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Breastfeeding 101

Real moms share breastfeeding tips and secrets

Compiled by Kaye Estoista-Koo, Krizette Chu, Lorraine Rafols Lorenzo

 

World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated this week, from Aug. 1 to 7, and this year’s theme is aimed at raising awareness of the links between breastfeeding and sustainable development goals. Celebrity moms inevitably end up getting the spotlight this week and this month as the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month is being celebrated the entire month of August.

From Mila Kunis being shamed for public breastfeeding, Adele sticking up in Adele fashion for all breastfeeding moms having a hard time with their milk, to Penelope Cruz sharing that she found nursing her children addictive, Beyonce claiming how she lost the baby weight from breastfeeding Blue Ivy, breastfeeding always elicits an opinion somewhere.

In our quest to continue to build awareness and dialogue on this matter, MB Lifestyle asked real moms: What are your tips, secrets, and strategies to breastfeeding?

1

Breastfeeding kids two years and older is magic. It not only takes away your kids’ aches and pains, it also soothes and comforts them. The immunity boost from a mother’s milk is also added protection for kids who are now more exposed to germs, viruses, and bacteria. —Abie Co Floreza, president of Breastfeeding Pinays

2

For cracked or bleeding nipples, aside from petroleum jelly, which doesn’t always help, try pure lanolin gels. They are much, much better, even if they are a bit expensive. —Lianne Tan-Yu, businesswoman

3

Joining groups or forums helped me a lot with my breasfeeding journey. It was my support group with all of my questions and got valuable tips as well on how to take care of my baby and myself that helped. —Gertrude Mendoza Banaag, Singapore-based working mommy

4

Successful breastfeeding starts with a positive mindset. Trust your body that nursing is natural. Expect that breastfeeding will be challenging. But knowing the obstacles right off the bat will keep you stay focused and positive on your ultimate goal to exclusively breastfeed. You may also join online breastfeeding support groups like Breastfeeding Pinays. —Fanny Mosuela Espiritu, lactation consultant

6

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there are lactation consultants who can teach you how to position your baby, check if the baby is latching on correctly, and offer massages that help stimulate milk flow. Try the side-lying position when breastfeeding. This is especially helpful when you are very tired. —Debbie Sy-Lua, architect

a

I try to follow the following tips for the best breastfeeding experience:

1. Always believe that you have milk. Do not underestimate your body. It will always be capable of producing milk.

2. Always have a pitcher/tumbler/bottle of water with you. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty like hell.

3. When hungry, eat. Food goes hand in hand with breastfeeding. Never starve yourself. Do not deprive yourself of an extra serving of rice… no one wants to be with a hungry, angry mommy.

4. Making baby latch on to you helps increase your milk production. Baby’s sucking makes your body produce more milk, so the more the baby latches, the more milk you produce.

5. Do not schedule feedings (if you exclusively breastfeed). Let baby dictate when he wants to nurse, and when he wants to stop nursing. There’s no such thing as overfeeding in breastfeeding.

6. Breastfeed even when you’re sick. Your baby needs the antibodies your breastmilk produces when you’re not feeling well. When in doubt, it is always good to ask your doctor.

—Merc Restua, first time mom

8

Invest in a really good dual electric breast pump. —Kathyrin Pioquinto, lawyer

7

It is important to never give up and ask for help if you feel there’s something wrong or preventing you from breastfeeding, you’ll never know if it’s just a wrong latch if you never ask.” —Lia Manalac Del Castillo, broadcast journalist

9

One of the things my mom advised me is to really relax when breastfeeding so that the milk flows naturally. Don’t rush. Babies can tell if they’re being rushed while breastfeeding and the fussier they will get and the whole thing will take much longer. One of the best investments for breastfeeding moms is Pigeon’s Nipple Care Cream. It’s so much easier to breastfeed when you use it. —Erica Araullo, mother of two; work-from-home writer and marketing consultant.

10

Don’t watch the clock. I’m a mother of three breastfed boys and sometimes when we’re nursing, we think “It’s been 30 minutes and he’s still there!” Or “She only fed for five minutes. What’s wrong?” Or “He nursed just an hour ago and he’s hungry again?” Every child is different so don’t compare his feeding habits with those of other babies. Every child’s needs change every month, even every week, so go with their needs. Just nurse when your baby needs you.

Invest in breastfeeding clothes, if you can. It’s those special tops and dresses with discreet holes, hidden by flaps, or an extra layer of cloth. Many moms give up on nursing because they feel too exposed or they’re uncomfortable with what they’re wearing. Nursing clothes help moms feel comfortable, stylish, and make breastfeeding easy and discreet.

Lastly, a study revealed that moms give up on breastfeeding sooner if they don’t have support from their families, especially their husbands. So try to get everyone on board! Read literature on the benefits of breastmilk together. Look at how much formula costs together. A mom needs a lot of support to successfully breastfeed!

—Frances Sales, BeautyBizBliss.com co-founder and TopazHorizon.com blogger

11

The amount of milk a mother produces doesn’t rely on the size of her breasts. Milk production is based on demand and supply, meaning if breast milk is drawn out properly and efficiently by the baby from the breast, the mother’s body will produce breast milk again. —Bing Guevara, IT manager

12

Aside from malunggay, few women know oats and Milo can actually increase milk output for lactating women. Breastfeeding moms cannot go on a diet. The more you eat, the more milk you produce. And do not fret, the miniscule colostrum milk that comes after giving birth is enough to fill their small tummies.

—Jenny Magoncia-Lopez, banker

13

Keep an open mind. With moms getting a lot of pressure these days, some lose the joy of the experience because of how much hate they get when they stop breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is not the only gauge of being a good mom.  Take it easy, the more you relax, the more milk you produce. Attend a breastfeeding class before giving birth. Drink water, lots of it. And find the right people to support you through your breastfeeding journey who will encourage you and keep you positive about it. —Sheila Juan-Catilo, photographer and co-founder of Jorem and Sheila Catilo Photography

14

I exclusively breastfed three of my kids for a whole year from the day they were born.

1. Have a reliable breast pump with all the added accessories. I have a regular plug, car adaptor, and powerbank for the pump all in one bag so I can pump anywhere.

2. Instead of using cover ups, I use oversized scarves and shawls to match my outfit.

3. I pump every two hours, anywhere! In public, on the plane, at the mall. I also have a hands-free bra for my pump.

4. I installed a CCTV wifi camera so I can see my baby while I pump

5. I use Ziplock bags + ice + cold packs and insulated bags so I can check in my pumped milk when traveling.

6. I pump 30 minutes after feeding and freeze/store the milk to make sure my baby has enough supply when I am not around.

7. It’s eat-all-you-can at night and feed directly on the breast.

8. I drink a malunggay + okra +ginger iced tea I bought online that makes me produce milk more.

—Jen Gerodias Diaz, owner, Snoe Beauty

15

Breastfeeding is a decision, a commitment to give my daughter Ica my best. Most moms give up on breastfeeding when nothing comes out, but please know moms’ bodies are beautifully designed by God to address the need of the baby. We just need to surround ourselves with moms in a support group who made the same decision.

—Inna Llamson-Isles, insurance advisor

16

Get your husband, parents, and in-laws to attend breastfeeding seminars with you so you are all on the same track. —Pittipat Chupungco, working mom of two and one of the original founders of Breastfeeding Pinay