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Bangs Garcia shares painful but insightful breastfeeding journey: ‘The struggle is real’

By: - Reporter
/ 01:43 PM February 15, 2018

Bangs Garcia with her daughter, Amelia. Image: Instagram/@valeriebangsgarcia

Like any mother, actress Bangs Garcia wants what is best for her newborn baby, especially when it comes to keeping her healthy. That is why breastfeeding is essential for providing all the nutrients her daughter needs.

But for Garcia, she got a reality check when her journey had bumps on the road, as she shared on two Instagram posts on Wednesday.

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The new mom admitted that “the struggle is real” when she tried producing milk for her baby Amelia. “Breastfeeding doesn’t come so naturally to all mothers, different strokes for different folks; but with perseverance, it’s possible,” Garcia wrote.

(PART 1) I thought I couldn’t, but I did. It really hurts in the beginning, but it’s tolerable. The struggle is REAL, indeed. #Breastfeeding doesn’t come so naturally to all mothers, different strokes for different folks; but with perseverance, it’s possible. I appreciate that the midwives here in UK taught me how to make Amelia latch on me as soon as I gave birth. I remember she kept falling asleep whilst feeding at the hospital so I had to massage her in circular motion at the end of her jawline right below her ear to help her carry on latching. I fed her every hour or 2 and I thought she’s becoming better at it every day ‘til early morning of the 5th day, and then she just completely stopped and I didn’t know why. We weren’t discharged right away from the hospital because I had an infection after my C-section, little did I know that my breastmilk was affected whilst I was getting treated with antibiotics and diminished my supply; it explains why Amelia got so frustrated and stopped latching during our last day there. In addition to that, the pressure that midwives had put upon me to breastfeed even when she’s repelling my breasts due to my lack of milk production just magnified all the pain and exhaustion I went through from labor and surgery at that time. I was seriously burnt-out. It had caused me a great deal of distress, I weeped my heart out thinking that I’m a bad mum for not being able to produce much milk for her. The thought of feeding Amelia with formula was dreadful for me to accept, but seeing her sob from hunger was agonizing so I had to give in. I tried to manually pump my breasts whilst watching breastfeeding videos on youtube to get tips in desperation after two days of getting discharged from the hospital. Unfortunately, I’ve only gotten 10ml milk for straight 2 hours of pumping and it had caused me the most horrible spasm of my life! My husband was at work, but luckily, my mother-in-law lives 5 min. away from ours and she had to call an ambulance for me. Yes, it was that bad! Pain much worse than labor pain because it was constant for a few hours. I was so horrified, I thought it had something to do with my surgery and my infection.(PART 1)

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A post shared by “Bangs” Garcia-Birchmore (@valeriebangsgarcia) on


Recalling her experience after giving birth, when her baby first attempted to latch, she recounted that it was going fine on the first few days. It was on the fifth day that her baby suddenly stopped, which sent Garcia wondering why.

“We weren’t discharged right away from the hospital because I had an infection after my C-section, little did I know that my breastmilk was affected whilst I was getting treated with antibiotics and diminished my supply,” Garcia recalled.

This, along with the pressure from mid-wives telling her to breastfeed despite her lack of milk, “magnified all the pain and exhaustion I went through from labor and surgery at that time.”

Against her will, Garcia had to resort to giving Amelia formula milk. She still persisted to find answers to help her to produce milk. She sought advice from fellow moms and did her own research.

“I have learned that it doesn’t matter if she gets only little amount of my milk and feed her with formula as well, it would still mean a lot because breastmilk is like 100 times more nutritious than formula milk,” she said. “I’ve also learned that mix feeding isn’t gonna make you less of a mother, I was just too fastened on my illusion of a ‘Perfect Mother’, and there’s no such thing.”

(PART 2) I got traumatized and I was daunted to #breastfeed for a few weeks, and I thought it’s useless to feed her with my milk if I only get such little amount; I had to deal with the fact that I might have to feed her exclusively with formula. I was still anxious to breastfeed that’s why I started seeking for advice from other mothers and I’ve done some research. I have learned that it doesn’t matter if she gets only little amount of my milk and feed her with formula as well, it would still mean a lot because breastmilk is like 100 times more nutritious than formula milk. I’ve also learned that mix feeding isn’t gonna make you less of a mother, I was just too fastened on my illusion of a “Perfect Mother”, and there’s no such thing. I just had to learn to ACCEPT reality and ADJUST to my situation. I decided to pump again, I found myself producing more milk and it finally got me enthusiastic to breastfeed. I found it very tiring to manually pump, so I asked my husband to buy me an electric one. He’s very supportive, he immediately bought me one and I honestly think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever asked for! I’m so pleased with it. Since I was feeding Amelia exclusively with formula for almost a month, I found her getting lazy to latch on my breasts at times coz she much prefers her bottle teats for lesser effort in getting milk. But it’s alright for as long as I pump my milk out and she still drinks them from her bottle then I’m very happy with it. I’ve also been taking supplements like PregnaCare and Fenugreek to help me improve my milk supply, and I always make sure that I eat and drink fluids very well; but I honestly couldn’t fill an entire bottle up yet. As I’ve said, different strokes for different folks, perhaps my supply would be much better when I have my second child. Nevertheless, it’s my choice to still continue breastfeeding Amelia. It’s good to always strive and try our best for our little one and that facet alone makes any mum a very good mother already. It’s always about Acceptance & Adjustment, then you will soon find yourself taking any aspect of #motherhood in stride. PS. Thanks @kaypeebaby -nursing top @kindertraum2016 -nursing pillow

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A post shared by “Bangs” Garcia-Birchmore (@valeriebangsgarcia) on

All turned out well in the end when she was finally able to feed her baby with breastmilk, with the help of an electric pump.

“I found her getting lazy to latch on my breasts at times coz she much prefers her bottle teats for lesser effort in getting milk,” Garcia shared. “But it’s alright for as long as I pump my milk out and she still drinks them from her bottle then I’m very happy with it.”

Ending her post, she noted that it’s indeed a case of “different strokes for different folks.” She hoped for things to get better next time around, when she has another child.

“It’s always about [a]cceptance & [a]djustment, then you will soon find yourself taking any aspect of motherhood in stride,” Garcia said.

Garcia and her husband, British-Filipino property developer Lloyd Birchmore, welcomed Amelia last December. She is the first child for the couple. JB

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TAGS: Bangs Garcia, breastfeeding, Celebrity moms, Instagram, Lloyd Birchmore
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