Sanctimommy alert: DNT TXT N BREASTFEED!!!


Ohmigod! Ohmigod! Ohmigod!

Lactivists have just discovered that some mothers text while they breastfeed!

The horror!!!!!

You see, a sanctimommy’s work is never done. She has to constantly move the goal posts and make up ever more outrageous stunts and ever more stringent “standards” to maintain that fragile sense of superiority over other mothers. Don’t worry though, she’s up to the task.

Think you’ve met the goal by exclusively breastfeeding your baby until she is 7 years old? Think again. Not if you’ve marred the pristine process of breastfeeding by daring to text while you breastfeed.

Today’s piece in the Lamaze blog Science and Sensibility, Texting While Driving And Texting While Feeding The Baby, Two Sides Of The Same Coin?, is a masterful piece of self-parody. There are lots of lessons here for sanctimommy wannabees.

Lesson 1: Always lead with a question that equates violation of sanctimommy principles with killing someone.

If you’re going for the guilt, and lactivist sanctimommies are always going for the guilt, it’s best to compare other mothers’ behavior to a heinous crime.

Lesson 2: Ask a stupid question.

The question could have made sense if it compared texting while driving to breastfeeding while driving. Both can result in serious injury or death. But breastfeeding while driving appears to be a protected sanctimommy activity, so you can’t criticize that. Texting while breastfeeding, that’s a hideous affront to gods of breastfeeding.

Lesson 3: Always assert that offenders are destroying their relationship to their babies.

Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be true.

The fact is that mothers and babies now have a third party in their relationship—technology.

That’s right; texting introduced technology into the mother-baby dyad. It was perfectly pristine before that since there was no house, no central heating, no clothes, nothing but moss and hemp and naked skin before that, amirite?

Lesson 4: Always, always, always misuse existing research to make your point.

Now back to the frantic thumbs and feeding the baby. Here’s what research is showing—that as we humans text, a few interesting things happen physiologically Our breathing becomes rapid, shallow, or non-existent (we hold our breaths until we must breathe). Our pulse increases. Our temperature goes up. Sound familiar? Many of us will recognize the physical symptoms of “fight or flight”, or the human body in the sympathetic state. To be super basic about it, there is a massive release of several hormones in our body that prepare us to act to save ourselves. And it’s contagious. We share our hormonal responses, breathing and heart rate with others who are near us.

That’s a pretty big heap of bullshit. What, you didn’t know that texting destroys our normal hormonal balance (since it is so very similar to fleeing from a predator)?

Lesson 5: Be sure to include citations that have absolutely nothing to do with the issue under discussion.

Never forget, misrepresentation is key.

Lesson 6: Don’t let the main purpose get away from you. Remember, its always about making women feel bad and showing them how YOU would do it.

Mothers, if you find yourself catching up while you are feeding your baby, take intentional, slow, deep belly breaths while you do it. Keep yourself out of “fight or flight” and in the state so appropriately dubbed “feed and breed” or “rest and digest”. Your body can actually only be in one or the other state at any given time.

More hilarious bullshit.

Lesson 7: Be sure to promote an arbitrary standard that is utterly incompatible with reality.

If you are a professional—take a moment to teach the mothers you work with, in prenatal visits, private sessions, groups, or classes, this simple lesson: that humans breathe too fast and shallow, and that our temperatures, pulses, and breathing rates rise when we are texting or using technology while trying to do something else that shifts frequently and requires a lot of attention. Teach them to intentionally take slow cleansing breaths while nursing. Talk about taking some of the time while nursing to tend to their emotional health and connection with each other.

Maybe they can do that on Planet Boob where most of the lactivists hide out, but here in the real world, most nursing women have OTHER CHILDREN. Those other children must be supervised even though the baby has to eat.

Perhaps lactivists cage their older children while nursing the baby, but most women don’t feel that is appropriate. Most women in the REAL WORLD, are trying to ensure that the older children do not kill each other, do not give each other haircuts with kindergarten scissors and do not take the opportunity to wreak havoc in other parts of the house, while they are simultaneously nursing the baby. Some of us poor benighted souls even have to think about such menial tasks such as — dare I say it — what to make for dinner.

Maybe on Planet Boob all the older children respect nothing more than the need for a pristine breastfeeding relationship between the mother and the new baby, but in the real world, older children couldn’t care less. I can recall spending many nursing sessions reading to the older children or talking to them about the day at pre-school, simultaneously keeping them in view, engaging them and soothing feelings of jealousy toward the baby. I wonder if that produced fight or flight hormones and destroyed my relationship with my babies? I doubt it.

Raising children is not about gazing adoringly into their eyes 24/7. It’s about meeting everybody’s needs (not just the baby’s) every single day.

DNT TXT N BREASTFEED? You have got to be kidding.

Here’s my response:


  • Sarah

    The older children should be tandem nursing, obviously.

    • Azuran

      All 5 of them, simultaneously. If you can’t figure out how this work, you are not fit to be a mother.

      • demodocus

        Spontaneously from one’s armpits.

      • Sarah

        If you can’t feed, don’t breed.

  • sdsures

    I remember reading a story somewhere in which a woman was pulled over by a cop for breastfeeding her kid whilst driving. For God’s sake, why couldn’t she pull over?

    • Roadstergal

      It was a toddler, and it wasn’t her first time. Even if it were true that exclusive BF makes your kid smarter (which it isn’t), surely the kids being alive makes them smarter than being crushed against a steering wheel in an accident….

