Ok new moms. Here's some free advice for things that you really need to save your sanity during life with baby. The first is a really good breast pump. I have the Medela Freestyle, and it has made breastfeeding so much easier!
I love it because it allows me to pump hands-free, which means I can get some work done while the baby is sleeping. Also, it lets her dad feed her, which means I don't have to be up for every single night shift. I can also leave the house without the baby to go out with my girlfriends. I can leave her at home with her dad and a bottle of breast milk and know that she's well taken care of. In addition, it's great to use if you have trouble breastfeeding - your little one will still get all the nutrition and benefits from breast milk without the pain or discomfort so many women encounter while nursing.
The other thing that saved my sanity was a Moby wrap. The Moby is a long piece of cloth fabric that holds the baby close when wrapped around your body.
The Moby lets my little one sleep soundly while being held (her favorite pastime next to eating), and still allows me to get some work done.
This wrap is so much better than the baby carrier I have for many reasons: it distributes the weight of the baby evenly across your back, not just on your shoulders; it allows the baby to be right against your chest, which allows for some skin-to skin contact (skin to skin helps regulate the baby's breathing, temperature, and stress hormones), and it allows you to breastfeed while wearing the wrap. It's entirely comfortable and very easy to use once you get the hang of it. Here's a video on how to put it on correctly.
So, new moms, if you buy anything for yourself, treat yourself to these two items. You won't be sorry that you did!