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Nourishing your baby best

Breastfeeding tips from experts—mommies who’ve been there and done that

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Compiled by Alex Vergara

baby best mb1The best breastfeeding secret advice I can share is to 1) Nurse as soon as possible, if you are strong enough, within the first hour of birth. Even if it seems like nothing is coming out, just let the baby nurse. You can also supplement by stimulating the nipples through pumping. 2) Even prior to giving birth, drink malunggay capsules and Natalac and continue as long as you wish to breastfeed. My baby is still breastfeeding now, at one year and four months and I am still taking malunggay capsules and Natalac three times a day. 3) Drink lots of water. For a year, when I was not mix feeding yet, I was drinking eight to 10 liters a day. 4) Do not diet. If you don’t eat a lot, you won’t produce a lot of milk. 5) Stick to your pumping schedule even when out of the house or working. 6) Take in nutritious soup like chicken soup with malunggay or beef soup. 7) Even after feeding the baby, I still pump just to make sure the breasts are empty after every feeding. 8) My sister told me to look at my baby’s photos while pumping away from my baby. Research has shown that thinking of your baby actually helps you to produce more milk. I’m not sure if it actually does but I did it anyway. 9) Do not wear bras with wire to prevent mastitis. 10) See a lactation specialist. 11) Pray to Our Lady of La Leche. This worked for me. I wasn’t supposed to breastfeed because of my lupus but I prayed to Our Lady of La Leche and look at me now, 1 year, four months and counting. 12) Join a support group. It really gives you a boost. —Rep. Em Aglipay-Villar

baby best mb2I listened to my own body and how things around me, including the food and drinks I took, plus the activities I joined in, affected my milk supply. I refrained from drinking too much coffee and I chose to eat for two—since I noticed that the moment I started “dieting,” my milk supply also lessened. I also chose to be positive and keep away from stress during my whole breastfeeding journey, hence, my goal, which was to breastfeed my daughter up to two years of age, was achieved. I will certainly use that experience to motivate myself to also breastfeed our new baby soon, and will continue to try to influence other mothers as well to try their best to breastfeed too! Breastfeeding is indeed a rewarding and great bonding experience for mothers and babies. — Gel Flores-Morales

baby best mb3With my first darling, my milk was really abundant. I had inverted nipples, though, which was easily fixed with a needleless syringe. With my second baby, however, milk was not as plentiful as before because I had less pumping sessions in the office. So that’s the first lesson I learned in sustaining your milk—latch often, latch as scheduled, latch consistently. Like with any habits we want to excel in, breastfeeding is a habit we also need to practice. Secondly, surrounding yourself with breastfeeding peers is an advantage especially in exchanging tips on how to increase milk supply and sometimes they serve as prayer buddies, too. Lastly, try to imbibe good vibes around, believe that you have milk, and make sure that your pedia is a 100 percent breastfeeding advocate. Happy latching! — Gameila I. Fesalbon

baby best mb4Form a support group. It could be your family, friends, or a Facebook group that could help you in the initial stages of breastfeeding because it is going to be challenging and you need their support to get through it. Read and attend classes on breastfeeding. Bring your support group with you if possible. Breastfeeding has been riddled with myths, superstitions, and “pamahiin” that it can sometimes get confusing. You need to know the facts and the latest scientific evidence-based practices so you won’t get sucked into the do’s and don’ts. Breastfeed until you’re physiologically, mentally, psychologically possible. Do not give in to what others are telling you. You know yourself and you will know your baby, it is only you who can tell when you are going to stop. The pressure to be a perfect mom is always there but being a mom is perfect enough. — Mia Santiago

baby best mb5My breastfeeding journey was not an ideal one, but because I want my son to have the best, I really set my heart and mind to breastfeed him until now (Franco is 20 months old). Acquire breastfeeding knowledge as soon as you learn you’re pregnant. Join breastfeeding mom groups in social media, attend classes, and look for an OB and pedia who are breastfeeding advocates. Do not forget to involve your husband or partner because they have a big part in your breastfeeding journey. You will give the best milk to your child through your very own body, so take good care of yourself. Hydrate and eat lots of nutritious food. Remember, whatever you eat is what you feed your child. Never hesitate to ask support from breastfeeding experts/counselors, and do not listen to “pamahiin” or breastfeeding myths. With the proper knowledge, nutrition, determination, and support group, breastfeeding may be difficult at the beginning, but everything will be worth it. —Esa Capule-Navarro

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