      • Bombshellrisa

        Yeah, that stretch of highway is awful. It’s always busy and under construction. I let my child scream in his car seat and I turn the radio up or pull over and try to calm him. I can’t imagine breast feeding while driving, I would need to be able to zone out while nursing. Must be how to oxytocin affected me : )

  • Liz Leyden

    Now I know why I wasn’t able to breastfeed my kids: I watched the news during early-morning feeding sessions. I figured it would be harmless to see what was going on the world. Now I know I was wrong. Damn you, New England Cable News!

  • Anna T

    LOL. I, too, read to my older daughter (or silently to myself) while breastfeeding. Sometimes I’d even take out a notepad and write. I completed a novel draft while breastfeeding. And the older child would see Mom sitting down on the couch to breastfeed as a cue to run and get her picture books. I don’t think the baby was harmed in any way because I wasn’t 100% focused on her. Actually I believe she enjoyed listening to my voice while I read aloud or talked to other family members.

    If I couldn’t do any such enjoyable activities while breastfeeding, I doubt I’d keep at it for as long as I have.

  • MichelleJo

    A friend of the family was *killed* last week after a head-on collision by a car swerving onto his side of the road whilst the driver was busy texting. (that driver was killed as well.) Compare that to texting whilst breastfeeding?! Not by any stretch of the imagination. One is deathly dangerous. The other is …what..I dunno, maybe the mother can’t do anything else except think of feeding her baby for it to work, so the baby gets less milk,… but no, that can’t be right because it works by supply and demand, there is no such thing as not enough milk. Fight of flight? Too tired to make the connection. I give up. But I do have some advice for you. If you’re discussing outcomes of the same action, go and educate the world on the possible outcome that *really* matters. Get passionate about something worth a dime.

  • Maya Markova

    Now, I know at last why I utterly failed my maternal duty and had to supplement both my babies.
    I have never been fond of texting, but I kept reeding while breastfeeding!
    I see now that, by this, I have introduced technology (a bit more traidtional technology, but still technology) into my relationship with my babies, and I have disrupted my breathing. Small wonder that I had too little breastmilk.
    So, ladies, remember that to be a perfect mother, you should neither read nor write! If you have made the mistake to be trained in these activities in the first place, you must abandon them for an indefinite period.

    • sdsures

      Books are ebil, didncha know? Reading whilst breastfeeding will lower your child’s IQ points because your milk will absorb the knowledge you gain instead of that wisdom magically transferring through the milk to your baby.

  • Monica

    Maybe they expect family breastfeeding. You know like the family bed, the whole family latches on at the same time.

    I always thought one of the breastfeeding is better than bottle feeding statements was because you could do it hands free. Are the now likening testing while breastfeeding to propping a bottle? Shame on me I’ve done both. Propped a baby with a bottle so I could go see what the older child was getting into and even didn’t give my full attention to my breastfeeding baby and responded to a text or call I received.

    And so it continues. As my 5 year old son sat in the dental chair yesterday getting some work done I selfishly was texting to my husband about what was going on and what time I would be picking him up later that afternoon so we could go to our son’s wrestling match. I’m sure I affected his healing negatively by not having my eyes constantly on him while he sat in that chair.

    • sdsures

      How’d the dental work go? Hope kiddlet wasn’t scared. I’m 34 and still afraid of the dentist!!

  • Joy_F

    How about texting while bottle-feeding? Is that okay 😉

    • kblue905

      Of course it is. He/she is going to end up brain damaged anyway, because you were so selfish that you forced formula directly into his/her gut, just like fattening a goose for foie gras!

  • R T

    Hahaha! I really laughed out loud at this! No, seriously…this is a joke right! Bah! I’m breastfeeding while I type this and baby is having a laugh, as well, muffled with a mouth full of boob! It’s very cute!

  • ihateslugs

    What would they say about the fact that my daughter, (still nursing at 2, should be a plus for me), likes to play with the ipad while she nurses. No kidding, I’ve been bumped in the chin now more times than I can count while she tries to play with her apps, hold the ipad, and nurse. Guess she finds gazing deeply into my eyes and breathing in sync together a little too boring for her tastes!

    • Lost in Suburbia

      That’s my daughter, also. Almost 2, and I’ve been nursing at the keyboard to playing on the ipad with all of my babies. I’d like the credit the ipad with enabling me to nurse my daughter as long as I have, since it provides a distraction for me from her constant toddler fidgeting.

    • sdsures

      I read that as she’s trying to nurse on the ipad! LOL

      When my nephew was 2, he nommed my (real) cellphone. I didn’t stop him because it looks a lot like the toy phone he has, and my phone had previously survived accidental immersion in a mug of tea.

      It survived the noms.

  • Teleute

    I only nursed my son for the first two months (and expressed for the next seven), and when he was at the breast, I ignored him just as much as he did me. We stayed with my parents during my maternity leave, and they had cable. I watched You Don’t Mess With the Zohan twenty-seven times in twenty-seven days.

  • Anka

    Ha! I’m breastfeeding and typing on the internet right now! With all the vowels and no shortcuts! I’m likely even worse, according to them! When I don’t do that, I’m often just reading on the internet, or reading books. While I rather enjoy breastfeeding (now that we are combo feeding), it gets hella boring after the first five minutes. I try to make eye contact while my baby wants it, but if he doesn’t, my mind wanders and needs to be occupied. There’s only so much mindful breathing stuff you can do.

