Adoption and Milk Supply

Updated on May 24, 2010
K.E. asks from Kent, WA
10 answers

Hi ladies,

This is quite a complicated thing to post, but I need some answers. We are expecting our 4th child in just a few weeks. Due to quite a few problems that have recently come up, we have agreed to place this baby for adoption. This is a heartbreaking solution to our issues, but it really is for the best. I won't go into details, but this is really the only thing that will work for us. We've chosen open adoption, and have been in contact with a really great couple from the Seattle area.

My head is spinning, and I'm having a very hard time with it all. Hubby is even more tore up about it than I am. Is there anyone who has placed a child for adoption? I would love to hear stories, with details. My other question is that I have a 10 month old whom I had to quit nursing at 4 months due to this pregnancy. I would love to re-introduce him to the breast, since he's still a baby. My othe concern is that if he does not take to it, I will become engorged, and I know this is no fun. I also think that nursing him may help with the need to nurture, since the new baby will be placed with the adoptive parents soon after birth. I want it this way, because I don't want to bond with him too much. I'm afraid it might make me want to change my mind.

I can't even begin to wrap my head around all of this....How do I let him go, what effect will it have on my children, how will it affect my marriage? My hubby and I have been through the stillbirth of our twin boys, and it really threw us for a loop that we were in NO way prepared for, and I fear this again. I am already losing my child...I don't want to lose my husband too. If anyone has been through this, what did you do? Seek therapy? If anyone has any advice, I would like to hear it. I just hurt so much right now, and I don't really have anyone to talk to about it. I recently cut ties with my mom, and no one in my family is really trustworthy, so I feel that I have no one to talk to.

Ladies-please spare me the horror stories that you might have heard. I am well informed of the risks of my decision. Keep in mind I am 31 years old, and this is not your "typical" adoption scenario. I am married, and my hubby and I support eachother in this process. I do not feel pressured to give up my child, and believe me-if this was not what was the best for everyone, I would not choose it. I know that I do not have to do anything that I don't want to do. The family we have chosen is awesome, and I have no doubt that this is exactly what they have been praying for. I feel peace placing my child with them. I realize that I am not in a position to be able to provide everything this little one needs. I'm not talking about the financial aspect. This is truly a sacrifice for us,because we could easily allow our emotions overrule, and make a decision that would jeopardize everyone involved. I don't mean to sound rude, but I need to hear encouraging words right now, especially from people who have been through this.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Carol G, that website is disgusting! How awful for an adoptive parent to read that. As a mom who is adopting RIGHT NOW, I can't tell you the amount of times I've had someone refer to our adoption as 'buying a baby', and most other adoptive parents have heard it as well. That website is awful and should NOT be read by anyone. I get their point, but they went about it all wrong and its so very disrespectful to adoptive parents AND birth moms.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I don't have any experience but I just wanted to tell you that you are an amazing women, mother and wife for offer your child and this family the opportunity to provide love and a home to your unborn child.

I also think that you should also find a support group to help you though this process. I think that breastfeeding your 10month old is a great idea.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

*HUGS* Let me be the first to tell you how proud I am that you are making a decision that will be best for everyone in the long run even though I can see it is breaking your heart. What an amazing gift you are giving to that couple in Seattle.

I was adopted and while I feel for what my birth mother had to go through - I have had the most nurturing and accepting family that has raised me to be a woman of character, integrity and compassion. I have 4 children of my own and I'd like you to remember that you are an amazing mom- this only adds to it.

Please seek counseling - both marriage counseling for you and your hubby and then separate because why all feelings are healthy to air to a psychologist or counselor, not everything should be vented to your spouse until you've got a handle on it - and vice versa. The adoption agency you are working with should have a list of FREE counseling and support groups in your area.

I think nursing your older child is an excellent idea. Your body will be able to release hormones to put you back on track quickly to prevent baby blues or post partum depression and the bonding with him will help you both. Another option if he doesn't take the breast is to keep pumping and sell or donate your milk. An online search or conversation with the nursery at your local hospital should point you in the right direction. And, at the very worst, he might not take it and you may get engorged - there are pills your doctor or clinic can give you to dry up the milk quickly to minimize this - you don't have to live with the pain for a week or more like we used to. There are even supplements you can get at your local vitamin store that will work too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I am so sorry for your situation!
I would definitely suggest that you seek counseling NOW! Do not wait until the baby is born. I am not going to criticize your decision for adoption, but it sounds like there are a lot of factors in your decision and you and your husband have decided is on your own. Talk about this with a NEUTRAL counselor and if you stick with your decision get therapy for yourself and your children to deal with this! Start calling on Monday! Don't wait!

