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Parents Are Annoyed by a Hospital Poster Shaming Them for Looking at Their Phones

Image Credit: Twitter

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There are questions we all have to answer in this day and age about how much, how often, when and where we choose to pick up our phones. Sometimes we’re reading emails from work, or answering texts from friends or family or looking up a recipe for dinner, and other times we might be scrolling through Facebook or keeping up with the latest snark on the news on Twitter.

The truth is that your kids have no idea what the difference is – they see you staring at your phone and they know you’re not paying attention to them, full stop.

It’s complicated, and we all have to decide for ourselves what we want technology in our homes to look like.

The personal nature of those choices is probably why new parents want to snarl at a hospital poster suggesting they’re going to screw up their brand-new bundle by picking up their phones instead of staring lovingly into their sleeping (or screaming) faces.

Even worse – this was posted in a U.K. version of a NICU, meaning that the parents there spend long, stressful hours waiting for the day they can take their child home.

And, if they’re anything like me (who had a healthy, if pissy, newborn), most of the things they’re staring at on their device are answers to panicked questions about all things baby and motherhood.

The sign reads “Mummy and Daddy, Please look at ME when I am feeding. I am much more interesting than your phone!!”

Surely, the person who wrote it intended it as a reminder of the importance of bonding, but it definitely comes across as shaming in a place where added stress is the very last thing anyone needs.

During those long, late hours spent feeding, worrying, and just disconnected from the real world in general, our devices can be like a lifeline to other people – something not to be discounted, even if moderation is obviously key.

The Yeovil District Hospital responded to the outcry with a statement:

β€œThese posters were created by our Special Care Baby Unit nurses following UNICEF baby-friendly accreditation training and have been in place for a few months. They are intended to be used only within the context of the unit, where we support mums of premature or very poorly babies in building a healthy connection.”

Twitter clapbacked at that as well…

Which is fine, but someone should definitely work on their wording. A simple statement about the importance of bonding with premature infants would have sufficed.

Postpartum is a hard enough time, and we’re already questioning literally everything we’re doing – the last thing new parents need is the hospital staff pouring on more of the same.

What do you think? Good reminder or should the hospital just mind their own business?

Let us know in the comments!