There has been a growing fashion over the last decade for buying breastfeeding necklaces. They hadn’t hit my radar when I was feeding Indie, but I’ve noticed them being mentioned and used much more now I’m frequenting the interweb more regularly, being a blogger and all.
I was starting to feel left out. Was this item an essential breastfeeding accessory to my parenting journey that I was missing out on? Did my baby need to have a breastfeeding necklace to stimulate her visionary skills, to help her feed longer, to progress her fine motor skills? This was beginning to sound like an essential breastfeeding product, and how could I call myself a devoted breastfeeding Mum without one?
These are big claims that the companies that produce and sell these breastfeeding necklaces make and I’m sure that you’ll find a significant amount of reviews across on the internet and beyond either hailing or refuting them. I’ve not read them and I’ve never tried breastfeeding jewellery, and here’s why.
Recently my little one has begun to explore with her hands. Sometimes she grips my boob like a jug in an effort to get more milk out. Other times you can see it’s her just checking out, ‘yes, that’s the milk machine’ before she opens her mouth and aims for the target. Babies instinctively use their hands to help them identify where the boob is as well as smelling and seeing it, I’m not sure bringing a breastfeeding necklace into the equation is incredibly helpful.
When Brook’s hands start to wonder I encourage her to hold onto my thumb. It’s something I remember instinctively doing with Indies when she was a baby and we both found it really calming and helpful to the bonding process. They are my most striking memories of nursing her. Her hands, and all baby’s hands, clench when they are hungry and as they come to the end of their feed they begin to relax. Because of the initial clenching, getting them to hold your thumb should be fairly easy to do.
Settling down to nurse her and having her wrap her little fingers around my thumb put us both in the feeding zone. It would help fix my attention instead of playing on my phone or being drawn into the TV and it would help her settle into her feed for as long as she needed to.
To have your little person hold onto your hand ever so tightly certainly amplifies the rewards of motherhood, the satisfaction that you’re not only feeding them but also calming them and helping them focus.
We know so much about the benefit of touch these days, skin to skin is considered an essential part of the birthing process and beyond. Even us grown ups feel the effects it has on our health and well being, how soothing it is when we are upset, stressed or scared. Most of us will have held somebody’s hand during labour, and just that one simple gesture will have swept away the fear and pain of childbirth (well almost).
I think I’m going to give the breastfeeding necklace a miss, I think it may be a little over sold and under achieving. I have decided that my thumb is an incredible breastfeeding accessory. It has helped and helps my baby relax into her feeds until she is ready to stop and helps our growing bond to strengthen and develop. So before you rush out and buy a breastfeeding necklace, when you feed our baby, when you cradle them in your arms, try letting them hold your thumb and see if it makes a difference. I promise you, you’ll both enjoy it!
I was not compensated for the writing of this post and I did not receive a free thumb to review!