PIC: Early motherhood visualised in one - shocking - bar chart


Moms everywhere are familiar with the time sink that is breastfeeding.

We find ways to entertain ourselves while we nurse our babies, and popular methods include gazing lovingly at their little heads, watching series, reading, catching up on social media, messaging friends and playing games on our phones.

But however we spend that time, it is time we can't use for much else. Self care, for example, becomes a luxury, work is an impossibility for a while, and the concept of 'free time' is a distant memory. 

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We know that life with a baby is significantly different to life prior to becoming a mom, but for the first time we have a visual representation. 

Mom Caitlin Hudon is also a Lead Data Scientist at a US clinical learning platform. She combined her passion for data with the information she gathered during her first few months as a new mom, and, well as Fast Company phrased it: 

Early motherhood is hell. This chart proves it.

Breastfeeding: allocation of time

Source: Twitter

The chart illustrates the time Caitlin spends breastfeeding, and then doing other things - such as cooking, cleaning, eating, laundry, washing, caring for the baby, working and the ever-elusive 'free time'. 

She explains "You can think of this viz as like an 'average' of my days, cleaned up a little (since nursing can turn into sleeping can into nursing, for example). So timing of everything on here shifted day-to-day, but the overall patterns and time spent hold true."  

In short, she describes:

Pre-baby: so much free time
Month 1: feeding a baby is literally a full-time job
Month 2: finding a groove, but still, so much nursing
Month 3-4: truly the definition of *grind* to balance work with pumping/nursing and caring for baby
Month 5-6: finally a groove plus free time

In another, more simple, visualisation, she explained: "If anyone would like to really understand the commitment required to breastfeed please see the dataviz below.  It is a commitment of love, but a true commitment of time too.

She urges partners to "please take time to extra appreciate your breastfeeding significant other."

Breastfeeding: it's a whole thing

Source: Twitter

Caitlin also explained that she was only able to breastfeed "because I'm well-supported at work (with a mother's room and the ability to mold my schedule so that I can take pumping breaks as needed), and at home (my husband does *a lot* so that I'm not nursing AND diapering AND cleaning (etc)."

See the whole thread here:

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