First time adoptive mom, interested in breastfeeding
Hi! So I am a first time mom, my husband and I were just matched with a birth
mother who is due in November. I have always dreamt of breastfeeding my child,
and I would like to breastfeed my adopted baby!
So...I am not sure where to start, so I'll share some of my story and maybe that can help, I am open to ANY advice :)
So, I have had a breast reduction surgery, it went well, and I have full nipple
sensation. I have healed well, and by time of baby's delivery surgery will be post-op at one year, I had my surgery November 2012.
I have PCOS, thus the infertility and adoption, I am on metformin currently to help
with PCOS, as well as birth control and a mild depressant to help counter some of
the hormone effects of the BC.
I live in a rural area, my town is less than 600, and the nearest city has about
15k. The lactation consultant in the nearby town has never helped an adoptive
mother, and my OBGYN has not either. Everyone is willing to help and is
I have looked up SNS and lact-aid, from what I understand having supplemental
option is important. My biggest goal with breastfeeding is skin on skin bonding.
While I do really want to produce milk, my biggest goal is the bonding experience.
So....has anyone been successful in breastfeeding an adopted child? What were
your families thoughts? What medications or any did you use? What were some
of the biggest challenges you faced?
Thanks for your time and help!!!!
Re: First time adoptive mom, interested in breastfeeding
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby to come! I hope everything goes as hoped and planned.
I haven't personally breastfed an adopted baby, but I know people who have. One was already breastfeeding her slightly older biological child, and she had little trouble putting her adopted newborn to the breast and producing sufficient milk for both kids. The other mom had never breastfed or even been pregnant. She used a supplemental nursing system to help her breastfeed her newborn, and after several weeks of supplementing at the breast was able to produce some milk. Not enough to fully feed her child, but some. Around that time, her baby learned to spit out the breast and drink from the SNS tube, at which point she decided she had had enough. She had to accept that her breastfeeding journey was not going to be what she had envisioned, and had to redefine what breastfeeding success meant to her.
Honestly, it seems that you have a lot of factors working against you. Breast reduction can damage your ability to produce milk, even after full healing and restored sensation. PCOS can impact your ability to produce milk- about 30% of women with PCOS have low supply (the other 2/3 have normal or overabundant supply). And birth control pills can impact your milk supply. And it sounds like you've never been pregnant- so that may work against you, too, because pregnancy generally causes breast growth and prepares the breast to lactate.
So that's all the bad news. How about the good news? :) It sounds like you have a realistic assessment of your situation- you want to produce milk, but bonding with your baby is your first priority. I think you will have no trouble bonding with your baby, even if you decide to do bottles of formula from day one. And if you nurse, there's a good chance you'll get some milk. I think that realistically, you're unlikely to achieve a full supply. But you will probably get SOME milk, and that will be awesome!
When it comes to medications, I think the protocol is basically this:
1. Combination estrogen-progestin pills- taking them basically tricks your body into thinking "I'm a little bit pregnant"
2. Oxytocin nasal spray to assist letdown
3. Reglan or Domperidone to elevate Prolactin levels (Prolactin is the hormone that governs milk production)
The best way to bring milk in, in addition to the drugs mentioned above, is to pump frequently using a high-quality pump (think hospital-grade rental). You'd want to pump frequently- say 8-10 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. The 2 problems with pumping are, first, that it can mean a huge investment in time and energy, and second, that if you're successful in inducing lactation but not successful in adopting the baby, you can end up with a lot of emotional fallout.
See http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/adoptivebf/ for more! Also, check out bfar.org for information on nursing post-reduction.