Since Bianca Gonzalez made that post about the end of her breastfeeding journey on Instagram two weeks ago, the mom of one says fellow mothers have flooded her inbox with messages that can be summarized in one question: How did she breastfeed for two years?
Any mom who has breastfed a child, or tried, knows the struggle of sore breasts and cracked nipples. A survey reveals that many women give up after only six months because of the pain associated with nursing a baby. So how did Bianca — TV host, book author, writer, and in-demand product endorser — manage? She answers this and more burning questions in a vlog (video blog) on her Facebook page. Here are her top tips:
1. Let your baby latch directly. Bianca says that in the beginning, she was dismayed at the small amount of breast milk she was able to pump, compared to other moms she sees on Instagram. She is thankful to have met the women behind The Parenting Emporium, who kept her going.
"[They] taught me na, ang mapa-pump mong milk will never be the same amount as yung nakukuha ng baby mo sa 'yo. Meaning, ang baby talaga ang pinakamagaling na mag-pump ng milk. Hindi dahil naka-pump ka lang ng 2 ounces e ibig sabihin yun lang din ang nakukuha ng baby mo sa 'yo," she says. "Latch lang nang latch, kasi the more that she latches, 'yun 'yung signal ng katawan mo to keep making more milk."
2. Pump more often. Bianca says she tries to pump more frequently than the number of her 2-year-old daughter Lucia's feedings, and offers this tip for career women.
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"Kapag iniwan mo yung baby mo, alam mo na yung baby mo feeds every four hours. Try as much as possible —although ang hirap — to pump every three hours, or every two and a half hours. Kunyari three times sya nag-milk sa bahay pero four times ka nag-pump, hopefully, magma-match 'yung output na 'yun.
"Tinyaga ko kasi by 6 months they start eating solid food, so kahit paano, nawala na yung pressure."
3. Nourish yourself. She reminds breastfeeding moms to drink "more than eight glasses [of water] a day." Bianca also swears by the power of malunggay and confesses that she tried a lot of supplements and lactation treats that promise to increase breast milk supply.
4. Think positive. Bianca shares a trick she used to do while breastfeeding: "Imagine-in mo lang na overflowing ang supply mo." She says that the more she stressed about her milk supply, the less milk she was able to pump.
5. Pray. "Prayer is a big, big deal. It sustained me talaga."