Kerry Washington: Motherhood Has ‘Made My Life Better’

03/09/2015 at 03:00 PM ET

Kerry Washington Paleyfest
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Olivia Pope’s personal life may perpetually be in shambles, but Scandal star Kerry Washington‘s world couldn’t be sweeter.

The new mom is in complete baby bliss since she welcomed her now 11-month-old daughter Isabelle Amarachi, Washington’s first child with husband Nnamdi Asomugha.

“It’s just made my life better in every way,” Washington, 38, told PEOPLE about motherhood at an event on Saturday in Beverly Hills.

The actress was on hand to celebrate the release of the 3rd edition of Dr. Michele Hakakha‘s Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy, a book Washington was comforted by during her pregnancy.

“This book was by my bedside the whole time I was pregnant,” she shares. “It’s as if your very best girlfriend was a brilliant OB and wrote a book for you.”

Michele Hakakha Expecting411

— Abby Stern

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Sandra on

I didn’t read anything pertaining to pregnancy when I was pregnant the first time. I just let it ride, BIG MISTAKE!. I wish I would have known that babies tend to sit on your bladder, so every occasion to laugh, cough or sneeze can potentially be an Ooops! moment. I didn’t know that I would become allergic to shrimp while I was pregnant and still to this day I cannot go near the stuff without a swelling incident occurring…Thanks Kid! The mass amount of water retention that cause your feet to look like ham hocks and your fingers to look like sausages was a bit much also,However, I did not have one day of morning sickness and I ended up with a pretty cool kid. So all in all it worked out, but you better believe that I was well versed on the second and final go round.