10 Things I Learned About Being a Mother: Dana Malhas

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Last week, Savoir Flair debuted its weekly interview series in which the region’s new moms discuss the ups and downs of motherhood, sharing some of the inspiring lessons they’ve picked up along the way. This week, Dana Malhas dishes out the truth about everything from weight gain to breastfeeding and being in labor. Her thoughts, below.

1

Life begins when you become a mother.

Giving birth to my boy after four years of marriage made me realize that this is what life’s all about. This is how our life continues – through our kids. I truly hope that every mother appreciates this blessing and enjoys it to the maximum every day. It is God’s greatest gift to us.

2

All the hard work of the day pays off with a hug.

Everything a mom goes through, from the lack of sleep to the weight gain and constant worrying, disappears at the end of the day when it’s bedtime and you get that hug. It makes every bit of your crazy day worth it.

3

Breastfeeding is harder than labor.

Breastfeeding is the most difficult thing that a mother goes through in my opinion. The commitment, the patience, and the sacrifices that you have to make to be able to breastfeed your child are all so challenging.

Photo: Courtesy of Dana Malhas
4

Drop your dignity at the door of the hospital and pick it up on your way out.

I am a very shy person by nature, so having to go through labor was horrifying to me until my nurse gave me this advice: “Once you let go and accept that there is no shame in this, it becomes so much easier – mentally and physically.” I found it so true!

5

The best way to deal with labor is ignorance.

Do not read about this experience, do not think about it, do not listen to stories about it, and do not expect anything from it. Find a doctor who you trust blindly, and go in and just do what you are told. Live it by the second.

6

Do not count calories.

The best thing I did when I was pregnant was to not count calories. I only weighed myself during doctor visits. I ate when I was hungry, and I stopped when I was full. I also satisfied every craving I ever had. I didn’t care about my body nor the weight that I would gain – all I cared about was the health of this baby. Because at the end of the day, it will all go away. And thankfully, I did not gain much and went back to my normal weight right after. I truly believe it’s because it was never on my mind.

7

Putting the baby on a schedule is the best thing you will ever do.

It might be hard in the beginning, but putting the baby on an eating and sleeping schedule from the day he is born will make the biggest difference in both your lives. You will know when he’s hungry, when he’s sleepy, and when you can take a break… it’s just so much more organized for everyone at home.

8

Read to your baby from when he's in your tummy.

Personally, I used to read the Quran to my baby when I was still pregnant with him. It definitely stimulates their sense of hearing and makes them more aware when they are born. I also loved the idea of him growing up listening to our holy book, and it gave me comfort that he will always be protected.

9

Give birth in the city you are living in.

If you have the option, give birth where you are living. There’s nothing like being home, so imagine that with a baby. It’s the best thing to go back home after the hospital and start your routine with the baby right away.

10

My mom is a hero.

My mother was a banker for 30 years. She had me and my two siblings while working, and never stopped. I have always admired her for that, but after having my baby, I realized that working moms are superwomen. It is like having two full-time jobs at the same time and needing to perform your best at both. It blows my mind how she could do both so well without ever complaining or showing us that she was tired.

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