baby girl

This is a guest post by my friend, Amy, who recently had a baby girl about the struggles of adapting to a new baby in the house

I just had a baby girl and I’m going to talk about my life as a brand new mother. One thing I’m trying to adapt to is numerous sleepless nights because the baby wakes up mostly during overnight hours and either my husband and I will get up and hold and feed her. By the time the morning arrives, I’m so sleepy that I can barely get up. If that’s not difficult enough, my two older sons continue to beg for their favorite breakfast of oatmeal, sugar and berries but I have to tend to the baby and change her diaper. Meanwhile, my husband is engrossed in his home office, but he does help as much as he can before starting his assignments for the day.

baby girl

She’s cute but a lot of work!

Romance Is Slipping Away

My husband and I used to have quite a few date nights and we would drop our two sons off at my in-laws’ house, but now that the baby is here, there isn’t a lot of time for romance. This doesn’t mean that the romance has completely left us, but we had to cut back on our alone time. My husband decided to put in more work hours so that I can remain home with the children and I’m grateful to him for making the sacrifice. I just wish we had more time alone as a couple.

My Emotions Are Bouncing Around

I won’t say that I’m depressed and in fact I’m overwhelmed with joy about my baby girl. However, I think about the ups and downs that await me as I raise her in the next 17 or 18 years. The challenges for girls today are different from the ones I faced as a girl and I’m sometimes scared of what could happen to her as she enters school and society at large. I just want the best for her and I hope that I will be the best parent to her.

I Can’t Hang Out With Friends As Much

Since I’ve been spending a lot of time with the baby and my other children, my friends do not see me as much as they used to before the baby arrived. I also noticed that some of my friends have pulled away from me assuming that I don’t want to maintain the friendship but this is not true. I try to call my friends at least once or twice a week to let them know how my life is going and to inquire about them.

Physical Changes

I sometimes struggle with confidence in my appearance since I gained weight during the pregnancy. My husband loves me for the person I am on the inside and he has no trouble with the way I look but I criticize myself at times. I put myself on a reasonable diet which includes fish, chicken, turkey, fruits and vegetables. I’ve been also drinking more water and natural fruit juices.

I’m experiencing different changes following the baby’s birth, but with help from others and determination, I believe it will all turn out great.

So we all know that breast milk is best for babies. What many don’t know is that breastfeeding is also best for mommies. So this time I’m sharing the 10 reasons why I love breastfeeding from a mother’s point of view.

1. It’s a no-brainer. If you’re a “lazy” mom like I am, who hates having to wash all those bottles and trying to read mixing instructions and trying to figure out what a scoop of formula exactly is, then breastfeeding is a sanity saver. All you need is one boob and one baby and you’re good to go!

2. Instant quiet time. I have to confess there are times I’m too exhausted to get up in the wee hours of the morning to change a nappy. I buy myself instant quiet time by simply popping out a boob, giving me a few precious minutes to snap out from dreamland before I have to get up and be able to change the nappy. This works for almost any screaming situation and most meltdowns too. Latch baby on for a few minutes, chances are he will instantly calm down enough to allow you to figure out exactly what he needs.

3. No need to break a sweat. Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day. That’s like swimming or running for an hour. So even without getting on a treadmill, you still lose a lot of your post-partum weight. Consider breastfeeding your sweat-free workout.

4. Breast milk is an all-in-one balm. I’ve used breast milk on insect bites, rashes and even minor scrapes and scratches, and not just on baby, but on everyone in my household, hubby’s zits included. It also works as an all natural moisturizer. I once had a cup of expressed milk my toddler didn’t want to drink, I used it for a DIY foot soak. Did wonders for my cracked heel.

5. Free anti-oxidant. Breastfeeding cuts a mother and female infant’s risks of breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfed babies also have lower risks for leukemia and lymphoma. We have a strong history of cancer in my family. For this reason alone, I’d like to breastfeed forever.

6. More freedom to go wherever. Since I’m one of those moms who really don’t care what you think when you see me breastfeeding, I have the freedom to go wherever. Like I’ve said, all you need is one boob and one baby and you’re good to go. No need for bottles and formula and water, you get to up and go at a moment’s notice.

7. It’s FREE. Only about 1% of women are physiologically unable to breastfeed. So I really don’t get why many don’t take advantage of the huge savings you get from breastfeeding. The money you save from having to buy formula and bottles and teats could very well go to your baby’s college fund, or if you’ve got that covered, then go buy yourself a pretty dress or new makeup with the extra cash.

8. Less stress about baby’s health. Let’s admit that as parents, our baby’s health is an ever present concern. Breastfeeding however, cuts the risks of your baby getting sick. Studies have proven that breastfed babies don’t get sick as much as their formula fed counterparts. I’ve once rushed my feverish baby to the emergency room only to have the doctors send me home with a prescription that said “continue breastfeeding on demand”.

9. Stress buster. Breastfeeding releases the hormone prolactin, also called the “mothering hormone” because it physiologically induces a mother’s instinct to “mother” her child. Prolactin naturally puts a nursing mother in a state of relaxation and calm while breastfeeding. I have to say, despite a long exhausting day at work, I always look forward to nursing my little one, if only for the tension-releasing effect it has on me.

10. Emotional bonding and development. Breastfeeding is a life-affirming act of love. It is your baby’s source of nourishment and comfort. It is what I believe to be the first most powerful act of affirmation of a mother’s love that your baby understands.

If you want some more reasons – here are 101!

Breastfeeding is a mother’s privilege. It is a woman’s exclusive gift. There is only a short window of time when we are able to do this. I say let us embrace this gift, and revel in every moment we are privileged enough to do it.