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Hospital Sparks Anger as Signs Tell New Parents to ‘Look at Your Baby, Not Your Phone’

Hospital Sparks Anger as Signs Tell New Parents to ‘Look at Your Baby, Not Your Phone’

A hospital has riled parents with a sign telling them to look at their baby and not their phone while they are feeding them, calling the sign sanctimonious and patronising.

Many parents say that while they enjoy feeding their baby, early parenthood can be a lonely and isolating time and their mobile gives them valuable contact with the outside world.

The poster has also been shared on the Milk and Motherhood Facebook page, where it’s been criticised as ‘shaming and guilt-inducing’.

“So tell me: For how many hours of every day should we stare adoringly at our babies in order to be deemed a ‘good mother’?” asked the page, sharing a picture of the laminated sign.

“If my baby feeds 10 times a day for 45-60minutes, must I gaze at him the entire time to ensure that he develops appropriately?”

“When I have no family here and no strong friendships, but a Facebook group of new mothers reduces my anxiety and isolation, should I not? For those hours upon hours upon hours, every day, every week, every month, should I just stare at my baby?

“This was created by someone who did not have a baby during the era of smartphones. You can’t tell me that mothers beforehand did this. They read books, read trashy magazines, did crosswords, were on the phone to their friend, watched Days of our Lives.”

Over 200 parents have commented on the post, most of them agreeing with the sentiment.

One said: “How is a mobile phone different from reading a book, watching TV, cooking dinner (yep did that) waiting in a queue (yep did that too), helping a toddler toilet, sleeping, working on the computer, talking on a landline….. this is just ageist and bullshit.”

“I’m on my phone right now with my 16 month old asleep on my boob. Should I stare at him whilst he sleeps, too? Some people are just such judgemental arses. We are all doing our best and that is good enough, no one needs someone to add extra guilt or pressure, we all already do that to ourselves enough.” added another.

“I get the importance of connection with your child, and not ignoring them in order to look at your phone. But honestly, what do they think phones are for – sometimes I used to use those 20 minutes of breastfeeding peace in the middle of a busy and fun-filled day to pay bills and do an online shop on my phone! (and then go onto Facebook and look for help on sleep)”

It really is all about moderation. No mother would ignore their lovely baby smiling up at them wanting to interact while they feed, but that is not the reality of feeding all the time. The little ones usually keep their eyes shut and doze. Plus the comic sans font and the way the sign is written just naturally rubs people the wrong way.

As another mum succinctly put it:

“Phones can get in the way of being present with your baby/child but not when they’re asleep feeding for a gazillion hours a day!”

What do you think?


Source: Facebook/Milk and Motherhood


Jill is a busy wife and mother of four young children. She loves nothing more than making people giggle, and loves to settle in with a glass of wine (or four) and wander about the internet. Feel free to follow her to see all the cool stuff she finds!

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