"My kids never got sick when I was breastfeeding," Gisele Bündchen tells PEOPLE

By Charlotte Triggs and Maria Pasquini
October 05, 2018 05:55 PM
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Breast milk can do it all!

“My kids never got sick when I was breastfeeding,” Gisele Bündchen recently told PEOPLE, explaining that she found breast milk to be “a magical thing.”

“If they had something in their eyes, I’d put milk in their eyes. Before their flight, I would get a dropper and put milk up their nose … to [ward off] the bacteria on the plane,” the supermodel recalled.

As her breast milk kept coming in handy, Bündchen, 38, shared that when it came time for her to stop nursing, she actually kept a stockpile of frozen milk to use for various home remedies.

“My pediatrician said, ‘If you could bottle [it], this would be like the perfect medicine for everything,’ so I actually had a bunch frozen after I stopped breastfeeding,” she continued, adding that she would even use the breast milk in her children’s cereal.

“I mean, I was one crazy person,” the mother of two admitted, laughing, “but I felt like it was such a gift that I had.”

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Gisele Bundchen with son Benjamin and daughter Vivian
Gisele Bundchen/Instagram

Bündchen went on to share that while she breastfed her and husband Tom Brady‘s 8½-year-old son Benjamin Rein for “19 to 20 months,” she kept nursing their daughter Vivian Lake, 5½, for just a bit longer.

“It wasn’t continuous,” she explained, adding that women have to make these decisions “for yourself and for the baby.”

“You don’t want to just stop because you’re producing so much,” Bündchen continued.

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While the supermodel went on to call breastfeeding “the most wonderful experience of my life,” she admitted that pumping “was very hard.”

“I actually had a hard time,” Bündchen remarked, explaining that the process was difficult for her sisters as well.

“[One of my sisters] couldn’t produce enough milk and so it was very challenging for two of them to breastfeed and I was so grateful that I was able to,” she told PEOPLE. “I felt like it was a big gift that I was given to be able to do that.”

During the interview, Bündchen also revealed that after years of being known for her body, her self-esteem took a hit when, after nursing her children, she realized her breasts were smaller than before — and slightly uneven.

“I was always praised for my body and I felt like people had expectations from me that I couldn’t deliver [on],” she explained. “I felt very vulnerable because I can work out, I can eat healthy, but I can’t change the fact that both of my kids enjoyed the left boob more than the right. All I wanted was for them to be even and for people to stop commenting on it.”

In her new memoir, Lessons: My Path To a Meaningful Life, the famously private Bündchen reveals that in 2015, she discreetly went under the knife for a breast augmentation. And while she immediately regretted the decision, her New England Patriots quarterback husband was a constant source of support.

“He just said, ‘I love you no matter what’ and that I looked beautiful,” she said of Brady, 41. “This was definitely another lesson: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But I wish I would have learned that a different way.”