Getting a one year old to nurse again is definitely possible and I agree that it would probably be a healing experience for you in particular. Unless you cannot nurse him at this point for medical reasons you might even start right off the bat - pregnancy in itself is not a reason to wean and many moms nurse through a pregnancy and then tandem nurse an infant and a toddler. You will probably still get some engorgement, since you toddler won't drink as much as your body will initially produce, but you can speak to your doctor and lactation consultant on how to deal with this situation. If there is a milk bank close, you may even consider pumping and donating.
I wish you the best of luck! Please do your family and yourself the favor and get counseling soon!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It sounds like you are going through a lot right now. It takes tremendous strength to be a birth parent and choose to let your child go to another family. I think it a good idea to find a counselor familiar with adoption or a support group. I believe there is a national adoption support group for all members of the adoption family (birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents). In my state (NJ) there is a state supported clearing house that provides information and referrals to adoption related resources. You may also be able to find info online.

Before I started my family I did adoption counseling mainly with children being adopted through foster care. But our program which was state funded also provided free adoption counseling for anyone with adoption related issues. There may be something similar in your area since all states have some version of child protective services and foster care. They may be able to direct you to find adoption counseling. If nothing else you can always keep a journal to write about what you are feeling and going through. You may want to send a small keepsake like a stuffed animal or blanket, picture of you and your family and/or a short letter with the baby. If you use an agency they may be able to give you some ideas. I do favor open adoptions from what I have seen as a counselor and case worker.

I would ask a lactation consultant for breast feeding related questions. Most hospitals have them in the maternity unit. It is worth a try to let your older baby nurse. I have heard you can nurse an older baby during pregnancy but have not tried it.

Good luck. I hope you find your peace with this process.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

You are one awesome women!! One of my good friends has a little girl that she adopted after trying to conceive for a long time. This little one was the youngest of four children. Her birth mother was married and didn't think she could take on one more. I often have thought how heartbreaking her decision must have been.

I can tell you her adoptive parents love her profoundly and I have been so thankful for her in my life. I had a little stillborn daughter at the same time this little girl was born. When her Mother asked me to watch her I had decided not to watch any babies for awhile. I couldn't turn them down and I am so thankful I didn't. She has been such a joy in all of our lives. I know she helped me heal through the death of my little girl and one again when my son died. She has blessed so many lives.

I will pray for you! Wish I could be there in person to give you a big hug!! How very hard!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry for whatever is going on in your lives that is making you feel like you need to adopt out your new baby.

I would definitely suggest seeking counseling, like right now for both you and your husband, and maybe even the other children may need it too. It can help you through this time, as well as the underlying reasons why it has come to this.

Also, I agree with trying to nurse your 10 month old. If he responds, then that is great, if not and you do become engorged, then there are ways to suppress that, but it is worth a shot.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

WOW! I wish I had some great advise to offer you.... I have never been in a situation like yours. I am very impressed that you are strong enough to give your baby up when it's obviously breaking your heart! I will be praying for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chico on

Hi K.,
My situation was very different from yours, I'll share my experience with Open Adoption with you anyway in hopes it'll be encouraging to you.
I was 19 and single when I got pregnant. I chose his parents early in my pregnancy, we spent 6 months getting to know each other.
We've always had mutual respect, they know that it was a huge thing for me to trust them with my baby. They in turn trust me. He is now 18 and graduates from High School in a couple weeks. I've always had a relationship with him and his family similar to the relationships I have with my nephews and nieces. I spend time with him and his family a couple times a year as schedules work out for both of our families. He even came on a camping trip with my family 4 years ago. This is just my situation, I know it's different for everyone.
My younger children have always known about him. I found it easiest to tell them about him when they were babies, that way I could always talk about him and it would never be a "secret" or "news". There are photos of him in our home.
The adpotion center I went through offers lifetime counseling for birthparents. I think counseling could help work through the things that are making your head spin.
As for the breastfeeding, I would seek a lactation consultant. She'd have ideas for how to reintroduce your son to the breast. Perhaps if he doesn't take to it he could still benefit from the breastmilk if you expressed it and offered it in a bottle. Pumping may be a good way to keep from getting uncomfortably engorged and letting your milk supply go slowly. I'd get in touch with a lactation consultant even before the birth.
If you'd like to message me personally I'd be happy to share any details that you think would be helpful, and hear your situation if you need someone to "listen".
I'll be thinking about you during this very difficult time. -K.



answers from Cincinnati on

I have not been in your situation but wanted to say that you are an AMAZING person to make an adoption plan for your baby. you are truly giving the gift of life to a couple who is unable to have a child.

Some thoughts:
- i would definitely recommend counseling for both you and your husband NOW
- PLEASE PLEASE know your baby will NOT grow up hating you because you were unable to raise him/her
- write a letter to your baby that you give to the adopted family explaining why you were unable to raise him/her, that you love him/her, etc
- maybe make a scrap book that you can pass along (e.g. place pictures of you, your husband, kids, talk about your likes/dislikes, find pictures of yourself and you husband when you both were little, maybe include a family tree (e.g. name of your grand parents, their parents, etc -, etc

here are some great websites:

Your decision must be heart wrenching again I would say thank you for the gift you are giving this family.

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