  • Amy H

    It’s OK. They forgot about the oxytocin… My vaginal birth not having messed things up (and the pitocin having even increased my natural levels…shh don’t tell anyone), I was able to chill out and send the occasional text message without the usual fight or flight response caused by texting while I get on the freeway (wait a minute, I thought fight or flight was the response caused in all the other drivers when they see you texting).

  • notahomebirthlactivist

    oh my lord. what will they come up with next? I imagine they hate the prospect of bottlefeeding and texting even more??

  • Integer

    I got my first smartphone just after I had my third child and if how she behaves is the result of me using the smartphone almost every time I sat down to feed her, then my anecdata suggests we need more not less! Brag time: she’s developmentally advanced and very emotionally attached to me and my husband (and keen to toilet train which, after having two boys reluctant to do so, is a revelation 😉

  • Antigonos CNM

    Does this mean that everyone born before cell phones and/or TV was invented and was breastfed was normal? Like Hitler, Stalin, Kaiser Wilhelm, or Attila the Hun?

    • I read while nursing. Think about that! Is that somehow better than texting- because books are more socially accepted than technology?

  • Sue

    Clicked on the link, saw the photo, immediately wanted to broadcast:

    Dnt put stoopid hed banz on baby grls!

  • WhatPaleBlueDot

    I’m so tired of this pseudopsychology bullshit.

  • araikwao

    This post has the best comments ever!!

  • Carolina

    I just diagnosed myself with PTSD. Because I text too much. This is revelatory.

  • MonaLisa

    I hate this culture SO much. I remember feeling serious guilt when I was a vulnerable new mother at age 24, very susceptible to these idiots’ nonsense since none of my friends had kids and I didn’t know any better. I would see crap my NCB friends (who I met through LLL, a group I innocently turned to for help with nursing) would post on Facebook about “feeding with love.” I really felt like I’d blown it because I’d watched 4 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy during the marathon nursing sessions of the first couple months. That’s what all moms need- more guilt! I’m sure when I went back to med school and would pump while gulping down my lunch in between surgeries or at 3 am before going in to work, my milk was just straight poison from my “fight or flight” hormones. Give me a break.

    • Clarissa Darling

      Makes me want to start a mommy message board or group where women can get together and compete to be the LEAST crunchy mom…..I’m going to text while formula feeding, request a bath to wash of birthy smells before I even look at him, try sleep training at and will never let him touch kale (at least not until he’s finished his serving of high fructose corn syrup). How many points do I get?

      • Lisa the Raptor

        This was my last birth. I got the epidural right before getting induced and slept for ten hours waking up only to facebook. I felt nada and it rocked!

      • GuestK

        Oooh, I bet I get quite a few points! Youngest child was planned c-section. Started formula at 2 weeks. Used a stroller. Never co-slept. Sleep trained at 6 months (for my own sanity). He’s quite an ornery 2 year old now. I bet it was that 2 weeks of breast milk I let him have.

      • I sing to Andy

        Hahaha. Planned C-section, exclusively formula fed, never wore him (he hated it!), never co-slept.

        Looks miserable, eh?

        • Jenny

          Ok, I had a planned C-section, husband was the first person to feed the baby, attempted to breastfeed about twice & then switched to formula, took dostinex to dry up breastmilk (nothing ever really came in so had no pain or anything) and husband does at least one of the night feeds each night. I have to admit that I do sometimes have the baby in a carrier but only because she sleeps better that way and it leaves me hands-free to get on with other (gasp – non-baby-related) things. And a couple of times I’ve left the baby (now 6 wks) with my husband for a few hours at a time. How’s that for non-crunchy?

        • SMDCM

          OMG precious chubby-leg baby. Adorable!

          • I sing to Andy

            Thanks! He’s the most loved thing in the universe, I thin he’s forgiven me for the medically necessary C-section, lol.

        • Tara Coombs Lohman

          Those sweet chunky thighs!!! Shame he’s so malnourished from that formula!

      • Oh no, can’t compete with you ladies.. but I had pain relief, does that count? And I read my books on the kindle while nursing! And I had pitocin augmentation in labour! And never baby-wore and gave them purees instead of BLW! Does that count maybe a little bit?

        • Clarissa Darling

          We’ll still let you in the club IF you agree to let your kids have at least 2 hours of screen time a day with no more than half of it being educational and you must pledge to abstain from kale and quinoa. If you don’t, we don’t judge but, you’ll still be mercilessly ridiculed for being one of those granola moms. Deal?

          • I don’t like kale and especially don’t like quinoa. As for TV, we don’t have one, but the children do get a lot of screen time. And they eat sweets! I’d rather be part of this club rather than being a granola mom 😀

          • Clarissa Darling

            Ok you’re in! While studies show TV to be the best source of mindless entertainment, it is possible to get your daily allotment of screen time using other electronic devices.

          • Such a relief! I think I am going to have a chocolate to celebrate!

      • Anka

        Ooh, great idea! I was induced, got pitocin, had morphine AND an epidural, combo feed, will never co-sleep, let my husband take equal care of the baby, and will never practice attachment parenting. Can I join?

        • Clarissa Darling

          You let your husband take equal care of the baby?! What a great idea, I am going to have to try that! Welcome to the club!

