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Things I have learned so far about motherhood…

Things I have learned so far about motherhood…
July 12, 2016 mariane uehara

{article published on Hawaii Sport Magazine – Jul/Aug issue}

Last month I went to a baby-mommy yoga retreat organized by the Real Wellness Co. My baby slept during the whole yoga class, so I had the chance to have a full hour just for me. I haven’t run for 9 months, I stopped riding on my trainer when I was 6 months pregnant, and I haven’t swum since I gave birth, and to my own surprise I am not in a big rush to start since motherhood is keeping me busy and “in shape”, but I’ve got to say that it felt great to move my body. 

After the class, I told Emily how nice it was to have a baby-mommy retreat, she replied: “When you are by yourself with your baby, it is also a kind of retreat between you two, right?” What a mindful way to think about motherhood. She is so right!

Being a mother especially in the three first months is far from easy, but as Emily said this trimester has been like a retreat. I looked at the dictionary definition of retreat – an intimate way of deepening powers of concentration and insight.  That’s exactly what I have been doing, concentrating my time on Sky to deeply understand what she needs and how I can provide it to her. Every day there are new insights, challenges, and things to learn, and so far my three favorite ones are:

1) My body can nurture my baby

Breastfeeding is really incredible! Sky was born weighing 6.14 pounds, and in two months her weight has almost doubled. I have been exclusively breastfeeding and it’s truly magical to watch her grow by the second “just” with my milk. Mother’s milk is custom-made to meet the needs of the baby with the perfect amount of high quality protein, self-digesting fats, vitamins, minerals, hormones and enzymes. Plus, breastfeeding is also wonderful for the mother’s health: promoting emotional health and postpartum weight loss, lessening osteoporosis, and reducing the risk of breast cancer. So, I cherish every breastfeeding moment with Sky.

2) My heart knows what makes her happy

Since the day she was born, I believe that my “job” is to learn and get to know my baby. As I wrote, everyday there are new challenges and things of learn. Some days I wanted to cry with her because I didn’t know what the “right” thing to do to make her happy was. There are so many theories and so much advice from family and friends when you become a parent. But soon, I realized that my motherly intuitions have the “right” answers for my baby. A study showed that when a mother hears her baby cry, the blood that flows to the area of her brain that controls nurturing behavior increases, as does blood flow to her breasts. So the mother has the urge to pick up and comfort her baby. So when I follow that “urge” and hold my baby we both feel a sweet comfort on each others heart.

3) It’s easier to be a mother than a baby.

I used to say: “a baby’s life is so good! Someone is holding you, feeding you, taking care of you 24/7.” Well my opinion has been changed. Now I think that it’s not easy at all to be a baby because babies depend 100% on someone else. Babies can’t hold their heads, they are uncoordinated, they can’t see very well, every feeling is new to them, and they cannot tell us specifically what they want. As an adult, if my neck hurts, I can ask for a massage and tell the therapist exactly which spot is bothering me, or if I am tired, I can take a warm bath and fall asleep without someone bouncing me. Babies can’t. The only way they can express themselves is crying and/or making cute complaining noises and hope that mom or any caregiver will understand and provide exactly what they need. It has been proven that mothers have a built-in intuitive system with which we can listen and respond to the cues of our babies. How wonderful is that!

Huge thank you to my support crew, my husband and my mother, that allows me to dedicate my heart and soul to my little Sky. There are not enough words to describe how special it is when I am able to fulfill her needs and she answers with her big toothless smile. It melts my heart and it makes every little challenge worth it.

some dreams are worth sharing…