5 Secrets for a Happier 1st Year of Motherhood

Little M just turned 10 months, and as her 1st birthday approaches, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past several months and my introduction to motherhood. Things are much easier now. That anxiety around doing things “right,” not irrevocably screwing up this tiny creature in my charge — stressing over her sleep and how much she’s eating, over which cup to get her that will promote development and not give her speech issues or expose her to dreaded mold — all these fears seem a distant memory.  I finally feel like I know what I’m doing, like I’ve got this motherhood thing down.  I know full well that this feeling is temporary; that as we barrel towards toddlerhood, we’ll be met with a whole new set of anxieties and uncertainties.  But for now, I’m enjoying this calm and confidence.  I am so in love with this creature and with being a mom, and can honestly say that this past 10 months have been among the most fun and fulfilling times of my life.

I know that my experience isn’t shared by all moms. And certainly the cultural narrative of what motherhood looks like in the first year does not support my cause. We are bombarded with images of harried new moms, living in yoga pants and a messy bun, covered in spit up, with a screaming baby in one hand, and a rapidly cooling cup of coffee in the other.  It can be so easy to succumb to this vision of motherhood, and resign oneself to the notion that this is just what life will be life for a year (or more).

The converse seems to be completely unattainable.  The Instagram visions of skinny moms with perfect hair and makeup, dressed to the nines, with a perfect baby and spotless house, who somehow find time in their day to whip up professional-looking gluten-free, vegan cupcakes and three course dinners, while simultaneously sewing Etsy-worthy patterned onesies with matching hats.  It’s enough to make you feel like a failure before you even get out of bed in the morning.

5 Secrets to Happier Motherhood

6 Ways to Boost Milk Supply

Boost Milk Supply

A lot of breastfeeding women freak out when they notice their supply dropping while traveling, if they get sick, or around the time they start menstruating again (usually between 4-6 months after birth), and think they need to start supplementing with formula.  It doesn’t help that many myself had major drops in supply from all three of these factors, which led me to dive deep into natural ways to boost milk supply. The good news is, I discovered tons of easy peasy things you can do to boost your supply when things get a little dry.  Unless there is something medical going on, like hypoplasia (or insufficient breast tissue), there is no reason to start using formula if you want to keep exclusively breastfeeding.  If you choose to use formula for other reasons, no judgment here! These ways to boost milk supply are for you ladies (like me!) who desperately want to keep nursing your little one and are faced with a drop in supply.