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!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Seems to me we humans have been breastfeeding our babies for thousands of years without the need for accessories – especially ones we have to pay for.
    I’m with you – human touch is of paramount importance to our little ones, and cannot in any way be replaced by artificial substitutes.

  2. Hmm, think I might be in the minority here, but I love my necklace. I paid £18 for it and I don’t think that was too expensive for what it is, I have paid more, a lot more for necklaces (and after I finish breastfeeding I have a lovely funky necklace to wear!)
    I have only had mine a week and a bit, and I mainly wear it when we are out and about, I don’t wear it to feed Boo when we are at home, (I am a bit less concerned about not showing myself off to the world so I am more relaxed) and she tends to put her hand in my mouth at the minute or pat a freckle I have on my chest, or when she is tired lay her arm up on my chest and almost on to my neck, pressing her hand and arm on to my skin, which is amazingly adorable (another perk of breastfeeding!).
    I have tried holding her hand or offering her my thumb and she did like that when she was little, but has grown out of that. She will bat my hand away if I try to hold her hand now! She does like to have my full attention when she is feeding so my ‘spare’ hand is usually resting on her belly or thigh.
    I think the necklaces might be another one of those marmite baby products, you either love or you hate? Boo hated her Moses basket and never slept in it, waste of money, but I have met other babies who were happy to sleep in there for ages. It’s a case of finding what works for you and your baby. And when I am feeding her out and about when it’s really busy our necklace really helps her to feed. (I don’t want to have to sneak off the a quite place/toilet to feed her and I definitely don’t want her to not feed and be hungry/cranky.)
    Also what I have found with mine is that she uses it as a bit of teething toy, only when I am wearing it obviously. When she is sat on my knee or I am carrying her she will grab it and bite the wooden beads so that’s a bonus which I wasn’t expecting. I know that babies do this with all necklaces and it’s not because it’s a specially designed breastfeeding or whatever necklace but it’s nice that I know that it’s safe for her to chew on.

  3. I love the idea of getting them to hold your thumb instead. I’ve just bought a breastfeeding necklace to see if it helps keep Sophie focused more on feeding when out and about and although she seems to be having fun with it, and it’s very pretty, I think we could have easily managed with out it as well!

  4. Totally agree! I’d like a necklace generally that could pull off without breaking if Toby grabbed it whilst playing etc, but not one specific for breastfeeding. Sadly, we’re only having 2 or 3 feeds a day now but those times are so special to us both and Toby gently rests his hand on my breast with his under arm wrapped around my arm. It’s so personal and I adore it xx

  5. I am pretty sure that my Mum has a heap of chunky beads. I’m sure I could make myself something that Jaxon could hold onto for a fraction of the price. Having said that he often grabs onto the neck line of my t-shirt or the nearest chunk he can grab. Another thing he does is to hold his own hands. But I am going to try thumb thing starting now as he needs a feed.

  6. I don’t have one, but I’ve wanted one since I heard about them. Only to save my face and chest from scratches. At this point, I’m going to skip out because my son is almost done nursing, and I suppose we’ve done just fine without. The thumb holding sounds really sweet though. My son held my hand today for the first time during a feed. Makes me want to never stop. So darling!
    Tarynn Playle recently posted…Easy Dessert the Kiddies Can MakeMy Profile

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