with this summation of the study’s results:
“I think that there’s a lot of things at play here,” Dr. Berens explains. “I don’t know that this is really different than the mother 50 years ago who would be distracted by her other five children while she is nursing her baby. I don’t know that this is either surprising or detrimental—and the study doesn’t necessarily suggest that it’s detrimental, it just says that women are doing this.”
Truth is, feeding time is prime time for bonding with your babe; so it’s never a bad idea to set aside some special moments – free from household logistics and Candy Crush-ing – to drown in your little one’s peepers for a bit–and then give yourself a break for being a human in the digital age of distraction…and of course, for being a mum with that never-ending list of things do get done.