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Thread: Adopting. Can I breastfeed?

  1. #1

    Default Adopting. Can I breastfeed?

    We were recently asked to adopt a cousin's baby due in September. I nursed my 5 biological children, the youngest of which is 19. I am almost 48 years old. I heard its possible to breastfeed which idea is new to me. Where do I start? How do I prepare? Am I too old?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Adopting. Can I breastfeed?

    Hi anigayuk, welcome to the forum.

    You are not too old to breastfeed. Even if you are post-menopause, you could still make milk. Milk production has to with different hormones and mothers at any age can make milk.

    Here is a resource page with lots of info. Relactation basically means mom made milk before and induced lactation means she did not. But another way to read it is when relactating, mom gave birth to the presumptive nursing child and with induced lactation she did not. Since you nursed before, that would put you in the category of relactation but since if has been many years and you will not be experiencing pregnancy and birth with this baby, that would put you in the category of induced lactation. In other words, you can take suggestions from both types of articles, but you probably want to look first at induced lactation in particular.


    I also strongly suggest the books Making More Milk and Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation

    You have two things going for you many adopting moms who what to breastfeed do not- you will be adopting a brand-newborn who can be encouraged to nurse from the start, and, since you have a few months to go before baby is born, you can start encouraging your body to lactate now by pumping a few times a day and taking other measures as you wish. Since you may not make enough milk by the time baby is born but you will want baby to learn to nurse, I suggest not only working on milk production but also, familiarize yourself with lactation aids for delivering supplements while baby nurses.

    You can pump as often as you like, as works for you. Obviously the more often you pump the better but it need not be the same frequency every day. Ideally you would use a very good double sided electric pump and you have to be careful the pump fits ok. If renting a hospital grade pump for the next few months is possible that may be best but may not be necessary. It really just depends on how your body responds to pumping. You can also add hand expression to the pumping to help. There is a hormone ingestion protocol you can consider, (there may be more than one, I do not know) but not all women who induce lactation needs to take hormones, although it would likely help you make more milk.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 15th, 2017 at 09:42 PM.

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