Modern Mothercraft has a lot to say about "nursing". I'll blog more about that later, including the recommended diet for nursing mothers. Of interest to me today, though, was the advice about the importance of quiet while my baby girl feeds. It says we should be in a quiet room, and that she should have my complete attention. Why? Because "listening to a loud radio programme, or even the mere fact of talking or reading a book may alter the flow of mother's milk." My first thought on reading this was: I feed my baby so often, wouldn't that be a little boring? Mothercraft has an answer to that, too. In case I wasn't already feeling guilty about wanting to do other things while feeding, it gives me another whack with the guilt stick by saying that by nursing in silence "the world would be a happier place for both mothers and babies." Apparently, this is especially important when the mother is 'excitable'. If the authors of the book think a loud radio is a problem, I hate to think what they'd have to say about feeding in front to TV or while surfing the net. Or, doing both at once. Plus, in the early days of feeding when it was hard and sore, that line about making the world a happier place probably would have made me want to throw the book across the room.
After reading that section I decided to take the book's advice a few times. Unless it's the middle of the night I usually read or watch TV, but today I tried to feed her as per the recommendations. The first time, I noticed a giant spiderweb in the corner of the room. I also wondered if I am 'excitable', and whether that was just 1945 language for 'poor attention span'. The second time, I noticed that the roots of my baby girl's hair are getting blonder and enjoyed gazing adoringly at her for the duration of the feed. I even congratulated myself for having the most beautiful baby in the world, completely objectively speaking of course.
The third time I remembered the advice Mum gave me when I was pregnant, that nursing is an excellent time to spend with your baby, and that it should be savored. Especially when you're surrounded by people and want some time out. I've decided I agree with this: this experiment was a nice reminder to stay still and enjoy those moments more. But, given I feed every three hours, I am sure that trying to sit still in silence only a few of those times will suffice. The last time I fed my baby, I was watching a movie. Given my baby's subsequent sleep, I'm pretty sure that the milk wasn't compromised by what I was doing with my eyes while nursing. Or maybe that's just my way of justifying doing other activities while nursing because I really am terribly 'excitable'.