          • Clarissa Darling

            Just in case, I’d like to point out that last comment was sarcasm towards crunchy moms. As a very soon to be crunchless mommy, of course I’ve done my research and I know I can have other people (even my husband) take care of my kids! I just feel sooooo sad for our granola sisters who are uneducated about this. I mean, how are they supposed to enjoy a night out for martinis with the girls or a day to themselves at the spa if they are gazing adoringly at little Johnny/Suzie every minute of every day until they turn 18? It’s proven that having no time to enjoy activities away from your baby causes resentment and we all know where babies who subconsciously absorb their mother’s resentment end up. That’s right—lifetime therapy or jail.

            I read all about it in the book “Infant Instructions” by Dr. Beers. BTW I plan to get a head start reading the Toddler Tome on my kindle during feeding sessions—has anyone else read it? Critics of Dr. Beers love to point out that he’s not a psychologist but, c’mon, the man has a PhD in Floral Arrangement from a very respected online diploma mill, you can’t call him uneducated!

      • Rachel

        My turn–39 week elective inductions, early epidurals with both, formula fed, never co-slept (both babies slept in their rooms from birth which were on a different floor from mine), no baby-wearing, and I was back to work at 3 1/2 weeks at a 60-100 hour/ week job. And the kicker–I’m one of those evil OBs we hear so much about!

      • TG

        sigh. epidural @3.5cm (i think with pitocin) and episiotomy, i NAK (and make phonecalls, etc., though when he looks at me i look at him) but don’t pump, so my husband gives formula when i leave the baby with him. but i do co-sleep and wear him sometimes- i’d get no sleep and run no errands otherwise (plus jerusalem can be annoying to navigate with a stroller, though we do use one often). and he’ll get no screen time- we’re religious and the schools don’t allow it (plus we agree with them). and limited junk. but i’m going back to my full-time job when he’s 14 weeks. so do i rank anywhere? or did the AP kill my chances? i’m so not crunchy!

      • Happy Sheep

        Hospital birth for both, no epi for #2 but I was demanding it until the end, it was just too fast. The tv is on in the background often and it babysits my 3 year old while I put the baby to bed when my husband works evenings. Older son is currently eating white bread with margarine and younger just had a meal of rice cereal and packaged puree. Younger was combo fed and is now ff and I’m really enjoying having my body back to take aspirin if needed or having a drink or two. My husband is expected to fully share in all parenting and is often the one sent in at 5 am to get the baby.
        I Ieave my kids with their father, grandparents, aunts and uncles and even a sitter all the time. My youngest was 6 days old the first time I left him for an hour. somehow he still knows who mommy is. How many points do I get?

      • MonaLisa

        I am smiling to myself as I think of how genuinely horrified the NCB/AP crowd will be when they read these posts (you know they all lurk here). “They were even BRAGGING about this stuff, mamas! It was so awful, those poor FF crib sleeping babies :(“

  • DirtyOldTown

    If you can’t type while breastfeeding, how are you supposed to write your mommy blog?

    • sdsures

      Mommy should get herself some Dragon Naturally Speaking software so she can dictate her mommy blog whilst breastfeeding baby.

  • Esther

    So breastfeeding while texting is bad, but breastfeeding while racking up a 30,000+ post-count at MDC is a laudable goal. Right?

  • Isilzha

    Trust breathing!!! Goodness, don’t you know that your body naturally knows how to breathe and you will breathe in a way that perfectly meets your body’s needs. Wow, these sanctimommies (all just pawns of Big Garlic, Big Kale and Big Organic Wrap!!!) are just out to promote forced, UNNATURAL breathing. IT’S AN UNNECESSARY INTERVENTION, FOLKS! A woman’s body is perfectly pure and magical, whatever it’s doing in any moment is the absolute thing it needs to be doing…even if it’s killing her because, don’t forget, death happens sometimes.

  • Captain Obvious

    Can you watch tv while breast feeding? I mean CNN or movies like WWZ might disrupt the relationship.

    • KarenJJ

      Good grief I even read a book when trying to breastfeed mine. No wonder it didn’t work and they’re screwed up now and totally not bonded. There was a slightly worrisome bit where Mr Darcy got a bit stroppy and caused Lizzy some anger…

      • Klain

        I used to be able to read a book until they got to around 6 months and then they would reach a hand behind and try to grab the book, or thump the ipad. At least with a phone I can hold it out of reach.

      • Liz Leyden

        I wasn’t able to read while feeding mine until I got a cheap tablet. With the Kinde App and my local library webpage, it has been awesome.

    • Ainsley Nicholson

      I wonder what they would think of my reading Dr Amy’s blog while breastfeeding?

      • Amy H

        Haha do you have to wonder?

      • Happy Sheep

        You might as well feed them poison – I mean formula. All those “science and evidence based facts” will just ruin everything.

    • Liz Leyden

      My kids have eaten (formula) while watching Saturday Night Live. Shaun the Sheep, My Little Pony, 1960s tv Batman, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. They will probably be scarred for life.

  • Guest

    I wanted to comment on the original story: “What a crock of shit.” But I stopped myself. Please praise me.

    I am very proud of the fact I can dress a toddler, shop, cook dinner, take a conference call, answer e-mails and text my friend all while nursing. I consider these things achievements! But OH NOS! It’s not enough! I am supposed to stop every two hours to regulate my breathing and stare lovingly at my infant. What dangerous, stupid advice. No human being could ever live up to this, and what’s more, it’s not good for the kid. When a baby is sick I will spend that kind of time with her but when she’s healthy she gets to roll with the rest of the family.

