Multi-tasking While Breastfeeding: I Won't Feel Guilty

Lisa Steinke

Posted By: Lisa Steinke

Lisa had her first child at the age of 37. A self-proclaimed 'late bloomer,' Lisa now finds it hard to remember what life was like before her daughter was born.

Breastfeeding is VERY time consuming.

In fact, I had absolutely zero idea how much time I'd be spending sitting in the glider with my baby attached to my breast.

It was a lot of time. I repeat. A lot. Of . Time.

I read the books and I took the classes, but nothing prepared me for just how often I'd be feeding her. And how breastfeeding her would start to feel like Groundhog Day! Like Bill Murray's character, stuck in a time loop, except instead of repeating every hour, the loop repeated every hour. When you're running on limited sleep, the nurse-sleep-diaper-nurse cycle can make you a little nutty because all you have to look forward to is doing it again. And again. And again.

So after living this way for almost two weeks, I realized that I had to do something else with my brain. When you're nursing, your movements are limited because you're holding the baby, supporting her with at least one arm. I know some moms are able to use their computers or nurse while the baby's in a sling or walk and nurse but as a first-time mom of a very young baby, I wasn't comfortable doing that yet. So what could I do while sitting with one arm out of commission so I didn't go nuts?

It dawned on me! There's no short supply of reality TV programming plus using my iPad, I could keep up with my friends on Facebook, and stay up to date with the celebrity magazines. She'd be happily getting her milk and I'd be happily getting the things I desperately needed.

I felt slightly guilty. Wasn't I supposed to be gazing into her eyes, watching her nurse? Bonding with her? Creating memories we'd share for life?

Well, for some mothers, it might be enough to gaze and bond for hours on end. But for me, I needed more.

I needed TV. I needed Facebook. I needed celebrity gossip.

And sometimes it felt like I needed those things just as much as I needed to nurse my baby.  
And I wasn't going to feel guilty about it.
If mama's happy, everyone's happy. Right?

Important things were happening in the world that I needed to keep up with.

The Royal Wedding was fast approaching! The Real Housewives of Miami had just started! Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were breaking up!

So I figured it out. I could use one hand to hold my baby while she fed. And with the other, I could navigate my iPad, write a status report and flip the pages of Us Weekly. It wasn't easy at first, but after a while, I was like an old pro. I had no idea I could be ambidextrous, but it turns out when a girl has to get her 'pop culture' on, she's capable of anything!

And the best part? The baby didn't seem to notice or care. It was a win-win. She got her milk and I got to occupy my brain and keep myself entertained. 

9:00am on Monday May 30


12:14pm on Wednesday June 8

I'm so glad to read this! I read my Kindle or do social networking on my iPod when I nurse, and I still feel guilty about it, like I'm supposed to be playing with my baby's little toes and staring into her eyes. Seriously, though, who wants someone playing with their toes and staring at them while they eat?

Melissa A. (CLC)
4:38pm on Tuesday May 31

I do the same thing while bottle feeding. I'm good at typing with one hand now. I also have watched late night TV and read during feedings. I can't just feed without doing something else or I worry I'll fall asleep.

Shannon J
12:59pm on Tuesday May 31

Read some of the best books breastfeeding my 2 kids!! :)

Wanda Z
12:22pm on Tuesday May 31

You've put a smile on my face. Good luck! From someone who's been there ....always take at least 10 - 15 minutes each day just for yourself. It makes the ENTIRE family happier when Mom is more content and relaxed.

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