What are some activities that one can do whilst breastfeeding?

A quick Google turned up lists that boiled down to "watch TV" or "enjoy doing nothing".

I'm interested in some more creative solutions to feeling bored / limited by nursing.

  • I used to enjoy the excuse to have a break and would often feed lying down, so we could both drift off :)
    – user21179
    Oct 29, 2013 at 12:35
  • I wouldn't watch TV, at least not regularly. Background noise of TV does nothing to help language, and it makes it hard for the baby to understand people in the room who ARE speaking, which harms baby's language development.
    – swbarnes2
    Apr 27, 2015 at 17:36
  • My partner enjoyed taking a nap
    – BradF
    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:09
  • @swbarnes can you provide citation that multiple conversations would impair language development? If TV conversations don't help teach language (and they don't), neither do in-person background conversations that aren't directed towards the infant.
    – Acire
    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:46

6 Answers 6


You may end up getting a long list of answers, which isn't ideal on Stack Exchange, but my wife did the following:

  • watch TV
  • read books
  • listen to music

but also, kept going with our normal active life with pauses to feed:

  • hiking, then feeding on hilltops to appreciate the view
  • boating, on both punts and yachts

She found using a sling made this very easy. She could feed the baby in privacy while holding conversation at parties. She could even walk and feed at the same time, although this wasn't her preferred option.

Basically, if you can get comfortable with feeding easily, you can do it anywhere - which gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom. Don't let it stop you going places or seeing things, or socialising.


I liked to do quite a few different things while I was nursing the baby:

Listen to podcasts, meditate, draw, browse the internet or answer email, nap, call a friend, pump milk from the other side to store for later, fix a sandwich and eat it, write short notes in my journal.

Getting comfortable nursing the baby in a sling made a world of difference for me. Once I had it down, I could use my hands to do other things while she fed and we were able to be out and about with no problems. I even took her to work with me in the sling.

  • definitely slings! the Baby Bjorn type carriers are fine, but a sling gives much more flexibility.
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 31, 2013 at 8:56

Really there are an amazing number of things you can do while nursing if you use a sling and get used to it - even washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. I wouldn't suggest anything requiring vigorous and quick movements of course. I was skeptical of that idea, but the ladies at La Leche League have some things figured out (the group I met with was extremely liberal and I felt a little like I was surrounded by hippy granola women, but I learned a lot from them and look back on the few meetings I attended fondly). Most of the time, I graded papers, checked email, read in general. . . There was one time while I had my students out on a field experience, where I nursed and collected plant samples (with the students just around the corner with a camp counselor) I needed the samples for the next activity and I was nearly out of time, but little one had needs too.

It is also nice to read books TO your child. Consider the opportunity as a chance to check on their fingernails (which grow shockingly quickly) and sort of talk to and interact with the baby some too. I used to force myself to slow down and use the last nursing before I left for work and right after I got home to simply "baby gaze." It seems like it will be tedious, but it is actually really helpful with getting "tuned in" and as the baby develops more and becomes more interactive with you, you'll be glad you started the habit now.



talk on the phone.

knit or crochet (this requires careful arrangement with pillows).

with the right arrangement of pillows, you can even type on the computer.

(Note, not all mother/baby pairs can get perfectly comfortable with sling nursing.)


Visualize and plan what you'll do before the next feeding!
Read books on parenting or marriage
Write a note to your husband
Do 1 arm curls with light weights and switch arms next feeding
Feed at a table you can work on a puzzle


I took a course on EdX while nursing. It was perfect because it was more engaging than tv, and you get a chance to use your intellectual brain, which is sometimes a bit missed during maternity leave.

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