Mothers’ Need for Awareness of Dual Activity of Breastfeeding and Watching TV

In the contemporary world, in which technology pervades our lives, some mothers tend to soothe their babies through nursing while simultaneously watching television. Although this practice may not appear to affect the infant, studies show that it can in fact have dire repercussions on the baby's well-being, both in terms of physical health and mental growth. In this article, we will look at the possible reasons for this activity and its potential outcomes.

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Limiting Communication Between Mother and Baby

Breastfeeding is an invaluable opportunity for mother-child bonding. However, multitasking by watching TV while breastfeeding can diminish the quality of this bond. When the mother’s attention is divided, the child may not feel the love and affection that come from interacting with their mother. This lack of communication can have long-lasting effects on the child’s development, potentially leading to behavioral issues in the future. To foster a strong bond with their child, mothers are encouraged to engage in eye contact, smiles, gentle touches, and conversations while breastfeeding, creating a sense of comfort and safety.

Limit the communication between mother and baby

Impact on the Child’s Language Development

The practice of watching TV while breastfeeding or consistently doing so during child care can impede the child’s language development. When the mother diverts her attention to the TV instead of interacting with the child, the vital bond between them can be compromised. The child’s visual and auditory senses are stimulated by the mother’s verbal actions. Even though the child may not fully comprehend their surroundings, they can perceive emotions through their mother’s expressions. Therefore, if the mother’s focus is on TV or loud conversations while breastfeeding, it can directly impact the child’s mental health and future attitudes.

Impact on the child's language development

Sleep Disturbances

Although it is common practice to keep young children, especially infants, away from electronic screens, watching TV while breastfeeding still carries consequences. Even though the child may not comprehend the images and sounds from the TV, they remain attentive and heavily influenced by them. Frequent exposure to this scenario can lead to sleep disturbances, impacting the child’s mental and physical health. Loud noises from the TV during breastfeeding can startle the child. Moreover, during the crucial development stage, exposing the child to TV prematurely can cause fear and hinder brain development.

Sleep disturbances

Psychological Issues in Adulthood

Research from the University of California suggests that breastfeeding while using a phone increases the risk of children developing psychological issues in adulthood, such as depression and autism. This habit discourages interactive conversations and playtime, making the child more inclined towards silence. Consequently, this can distort the child’s perception of the world and negatively impact their long-term psychological well-being.

Psychological issues in adulthood

Recommendations for Appropriate TV Use by Children

Children under 18 months old: Prohibit electronic screen viewing

During this stage, it is crucial for mothers to restrict their child’s exposure to electronic devices. Engaging in TV or electronic screen viewing while breastfeeding can hinder brain development and strain the parent-child relationship. Physical contact, communication, and reading books are highly encouraged to foster optimal development.

Children under 18 months old: Prohibit electronic screen viewing

Children aged 2-5: Limit to 1 hour per day

During this stage, it is essential to prioritize activities that nurture the child’s creativity without relying heavily on electronic devices. Therefore, the maximum duration for TV viewing should be limited to 1 hour per day. It is also advisable to watch programs with minimal or no advertisements to prevent overstimulation. Parents can install applications that control content and monitor TV usage.

Children aged 2-5: Limit to 1 hour per day

Children 6 years and older: Limit the use of electronic devices

During this stage, controlled exposure to electronic devices is recommended. Parents should establish a clear schedule for their children, allocating specific times for various activities like school, homework, exercise, and communication. Parents should encourage creative learning without excessive reliance on TV or electronic devices.

Children 6 years and older: Limit the use of electronic devices

However, it is still important for families to set boundaries on game-playing and electronic device usage. Excessive game addiction can negatively impact learning and relationships within the family and with friends. Additionally, parents should delay their child’s access to social media, especially during adolescence, to protect them from online threats and negative influences on their behavior, both in the family and society.

What should mothers do when breastfeeding?

Source: VTCTube, UNICEF, and Tuoi tre newspaper – Updated on October 24, 2021.

Above, we have discussed the reasons why mothers should not breastfeed while watching TV and have provided recommendations for appropriate TV use by children. We hope this information proves valuable to you!

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