Breastfeeding Adopted Child

Updated on April 27, 2009
J.P. asks from Hardwick, VT
21 answers

I was wondering if there was anybody who could give me a some advice about adoptive breastfeeding. my husband and i are expecting another child any day now and i want to breastfeed her ( i didnt do it with my son), i have read some books and have been usuing a breast pump to help my boobs prepare for the arrival my husband suports me 100% but other wise i am on my own about breastfeeding I know i will have to use a supliment of some sort because i dont think i will produce enoght not to use it. if anybody can help me out i would appriceate it. thanks

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L.M.

answers from Boston on

J.,

I would contact La Leche League - www.llli.org

I've never heard of being able to breastfeed without giving birth so I can't answer any questions but the women at La Leche League should be able to help you.

Good luck and congrat's,
L. M

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K.T.

answers from New London on

J., I agree with everyone else, Big Kudos to you!! I recommend you get in touch with La Leche League, they will support you wholly, providing the knowledge you need now to start lactating, with the emotional support you probably WILL need later.

BEST of luck!!

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S.W.

answers from Burlington on

J., I'm so excited to see you're from Vermont. There's a doctor in Winooski who has done this with her own adopted child. I will send you a private message with her info.

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M.C.

answers from Hartford on

Congratulations! And yay for you for breastfeeding your new daughter! You can do it, you'll just need help getting started. Please contact your local LLL and talk with a (or a few) lactation consultants. Or, if you feel you're hitting dead ends with them (unlikely, but you never know), message me for a backup plan.

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A.M.

answers from Hartford on

One of my midwives breastfed her adopted daughter for 3 years and she produced enough milk to do it exclusively for a year. When you bring your new daughter home... lay in bed with her for a couple of days... no cell phone... no nothing. You have to bond with her to produce oxytocin. You also have to lay with her skin on skin and let her latch on every hour or even more if she wants. The bonding is what will allow your body to produce milk. Good Luck!

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J.D.

answers from Boston on

Try calling one or all of the la leche league leaders in your area. if they can't personally help you they can surely point you in the right direction. I give you a great deal of credit!

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A.F.

answers from Providence on

Congratulations! You are doing an amazing thing! Check out AskDrSears.com and KellyMom.com. Both have extensive information on breastfeeding. Good luck!!

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V.B.

answers from Bangor on

I think that it WONDERFUL that you are willing to do this. Breastfeeding is hard at first, but it will come to you, don't give up!

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L.S.

answers from Boston on

Are you adopting a child and hoping to breastfeed that baby or are you having a baby and hope to breastfeed? If it is the latter, there is no reason to think that you will have to supplement. In rare cases a mother does not make enough milk, but nature has a way of producing what the child needs and if you pump and freeze that milk between feedings, you will have bottles for your husband or a sitter to give the baby. By both nursing and pumping, your body will start to make more milk than the baby needs in one day. I nursed all three of my children and even donated frozen milk to a milk bank at a Worcester hospital.

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B.A.

answers from Boston on

I don't have experience with breastfeeding an adopted child but I remember meeting someone at a La Leche League meeting several years ago. My experience with LLL was that they had tremendous resources and might be able to put you in touch with other adoptive breastfeeding moms in the area.
Good Luck!

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L.S.

answers from New London on

If you are already producing milk, you are well on your way. Mothers do not need to be pregnant to produce milk. The actual action of breastfeeding will produce milk and the more you breastfeed the more you will produce. Using a breastpump is great, but the actual connection with your daughter and her sucking will increase your supply. I never produced much milk with a breastpump, but produced a lot with natual breastfeeding. If your adoptive daughter isn't used to the breast, it may take a few days for her to latch on. How old will your daughter be? Sometimes newborns take a little while to learn the technique, that is why some moms have a hard time. It may even be quite painful if she is used to getting a lot of milk from a bottle and isn't getting a lot from your breast. So hang in there if you can. It is quite painful the first few weeks. If you can hang in there your nipples will get tougher and your breasts will produce enough milk, but it is really tough the first few weeks. I don't blame any mom who stops breastfeedings. Don't be scared to take some tylenol either. Use the nipples creams that are out there especially lanolin. It does wonders for sore nips. If you can hang in there, your body will work for you. But don't be hard on yourself if you just can't do it. Best wishes. I breastfed for 10 and half months, if you have any questions just let me know. Also, mothers who give birth don't produce milk for almost 4 days after giving birth. It is the actual breastfeeding around the clock every three hours or so that helps the milk come in.

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B.L.

answers from Boston on

If you talk to a lactation consultant I'm sore that she'll talk about this, but you should probably get ahold of a supplemental feeder -- There's basically a bag that holds the formula or donated breastmilk or whatever you're supplementing with and a tube goes to your nipple where the baby sucks from it, stimulating and building up your milk production and getting whatever milk you're producing while simultaneously supplementing.