  • Carolyn the Red

    OK, really, I don’t get it. Breastfeeding is simultaneously so simple one doesn’t need to fully wake up at night to do it while co-sleeping, and so difficult that reading while doing so shouldn’t be done at the same time. Which is it?

    • sdsures

      I’d want to be fully awake so I don’t suffocate the kid accidentally.

  • MaineJen

    …so now we’re BREATHING WRONG???
    The sanctimommies are starting to sound like my ex-husband.
    What about watching TV while you breastfeed? They would probably faint dead away if I told them I did that. Never mind that the baby has fallen asleep while feeding; you still have to spend those 40+ minutes gazing adoringly at him. Because…hormones.

    • Carolina

      I need research on Facebooking will nursing. That was my MO for a while. Is my child so damaged that she’ll never get into college at all, or can I hold out hope for a third rate state school? Help!

      • Jennifer2

        What about reading lactivist blogs and LLL articles about ways to increase your supply while nursing? Or watching 30 Rock while nursing? I definitely struggled to regulate my breathing during those activities, either because I was sobbing because I was such a shitty mom or because I was trying to stifle laughter to avoid waking a sleeping baby (didn’t work; startle reflex was so adorable).

  • Renee

    The NCBers and BF pushers really want us to be nothing more than gestating, delivering, and feeding machines. ANd they cannot even let it be easy or fun!

  • I’m kind of angry that they are equating texting with PTSD symptoms. I have PTSD and texting is not the same thing, at all. Jesus. I’m also sure that if someone complained that breastfeeding gave them abuse flashbacks or something (not super uncommon in survivors of CSA) this same person would tell them they have to breastfeed no matter what. Its nonsense.

  • violinwidow

    What are the older children to do? Especially knowing as we do that toys stomp a child’s imagination into dust and no crunchy mommy worth her salt would ever allow a toy into her home, the older children must be bored to death.

    • Mishimoo

      Bored to death? No, no, you have it all wrong. It’s the glorious creation of superior imagination through better bonding with Mother Nature. As you feed the baby, so Nature feeds your child’s mind.

  • Gene

    What would they have done seeing me walking down the aisles at Home Depot with a babe attached to my boob. Multi-tasking!

    Ironically, most crunchy websites I’ve visited use the term NAK freely and almost as a brag. For those who don’t know, NAK is shorthand for “nursing at keyboard”.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      What would they have done seeing me walking down the aisles at Home Depot with a babe attached to my boob. Multi-tasking!

      OK, you are nursing while distracted, BUT you are also nursing in public, which makes it ok overall. It’s not quite enough of a conundrum to make their heads explode like the robot chicks on Star Trek when Spock confused them with contradictory logic.

      • Karen in SC

        there you go again, showing off your PCM cred!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Yeah, but that is more of geekdom than just PCM. I’ve used that reference in various situations in the past.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            You should start a sancti-nerd blog about how awesome you are for being so nerdy, and how sad you are for everybody else who doesn’t share your super sparkly nerd abilities.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I already am sad for those who don’t possess my knowledge of 80s song lyrics. All the cool people I know certainly do, or at least are competitive.

          • auntbea

            You and my husband. Pop culture quiz. To the death.

    • Rochester mama

      Also usually a brag to nurse in a sling while planting/harvesting/cooking organic kale, or cleaning using homemade concoctions that don’t actuall do anything.

    • me

      This is what confuses me: isn’t one of the “benefits” of bfing the fact that you have a free hand that you can do other things with (like text, type, eat lunch, read a book, etc) while feeding the baby? I would routinely eat dinner while feeding my baby, get up, pour her older sister a drink, and sit back down, without ever breaking latch…. Isn’t that supposed to be one of the more convenient aspects of nursing?

      But, yeah, I routinely have heart palpitations while playing angry birds on the ipad while nursing… just like when I flee from a sabre toothed tiger 😉

      • Amy M

        That’s just what they tell women who are considering using bottles, to reel them in. Then, when they are snared, they berate them for attempting to have a life outside of being a food source for baby.

        • Lisa the Raptor

          Oh and forget about the joy that baby and Daddy have while looking into each others eyes over a bottle. My husband LOVED his special bottle time when I was out or wanted some time to myself. But who cares what he wants and who cares that all three of my babies smiled at him, the bottle nipple in their mouth, the same way that they smiled at me while I was nursing. Pshaw!

          • Lisa the Raptor

            These people are really oblivious to how adaptive and smart humans are. We can choose to love and bond and can do these things in a plethora of different ways. In the end, unless there is abuse, they are all going to be OK. They really will.

      • Lisa the Raptor

        Yes, it is. I could nurse and do dishes, nurse and drag a toddler to bed, nurse and pee or shower if need be. My kids must be little psychos

  • Clarissa Darling

    Seriously, when did it become a requirement that children get ALL of their parent’s (especially mom’s) undivided attention? Since NCB types love to harken back to days of old, consider my great grandma….she raised 6 kids on a farm that started out with few modern conveniences. Do the math–6 kids, cows to milk, all meals made from scratch, clothing sewn by her, house kept clean. Frankly I’m surprised she had time to stop and introduce herself to her children! Oh my poor Grandma and her siblings all grew up to be unattached and emotionally scarred…..oh wait, no they didn’t!

    • KarenJJ

      Same – and the babies hated being taken to the cow shed and stuck in the pram so they were shut up in their cot in the house while she did the milking.

