Smart phones, MP3 players, Tablets/pads, notebook/netbook/laptop, go cameras, drones, self-sanitizing electric toothbrushes, Bluetooth, wifi hotspots, high-tech watches and pedometers, laser keyboards, and the list just goes on! Let’s face it, we love our gadgets!
If nothing else, the 21st century has brought us technology that keeps advancing and makes life a bit more interesting, er… distracting. Some devices truly make life a bit easier and more pleasant: Blenders that can pulverize ice and puree anything with the tap of a button, washing machines that can pre-treat, pre wash, and steam clean, and even babies have it better too! Now there are baby swings that sense when the baby stirs and they gently rock her back to sleep! Where was this when my kids were teeny? As I was walking among the aisles of bottle steamers and wipe warmers, a thought occurred to me:
“In a world of gadgets and gizmos galore, is Breastfeeding too simplistic?”
At least half of the breastfeeding moms I interact with pump daily, and many of them want a pump available to them while still waddling around pregnant. Now don’t get me wrong, a good hand or electric pump has its place in the mommy world, but do we automatically think of pumping when we think of breastfeeding? Should they be associated with each other so naturally? I actually wonder if moms aren’t comfortable with the concept: all they need is the baby and the boob. Nothing else is necessary to properly feed your baby. I’m pretty sure that’s a strange concept to the younger generation, and maybe that’s also why having bottles, nipples, and warmers involved with the feeding process feels more comfortable to us. We want the tangibles. We want the extra steps of measuring, mixing, and checking the temp. We want to SEE what exactly is going into the baby’s tummy, because trusting ourselves and the inherent process of nursing is too mysterious for us. Precision is the name of the game, and breastfeeding is anything but precise.
I am of the belief that all these devices can be absolutely helpful,... but sidetracking. I think we need to pause and take a break from the “tools” and soak in the quiet, focused moments of watching your baby eat, listening to him swallow and breathe, and enjoy every touch to your face his tiny fingers make while he scrupulously looks at you. That is what motherhood is made up of. I can almost guarantee you won’t be warmly looking back on your memories of pumping alone in a room while trying not to spill a drop of your expressed milk. The small, fleeting moments with our baby in the quiet peace of nursing; that’s what leaves a lasting impression.
How has pumping been implemented into your breastfeeding experience?
What are your thoughts on the pumping vs. nursing experience?