No, I'm not talking about hooter-hiders, pumps, or even the perfect nursing bra (does one even exist?). I'm talking about my smart phone. My iPhone, to be exact.
Obviously this is not a required device for breastfeeding (Apple isn't that good), but it has made my nursing experience more enjoyable this time around.
For those of you who've ever breastfed, you know how much of a sacrifice it can be. Not that I don't love being able to provide the nourishment my baby needs from my own body--I absolutely do. It's so much more convenient for me than having to mess with mixing up bottles of formula, not to mention the cost-saving benefits and the bond it builds between mama and baby.
But breastfeeding can also be a challenge. Only you can provide your baby with the milk she needs--which means feeding her on demand for at least the first 3-4 months until solids are introduced.
And there's only so much you can do while holding and nursing your baby.
Although I have managed to push a shopping cart, eat dinner, work on my computer, read Steinbeck's East of Eden (not all in one sitting), sleep, and even made an attempt at crocheting once, it can still feel pretty immobilizing. And when there are days that I go without seeing, let alone speaking, to another adult, sometimes updating my status on Facebook really does help keep me from going mad.
With my iPhone, I feel more connected to the outside world--I can find inspiration from other mamas on the web. I can chat with my girlfriends or my husband while he's at work. I can read about what's going on in the world or watch the latest viral video on YouTube. I can find out what my friends are doing across town or across the country. And I can take photos of my kids running circles around me while I'm taking the time to feed the baby.
Now would losing my iPhone ever affect my choice to breastfeed? No way! I love holding Amelia and feeding her, being the only one who can always soothe her crying.
I absolutely cherish this time I have with her while she's so little. With a seven-year-old who's half-way there to the teenage years, I know how fast time with Amelia (and the other two) will go. So I'll gladly nurse her for as long as I can. But I'll also enjoy the excuse to read my Google Reader while I do!
How about you? What life-saving tools do you use to keep your sanity in the throes of motherhood?
**This post was written over the course of four days, often while holding Amelia. Oh, and although I wish, I was in no way paid by Apple to endorse the iPhone.**