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L.R.

answers from Boston on

I have heard about breastfeeding your adopted child. You need to take a supplement to help you produce oxytocin. The more you pump, the more milk you'll produce! Sorry I can't offer more advice. Good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Boston on

There are all kinds of herbs and supplements to increase milk supply - fenugreek, mother's milk tea, blesssed thistle, ashtavari all come to mind. There's also a prescription med, domperidone, but I would try herbals first. Definitely talk to La Leche League and check out KellyMom - lots there on adoptive nursing. Also you could get a supplemental nutrition system - a system of tubes that you can use to feed baby at the breast with formula (if you have to) until your milk supply is sufficient, so she gets the bonding of sucking on the breast. One good brand is the Lact-Aid. What a wonderful mama you are!

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K.C.

answers from Boston on

Finding a local Lactation Consultant and/or La Leche League leader is probably your best bet. For any mom frequent skin-to-skin contact and nursing on demand helps to build up her supply. Some people take supplements to increase supply, they might be helpful in inducing lactation?

Best of luck!

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C.G.

answers from Boston on

Have you contacted a lactation consultant? They are amazing at this stuff:

Gail Levy, RN, IBCLC
Intake number is ###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

Also try Nancy Wainer, midwife, for a wealth of information:
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

I think that what you're doing is awesome! I had my own babe and lost my milk through a series of unfortunate situations and mistakes I made, tried to relactate but 99% of my daughter's nutrition was from formula. If I had met with an LC prior to birth and had one 'on hand' during those first few days, I might not have lost all, or as much as, my milk.

You can do this, many woman do, successfully! Good luck!

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R.K.

answers from Springfield on

J. YOU ARE AWESOME! you should speak w/ a lactation consultant

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J.L.

answers from Boston on

I am not sure you can produce milk without the actual act of being pregnant can you? Is your doc giving you hormones to help? I am currently breast feeding and I use Fenogreek pills to help with my amount... You can get it at any GNC store.. or any sports medicine store...

http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksupply/fenugreek.html

Good luck!

J.

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M.G.

answers from Pittsfield on

J. - You are awesome! What an amazing and impressive goal. I don't personally have experience with this, but I know it can be done. I believe it will take quite a bit of work to start, but of course the benefits far out weigh the effort. Please, contact your local Le Leche League. They will be your biggest supporters and be able to help you through every step. I hope you have a supportive pediatrician or PCP, b/c they should also help you and I know in some instances may prescribe something to increase your prolactin/oxytocin hormones (milk making/releasing hormones).
Since you are expecting this new one any day - You may not be where you need to be to start and depending on how new the baby is you may run in to problems teaching the baby how to latch on and such. Again, the LLL will be there for you. Please get a SNS (supplimental nursing system). I had supply issues with both of my kids and the first breastfed until 20 months, but was supplemented from 4 weeks on. I was devastated to run into issues a second time, but uses the SNS (you wear a "bottle" and tape hoses to your nipples and the baby nurses and naturally pumps while receiving nourishment) It sounds crazy, but it wasn't that complicated and it rectified our situation after about a month. I know it is specifically used for folks in your position. Also, Dr. sears's is a great breastfeeding resource and I've browsed the section in his "The Baby Book" on this matter. I believe his website will provide some good info. Also, you can try Kellymom.com and Mothering magazine also has online support for every angle of breastfeeding you can imagine. Besides that I imagine all the tricks used to boost a postpartum mother's supply would be applicable. Herbal supplements(?)(I take Fenugreek to this day, 9 capsules a day)Skin to skin contact - staying in bed with out tops and cuddle and look at that baby and visualize the process while she is nursing. This is still my best trick. It encourages release which will encourage supply.

Just make sure you have a lot of support and help and don't give up! You can do it!!
Congratulations on this new addition. You are such an awesome mom!!
God bless.

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S.K.

answers from New London on

You need to take medication to encourage the milk to come in. You'll need to find a local doctor who can assist you in this. Pumping alone will not cause you to lactate!
Many adoptive mothers successfully nurse their new child, so you can too!
I know some pediatricians are certified lactation consultants as well, so if you can find a pediatrician who can do this for you, and then care for the needs of your new child in conjunction with overseeing your breastfeeding success- that would be your best bet.
Good luck!
-S.

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N.M.

answers from Hartford on

wow! congratulations! Breastfeeding an adopted child can be very successful with the right help. Talk to your pediatrician & contact a Lactation Consultant now! they can really help you. Also ask your OBGYN. There is a Natural supplement called "Shatavari" that is great for helping with Milk Production; you can read more about it online. Good Luck & God Bless!!!

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