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.
Re: First time adoptive mom, interested in breastfeeding
My husband and I have "not prevented" for 11 years and we have a very active sex life. We got pregnant once 6 years ago and I miscarried at 11 weeks. Since then, I got more serious about getting pregnant & tried clomid and tried birth control pills to regulate my period prior to that. Neither worked for me. I have always had irregular menstrual cycles but every doctor just wants to put me on birth control to see if that helps regulate me and it never does. Finally, I found a PA 6 months ago who was able to help and after an ultrasound and blood work tests, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I wanted to lose weight so he put me on Bontril, and restricted my caloric intake and I've now lost 32.5 lbs. I have 38.5 lbs left to lose before I am back in a normal BMI. He also wanted to start me on Metformin, but after reading up about it, I'm a little too scared to start it.
My husband and I were just asked a few months ago by a friend of a friend to adopt a baby. Mom is due in 6 weeks, but will probably be early. I immediately knew I wanted to breastfeed for several reasons. #1-I believe breast milk is the best nutrition for baby and is filled with antibodies and prevents allergies, etc. #2. I want to have that bonding experience with the baby with skin to skin contact. When I told this PA that I was adopting and wanted to induce lactation, he told me that was impossible. Luckily, my mom was a big advocate of La Leche League and told me I can induce lactation and should try and to look up information on this website about it. She is my #1 supporter.
My insurance covers a breast pump, so I got a Medella Advanced pump in style (dual electric) and have been pumping now for 2.5 weeks. I also started taking Fenugreek after the first week of pumping and started another lactation herbal supplement a few days ago (both I got at Fred Meyer in their organic section about $15/bottle- for 30 day supply). I also got Mother's milk tea and occasionally drink that at night. The first 2 weeks I wasn't really pumping consistently, but the last 3 days I've been trying to pump every 2-3 hours for 20 mins except for at night. I have noticed after pumping for 10 mins, that I get a very strong nausea that just washes over me. Then, after the nausea is deep exhaustion. Almost to the point where I feel drugged. I was a little worried about this and looked up as much info as I could. It seems that this may mean that my oxytocin levels increase when pumping. Also, I found out today that if I drink a lot of water throughout the day and drink a lot when I start to feel nauseated, it helps. I've also noticed that I'm nesting and preparing for baby and I'm feeling a lot of emotions I'd never thought I would experience, like a strong desire to have a baby and cuddle, which I'm not sure if that is from the pumping or from getting close to adopting. Those close to me are saying I'm super emotional right now. LOL. I've not yet lactated and may never, but I'm going to keep going with this and I will try to update my post when there has been changes. It will be totally worth it either way because I know I'm trying to do best for the baby. I've noticed that my breasts have increased and actually have little tiny stretch marks now. So, I think that is a good sign. I'm okay if I have to supplement with formula as a last resort. I'm planning on buying an SNS in case I don't start producing before baby comes. I'd also be VERY interested to hear from anyone who has tried to induce lactation in general and especially those with PCOS. I'm trying to do it without getting on Domperidone (staying away from Reglan because it crosses the blood/brain barrier), but as it gets closer, I may break down and try that. If nothing works, does anyone know anything about breast milk banks? I work now & plan on working, but the great thing is I have my own office that I can shut the door & have privacy. Also, I didn't want to spend the money for a bra that holds the electric pump nozzles and I knew I needed to keep working while pumping, so I took an old tank top with a halter tie strap & cut 1 inch slits where the nipples would be and it works REALLY great! I hope this post helps someone out there that is going through a similar situation and please comment because I'd love to get support and hear from others who have gone through this. :thumbsup