      • Clarissa Darling

        I wonder if you could milk a cow while breast feeding and if this would be preferable to texting? It’s pretty comical these ladies think there was some idyllic time before technology when nothing got in the way of the bond between mother and infant. Our foremothers ran their households without electricity and running water much less cell phones. Great Grandma might not have gone to an office but, this doesn’t mean she didn’t have a demanding job which left her with little time to take deep breaths and gaze adoringly at her children.

        • Sue

          I LOVE the idea of lactating while stealing a cow’s breast milk away from her calf….beautiful juxtaposition!

    • Lisa the Raptor

      My mother always told me the story of my Great Grandma, who had twin boys. When the boys were about crawling age she’d have to go out a milk the cows or gather wood and she could not leave them alone so she placed the bed post on the tip of each on boy’s nightgown. With one boy on each side and able to only sit up and play with toys she placed in front of them she was able to get all her work done. And the boys were unable to harm themselves or the other baby. Kinda genius and totally unacceptable in this day and age. My neighbor used to tell me about putting her baby on a blanket on the ground while they picked beans in the garden and coming back to find the baby red as a beat. These people are oblivious to history.

      • Young CC Prof

        As far as I can tell, pretty much all human societies tied on their babies for ease of transportation, and in some fashion tied up or caged their toddlers. My uncle got his outdoor time harnessed to the clothesline for a while.

        • Mishimoo

          My Great-Uncle had to be harnessed because he kept trying to wander off. His first experience of exploring at 2-3 years old ended with him being given a treat and lots of attention at the police station, so he kept trying to get out of the yard for more sweets from the nice policemen.

        • MaineJen

          OMG, I need to get in on this. My daughter is one of those “wandering” babies. Sneaky, too. She’ll wait until my back is turned, and then off like a shot. What I wouldn’t give for a good harness… 😉

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            My brother was like that too. He used to get lost everywhere we went. Sometimes he would try and talk me into going with him, but usually I knew better. I think I only got lost with him twice.

    • Mel

      My mother-in-law had to juggle taking care of one baby and one toddler while milking cows twice a day. With her oldest son, the cows were in a stanchion barn and she would clean two cows, retrieve the toddler from the center gutter he had fallen in, clean two more cows, pull the toddler out of a stall, repeat ad nauseum. When my husband came along, they had built a milking parlor with the cows raised above the workers, so there was a triangular area below in which the milkers worked. (The infamous “Trigon” design was popular for exactly 3 years.) The baby stayed in a playpen; the toddler was tethered to a central location where they were less likely to be stepped on or have a cow poo on them.

  • mollyb

    I remember my mom telling me she would laugh whenever she saw a picture of a mother in her dressing gown, serenely nursing her baby. Meanwhile, she nursed me while screaming at my brother to cut it out and stop coloring on the wall or whatever. I was a good mom, though. I breastfeed while watching TV.

    • Zornorph

      As long as you are watching The Business Of Being Born…

      • AmyP

        I did that last fall–plus the sequels. I think I may even have watched BOBB the afternoon after I came home from the hospital with my baby.

        • Gene

          I’m a bad mom. I watched Dexter, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad…

          • Jenna

            So sorry that your baby’s going to be a drug addict. You really should have been watching hospital dramas. Then he or she would grow up to be a doctor.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh! So I’ll have 1 doctor and 2 detectives without any other effort on my part? Awesome 😀

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            Well, the baby could end up a serial killer, an alcoholic adulterer, or a drug addict. Or a successful crime scene investigator, a rich ad executive, or a genius chemist. Depends on what lessons you take home from each show!

          • KarenJJ

            By this logic my eldest might become a doctor or investigator, whereas my second is going to become a muppet.

          • Jennifer2

            That might be worse in their world. You should only watch home birth videos on YouTube. That way your baby will grow up to appreciate the beauty of home birth and maybe become a doula or CPM. Also resolves the issue of what to do with the older kids because they will love watching birth videos too. Good family bonding time.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I remember being the “remote control” for my mom while she nursed my brothers. I changed channels for her.

      • Carol

        Ha, ha, this reminds me of back in the day when I would BF close enough to the TV to change the channel with my toes. I was very glad to be able to BF, but after awhile it’s just boooring. (Whoa, did I type that out loud??? :)) Tablets and smartphones and the like are a big improvement on trying to prop up some book to occupy the time. Oh, yes, when I wasn’t taking care of the other kids while nursing the baby, like any other sensible mom.

        • Elaine

          I broke down and bought an e-reader when my daughter was small and I was spending a lot of time trying to hold a book open with one hand while nursing.

  • Zornorph

    While I am feeding my LO (formula! horrors!), I don’t stare deeply into his eyes. He’s usually looking at the bottle or the ceiling light, anyway. I’ve been watching WWII documentaries on Youtube. Yeah, I know, probably putting ‘bad energy’ out around him. And I had to wonder, because yesterday when he had the hiccups, some reflex was making him do the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute with his right arm over and over. I have turned my son into a Nazi with my youtube viewing. All others, learn from my error.

    • Amy M

      Mine were always obsessed with ceiling fans….

      • AmyP

        It’s like a BIG mobile.

    • MaineJen

      Ceiling light = great big boobie in the sky

    • wookie130

      Zornorph, my daughter does the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute with her right arm repeatedly also…often while taking her bottle. What the heck IS this? I don’t watch WWII documentaries on YouTube…so I’m not sure it’s Nazi-behavior, so to speak.

