So I took this long break from social media and deleted every single social media app from my phone. Yes, the actual, tangible quantity of time I suddenly had on my hands was awesome but it was the mental space that actually felt so abundant and so damn good. The first place I immediately felt its effect was breastfeeding.
Previously, I’d feed teeny Abe whilst simultaneously scrolling Instagram, answering comments, replying to DMs, finishing an online food shop. You name it, I was doing it. Apparently there’s even a word for texting while breastfeeding: “brexting.” Sure, I’d be aware of Abey and re-settle him if he unlatched – my body was totally there with him, performing its’ function – but my mind was elsewhere.
Without the distraction of social media however (and reading this back, this does sound a bit nutty!), feeding Abe has gradually taken on a whole new, almost spiritual dimension. I started to put in place a ritual that I still stick to – whenever Abe needs feeding (we’re not good with routines over here), we go to my bedroom, I lie down on my side and everything slips away and we enter our own world. Breast to mouth, eye to eye (if mine are open, that is), we are in our own oxytocin bubble, and it feels so, so wonderful. And this really isn’t about breastfeeding or bottle feeding – we do both, and I follow the same rule for both scenarios. (If you are interested, I have started introducing two bottles a day for Abe – one at 5pm and one for the dream feed, at around 10.30pm). This is about connecting; this is about nourishing each other during a highly unique, temporary moment in time. And guess what? He feeds so well! There is no re- latching or settling needed. I am calm; he is calm.
And this isn’t about breastfeeding or bottle feeding – we do both, and I follow the same rule for both scenarios. This is about connecting; this is about nourishing each other during a highly unique, temporary moment in time
And the same goes for when we’re out and about. The other day I had to feed Abe on the train and although I felt vulnerable in the moment (it’s as if every person in the carriage is looking at your tit in that one moment, even though you know literally NOTHING can be seen), I zoned in to our “world” and I, and he, felt safe.
Here’s some other things you could do whilst feeding besides picking up that black block:
*Stare at your baby and appreciate the amazingness of what you have created!
*Listen to an audiobook or a podcast
*Pelvic floor exercises – it’s literally the only time I remember to do them
*Practise mindfulness – what does it feel like to have your baby feed from you? Or if you’re bottle feeding, what does their little hand do, where are they looking (right in to your eyes, I bet)
*Listen to your fave tune
*Plan a future trip in your head
*Doze – I swear I’ve got in some quality naps during the feed
*And finally, and my favourite, just (freakin’) be
Thoughts? What are you habits during feeding? What’s the one thing you won’t compromise as a mum of a baby, what’s your non negotiable?
P.S. 12 Practical and Sustainable New Baby Gifts and Sustainable Newborn essentials
Photos by Coralie Monnet
She writes as she reads this breastfeeding her newborn 🤦🏻♀️. In all honesty I usually do nothing while feeding. Just hang with my little dude. Or read a book to my toddler. But once in awhile it’s the only time I’ve got to answer an email or do an online task, and then I’ll spend a few minutes browsing too.
I absolutely love this – but how do you manage this while also looking after your other two? I have a 6 month old and 3.5 year old, and I’m mainly breastfeeding on the go in the carrier as I just don’t get a chance to sit. And now my 6 month old only settles in the carrier because of this which means I very rarely get to actually sit down and breastfeed!
Are you feeding expressed milk at your two bottle feeds?
Hats off to you if you are expressing and breastfeeding with 3 little humans.
formula milk for those feeds, breastfed the rest of the time.xxx
I’m sure my neighbours must hate it (🙈) but I like to feed my little one by our back door sometimes so we can both get a little vitamin d as I feed… I know it’s cold out, but through the glass the sun feels warm. I like to look out to the garden and know spring is just round the corner as I hear the birds and look at the daffodils 🌼
that sounds beautiful <3 id love to see my neighbour in blissful feed mode like that!
Thanks for this! What are some of your fav podcasts to listen to when feeding? ❤️
im actually not that in to podcasts – need to get on to it!
I love this! I miss those sweet intimate moments with my two. Now 11 and 5. They grow so quickly. So glad I just enjoyed those moments when I had them. Enjoy them whilst you can ❤️
that’s the plan 🙂 thanks marnie x x
We have a 9 year old daughter and a 6 month old son and know that time ticks away quickly so one thing I will not negotiate on is being with both of my kids before they fall asleep. Either reading to them or singing to them and seeing their eyes softly close and you know they feel happy and safe. It’s the best 😊
ah that sounds like a little slice of heaven. what a sweet mama you are x
I love your post but want to remind everyone that dispite this age of effency, you don’t really need to do ANYTHING while breastfeeding. No podcasts, no pelvic exercises, no mindfulness. I feel that the ethos of constant self development can also be overwhelming. Allow yourself to just BE and get lost in the baby bubble.
yes yes YES Sara! Just actually edited the post to include this as this is my favourite of all time, and the most powerful of all. THANK YOU!
Breakfast is my non negotiable! Especially when I was breastfeeding, a big bowl of porridge surely helped the milk flow. I had no time to relax and enjoy feeds with my 2nd born as my older son needed to be entertained one handedly!
I hear you mama, and also, YUM. porridge is self care warmed up x