V.B. asks from Cortez, CO on October 22, 2009
Breastfeeding - Cortez,CO
Does anyone know of any information on breastfeeding an adopted child? Is it possible? Can the baby be allergic to the adopted mothers milk? Does anyone know of anyone who has done it? What special supplimentation would the baby need? anyone that could help Thank You!
O.L. answers from Denver on October 23, 2009
First off, what a great gift to give to an adopted baby! My younger sister was adopted and had a milk allergy, so it probably would have worked perfectly for her if my mom had known back then that it was possible.
Here's a link that might help...
There's also a really helpful site w/info about galactagogues and other tips for increasing supply...
www.mobimotherhood.org (they also have a group on Yahoo).
Best of luck to you or whomever it is that's thinking of doing this!
M.H. answers from Denver on October 23, 2009
You can breastfeed any baby as long as you are lactating, and even if you aren't there are contraptions that will mimick this process with tubes. Dr. Sears covers these in his baby book.
S.W. answers from Salt Lake City on October 23, 2009
If you go to La Leche League's Web site and click on "Resources" and "Find Local Help," you'll be able to look up the phone number for Amy in Utah. She is experienced in relactation and adoptive nursing and will be able to answer your questions in a helpful, medically accurate way.
Yes, it is very possible, but "success" depends on your goals. Supplementation also dpnds on lots of variables. Many mothers use a Supplementary Nursing System, which is like a little bag of additional milk worn around her neck with a tiny tube taped to her breast. This way, they can feed their baby at the breast, even if baby has latch issues or she has supply issues.
Babies will never be allergic to donor mother's milk, although any baby could be allergic or sensitive to something the mother is eating that is getting into her milk--although this, too, is usually not an issue. There is a very rare problem called galactosemia where the baby cannot process any milk normally, but that's like one in a billion and usually babies thrive on human milk. We have friends who adopted a baby and fed her mother's milk from a milk bank. She had been receiving artificial baby milk, but after she started getting the "real deal," her skin smoothed out and wasn't rashy or rough anymore, and she didn't spit up much. It's definitely the superior infant food and worth the hassle.
N.B. answers from Missoula on October 23, 2009
A.N. answers from Denver on October 23, 2009
I was going to say go to the La Leche League website, too. They have a book called "womenly art of breastfeeding" or something and they talked about it is possible to breastfeed adopted child. Good luck!
K.C. answers from Salt Lake City on October 23, 2009
Most of the other responses were correct, except they do not give you hormones, they give you a medication called Reglan. It is actually for intestinal problems, but they found - in the drug trials - that it has the side-effect of causing lactation. This drug in now commonly given to moms of babies in an ICU who are having trouble producing milk because they cannot put baby to breast, only pump milk.
It does take time and patience, and support from those around you. The supplemental feeder takes awhile to become adept at using, so I had to go in my room to nurse because I had to really open up my whole world. LOL It took months for my real supply to come in, but was worth it in the end.
V.W. answers from Salt Lake City on October 25, 2009
You sure can! The first resource I would direct you to would be your OB/GYN or if you have an endocrinologist he or she might be able to help better as well. I haven't done exactly this, but I had a baby 3 months before my lil sis brought one home from a hospital pending adoption and I pumped for her for 3 months. It was hard, but the other option was my sis taking hormones, etc and she didn't do well on them and I was lactating anyway!! Good luck. What an honor to be able to adopt. Bittersweet, but an honor none-the-less!! I do see a formidable challenge though. If you are aware of the baby you are hoping to adopt having been chosen by a birth mother and you're just waiting for birth, etc. I don't know how long it takes for the hormones/drugs to kick in for lactation AND how would YOU feel if the adoption falls through (this happens a lot as I'm sure you know) and YOU are lactating?? That wouldn't be MY opinion of a fun time.
Your choice! :) Good luck!
M.L. answers from Dallas on October 22, 2009
C.E. answers from Denver on October 23, 2009
You can also check with your local breast milk bank. If you don't have time, or don't want to put all the work in to get yourself lactating, they do have ways to help you simulate breast feeding without the milk actually coming out of your body.
Congrats on the new baby!! Adoption is a wonderful way to grow your family.
God Bless -
"Childbirth is an act of Nature.
Adoption is an act of God."
L.B. answers from Casper on October 23, 2009
IT has been so long since I was in the breast feeding mode, but when I was I learned about breastfeeding an adopted baby. The mother had a sack of formula that was fed through a tube and attached to the breast/nipple. As the baby sucked it stimulated the mother's breast. eventually, milk was produced. Some mother's were able to take the bag of formula off and could depend on her own milk to nourish her baby. Some had to continue with the formula.
For centuries, a midwife was used to nurse babies with apparently no ill effect.