MOTHERHOOD- THE FIRST YEAR
Everything changes when a woman become a mother. For the rest of her life she will be in a relationship with her child- this person whom she and the father have created together and whom she has nurtured so intimately.
Being a mother can bring enormous pleasures and rewards. But it also throws up many challenges, some of them surprising. And, inevitably, it can sometime be difficult. All this offers you the chance to grow in emotional and spiritual awareness. And it provides you and your partner with an entry ticket to the worldwide club of parenthood. Being so closely involved in the life, health, happiness and potential of a child can raise you to a different plane of being, one where you know in your heart what is important and what isn’t. It also means that when you look at another person, you see them more easily as someone else’s child- and therefore as a precious and unique human being.
THE WAY YOU FEEL
Some women fall in love with their babies and feel elated from the moment they meet face to face. Others are indifferent and a few have somewhat negative emotions. What happens depends on your expectations of motherhood and babies, whether the baby was wanted, the birth, your health and that of your baby and the support you get.
So be gentle with yourself as you negotiate the early days, weeks and even months of being a mom. You’ll learn on the job and there’s no need to feel you should be an instant expert.
A few days after the birth you may feel low, tearful and emotional. This state is often called “the baby blues” and usually passes shortly. The cause is probably a combination of changing hormone levels, a lack of sleep, a fall in your cholesterol level and a reaction to the exertion, excitement and perhaps shock of labour and of giving birth.
YOU AND YOUR PARTNER
The focus of the health professionals is usually on the mother and baby with the result that the father can feel rather left out. Yet his life has irrevocably changes too. This is his baby. And he is now responsible, with you, for the care, guidance and protection of a young human being for many years to come.
Try to make time to recognize and name your partner’s feelings and to encourage and affirm him in his role. This will help him take pleasure and pride in his child, and adjust to the new relationships in his family.
YOUR PELVIC FLOOR
As soon as you are ready, start doing pelvic floor exercises. These encourage your vagina, bladder neck, cervix, vulva and anus to return to normal more quickly.
CHOOSING HOW TO FEED YOUR BABY
The way nature intends you to feed your baby is by breastfeeding. Your milk is better than that of a cow, goat or any other animal (however much that animal’s milk is modified) because human milk is specifically designed to suit the needs of a human baby whereas the milk of other animals is designed to suit their own young.
Breast is best so it’s hardly surprising that so many women choose to breastfeed their babies.
The health benefits of breastfeeding for Babies:
• Less illness and hospitalization
• Fewer infections
• Fewer allergies
• Less celiac disease (digestive and other symptoms from a sensitivity to gluten in cereal)
• Less pyloric stenosis (vomiting due to a tight stomach outlet)
• Less meconium ileus (a type of bowel blockage)
• Less appendicitis
• Less ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (Inflammatory bowel disease)
• Less acrodermatitis enteropathica (a scaly skin disease)
• Less dental decay
• Less diabetes
• Less cancer
• Better jaw and mouth development
These are all proven benefits. Researchers also suspect that people who were breastfed as babies are less prone to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and heart disease.
Arguably, breastfeeding is also a much more intimate and pleasurable experience for babies than in bottle-feeding.
The health benefits of breastfeed for Mothers:
Breastfeed is good news for you too. It provides useful contraception if you also use the symptothermal method. It help you to avoid unwanted pregnancy. And ovarian, womb and premenopausal breast cancer, and post-menopausal osteoporosis appear to be less likely in women who’ve breastfed.
Many women also find breastfeeding more convenient satisfying, enjoyable, fulfilling and empowering than bottle-feeding and believe it makes their relationship with their baby more intimate.
Besides all above benefits, Breastfeeding help you to burn those extra pounds you put on during pregnancy and get into your shape.
FINDING OF THE SECRET OF SUCCESS
Almost every breastfeeding woman experiences some difficulties; the secret of success is learning how to overcome them. For example, if you’re embarrassed in front of others, learn the knack of feeding discreetly. If you want to go out alone, learn how to express milk to leave for your baby. To pull through these challenges and overcome common problems, such as sore nipples, you’ll need good information and support. Many women think they have insufficient milk but with the right help over 95 percent learn how to provide all the milk their babies need.
MOTHERHOOD- THE FIRST YEAR