      • MaineJen

        It’s the “jousting” posture of the newborn, possibly; one arm tucked up under the head/neck, the other flung out to the side. I noticed both my kids doing it while they slept, not so much when they ate. And I totally forget where I read about this, but I know it’s a “thing.” Anyone else know about this? Docs?

        • araikwao

          It’s the ATNR (asymmetric tonic neck reflex): emerges by 3 months, integrated by …?6mo, i think, and should never be obligatory.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      …You know, I was wondering why this site was giving me an “Israel Bonds” banner ad on the sidebar. Well played, Google.

  • slandy09

    If I hadn’t been able to text, read, surf the web, etc. during those first six weeks of marathon nursing sessions, I would have gone mad. Doing those things kept me sane.

    My mom read while nursing us. We turned out just fine, and incidentally, all love reading 🙂

    • Bombshellrisa

      Someone told me the APA says babies shouldn’t be exposed to any kind of television before age two. You are supposed to stare down at your child, calmly and peacefully, while they nurse. Which is great in theory. But it hurt my neck and I needed something to get me through those endless feedings. Old Britcoms helped and at least made me laugh a little.

      • Jenna

        I’ve got a new-ish born and I’m addicted to Friends and King of Queens right now. Turning on one of those shows is almost as effective as a Xanax for my postpartum depression/panic issues.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    You know, THESE are the types of posts that I wish would come with the “This is sarcasm” disclaimer.

  • onerose03

    Ha – maybe you have to be a sanctimommy for texting and social media to put you into a fight or flight state!

    • theadequatemother

      if TEXTING puts you into a flight or flight state, how would you cope with life?

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      She doesn’t know at all what she is talking about. There is no all or nothing in the fight or flight state anyway. You are always at varying degrees between the two states. That is why it takes a while to calm down after you are almost in an accident or things like that. If it was on or off the feeling would go away right after the incident. Also, her description is not at all accurate. When I was in a symptomatic state for my hyperthyroid I would be in a constant flight or fight state from too many signals and it caused panic attacks. Have you ever heard of anyone having a texting panic attack?

  • anonymous

    I just want to thank you Amy for “planet boob.” I couldn’t help smiling when I read that.

    • Zornorph

      I want to live on Planet Boob. :p

      • Renee

        not if the lactofacists are there!

    • Jocelyn

      I laughed too. 🙂

  • Leica

    Reminds me, my mom came to help out after my second c-section because I had a toddler and my husband couldn’t take any time off work except the day of the birth. I’m nursing baby and reading a book. Mom looks over at me and sniffs that when she nursed me, she never read a book or watched TV – she looked at and talked to me instead. I told her, “yeah, but I was prettier and a better conversationalist than B_____.”

    • AmyP

      See, I think that distracting the baby from the business at hand can be a problem. Older babies, especially, are distractable. When my husband walks in the room, my 11-month-old tends to pull herself off and have a look at what he’s doing. At this point, she’s pretty much retired me from outside-the-house nursing (aside from a few half-hearted sucks), as there’s so much going on when we are on outings. A few weeks ago, I was trying to nurse her in church under a cover, and she gave me a series of bites. I think I’m being trained.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        But if she’s that much not into nursing, isn’t it a sign that you could just give it up?

        • AmyP

          1. I started to cut down about a month ago and found myself with a plugged duct/mastitis/whatever (it was in the evening, so the on-call doctor just phoned in a scrip for antibiotics, just in case). I don’t want to go there again.

          2. She’s still pretty into it first thing in the morning, before her nap and at bedtime and I like being able to get her to sleep so painlessly. (Not a good long-term plan, of course.)

          3. She’s slightly shortened her off-peak feedings at home and I’m encouraging her to do so. She’s also now refusing to have more than a few sucks if we’re not in our nursing lair at home. If I needed to, I could probably wean her pretty fast by just staying out all day. However, see #1.

          4. We live in a very hot climate, it was the end of the summer, and I didn’t want to accidentally dehydrate her.

          5. Since she’s turning 12-months-old in three weeks, what I’m shooting for is to switch her from breastfeeding to cow’s milk in a sippy, so that we won’t have to pay for formula, wash bottles or wean her from the bottle.

          • AmyP

            Oh, and to be quite honest, nursing has been my internet time for the past 11 months.

          • Mac Sherbert

            2. She’s still pretty into it first thing in the morning, before her nap and at bedtime and I like being able to get her to sleep so painlessly. (Not a good long-term plan, of course.)

            This so describes my 11 months old! She still wants to nurse when she’s ready to sleep (Any other time it’s a few sucks and then on to something else.) It is the easy way to get her to sleep and I know I don’t want to still be nursing her to sleep at 3, but it’s so hard to stop!

  • Lisa the Raptor

    what. NAK is the only way i got any time on the computer while i was breastfeeding. all of my sentences were lowercase such as this because I could not hold shift down. However, I could never nurse and drive but I have sat next to my rear facing infant and popped my boob in his/her mouth while in the back seat. Both of us stayed buckled and I managed because BFing led to really sizable tatas for me. That takes real talent.

    • Mom of 2

      I’ve done that, too. Saves time on road trips!

  • Dr Kitty

    Love it!
    According to the Sanctimommy author, the adrenal glands apparently just have an “on” or “off” switch, which is triggered by the depth and rate of breathing.
    Physiology fail.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      I wonder if this writer also believes in adrenal fatigue.

  • Happy Sheep

    What about watching TV or surfing the net while breastfeeding? Will they kill my baby too? What about commenting on Science and sensibility articles while feeding?

    • Are you nuts

      They really should put out a laminated list of “dos & donts”

      • KarenJJ

        With a few dozen blank spots on it so that you can keep adding to it when they shift the goal posts again.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    in the state so appropriately dubbed “feed and breed”

    First off, ick. I strongly dislike that image and its implications. Second, I managed to breastfeed for two years, with and without distractions, without once ever being at risk of running down a pedestrian or crashing my car while doing so. That’s the difference between texting while driving and texting while breast feeding.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Second, I managed to breastfeed for two years, with and without distractions, without once ever being at risk of running down a pedestrian or crashing my car while doing so.

      Logical error.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        You’re probably right, but how so?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          disregard – misread that last part (thought it said “driving while breastfeeding)

          Although I will note that, “I did it without incident, therefore it is safe” is a logical error, but that’s not quite what you did here.

  • Dr. Amy – the older children aren’t a problem because if you have the *right* kind of breastfeeding relationship ovulation has been suppressed until those older children are school aged. You know what I’m bugged about – the intrusion into other women’s lives and more specifically the reduction of women to reproductive beings alone -the republicans have nothing on the sanctimommies: they not only want in your panties, they want in your bra and in your mind too.

    • Happy Sheep

      The older ones are still nursing so they are probably on the other side until 7 or so, after that they just stare in wonder at their wombyn goddess mother.

    • Lifetip

      School aged? Please. Real, attached mamas do not “outsource their child’s education. They meet their child’s educational needs in the home”

      ^^Actual quote from a hilariously bad sanctimommy from a mommy message board I used to read.

      • Dr Kitty

        My kid is picking up Polish from the kids at nursery school. Apparently I’m outsourcing her education to a bunch of 4 years olds (my Polish consists of “cough”, “please” and “thank you “).

  • Jenny McLelland

    What about texting while pumping? I wonder if fight or flight bad juju impacts the pumped breast milk, such that the baby will just start texting willy nilly if it drinks the contaminated milk at a later time.

    • Awesomemom

      When I EPed for my eldest I would sit at the computer and read emails and such while I was pumping. My son would be in the bouncy seat on the floor where I could rock him with my foot. He turned out pretty good even if he is a bit of a nerdy kid. Maybe the computer contaminated milk caused that.

    • Amy M

      I think it does…you know, all those fight or flight hormones floating around. And we all know about hormones in milk… I mean, look at what happened when all those cows got BGH! People started turning into cows! And those evil schemers at Mon(ster)anto tried to cover that up and tell us it never happened and the cows only made more milk. Whatevs!

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      I used to dictate charts while pumping. I wonder what that did to my breastmilk sparkles.

      • Dr Kitty

        OOH me two!
        Handwriting charts with one hand while holding the pump with the other in an on call room at 2 Am takes SKILL.

        Since my kid could say “opthalmoscope” before she could say “granola” it’s obviously been horribly scarring.

        • Mom of 2

          If you are in this situation again in the future, get yourself a hands free pumping bra. That thing changed my life. TWO hands to text/write/read/eat/otherwise stay busy while pumping. Also probably doubling the damage to your baby, of course.

          • Dr Kitty

            Thankfully I now work as a locum GP and don’t have to work nights unless I want to.

            I’ve already decided that a double hands free pump is the only big piece of kit I’d buy for any putative second child.

      • Jennifer2

        If working while pumping affects the baby via changes in the magic breastmilk sparkles, what does working while pregnant do? I am seriously convinced that my son’s birth would have been faster and easier if he hasn’t realized that much of my work as a lawyer is in eviction defense. He knew I wasn’t going to force him out of his warm, cozy housing. And he knew his rights from hearing me advise clients and argue motions to dismiss. The answer is of course that all pregnant wombyn should choose to remain at home drinking kale smoothies and doing prenatal yoga. If they must work for income, appropriate work choices include doula, cloth diaper maker, organic hemp snack baker, and prenatal yoga instructor.

        • Amy M

          Oh, I am sure that’s why mine are identical twins. I work in a lab, so it must have been the scary chemicals that sanctimommies can’t pronounce that caused their embryo to split. If I’d just stayed home drinking kale smoothies, I wouldn’t have my two mutant freaks today. 🙂

        • Carol

          Oh, my gosh, Jennifer2 and PrimaryCareDoc… “breastmilk sparkles” Ha, ha, haaaaaaaa!

  • moto_librarian

    I’m surprised that Lamaze didn’t say that texting while breastfeeding is almost as bad as formula feeding. Because you know those of us who formula feed never pay the last bit of attention to our babies while feeding them. /snark

    • Amy M

      I built a robot to formula feed my babies. The neglect-o-bot.

      • jenny

        Have you considered starting a business?

      • Mom of 2

        I want one…

        • Amy M

          You can have mine, my “babies” will be in kindergarten next year. Of course I am shipping them off to school…in fact, I am trying to find boarding kindergarten in Switzerland. Nothing like outsourcing the child-rearing, you know….

  • auntbea

    Of course they cage their other children. Or perhaps let them run amok to be run over. Those “children” are no longer nurslings and therefore are no longer in need of parenting.

    Also, I was a pretty well-supervised only child. But still managed to give myself, a friend and most of my dolls a kindergarten-scissor haircut one afternoon (all but the friend’s were quite fetching, if I do say so myself.)