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Thread: Adoptive nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Adoptive nursing

    I have two adopted boys and expect to adopt another before the end of this year. I would really like to bf this one and I have been doing quite a bit of research. Any one know how to do this or have been successful at it?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    This is definately possible! Speak to your ob/gyn about it as there are hormones, herbs, and medications (galactagogues) you can take that will help. Martha Sears speaks about this in "The Baby Book" by her dh, Dr. William Sears (this book is my bible). She did it with her adoptive daughter. I believe I also saw a similar situation on Dr. Phil. That woman was able to take galactagogues and use a pump so she had a supply well established prior to her adopted baby's birth. She was able to be in the delivery room and nurse right away (how special!)

    Ok...Just consulted the Sears book and this information may help further:
    Steps for Induced Lactation:
    1. Seek advice and support from mother's who have successfully bf their adoptive babies-- you're already on the right track!
    2. Consult a lactation consultant as soon as you know you are getting a baby. The ideal situation is to know before the baby is born. A month's prep is best, but not absolutely necessary.
    3. Obtain the following tools:
    -electric breast pump (can be rented), preferably one with a double pumping system and simulate sucking at the breast by pumping your breasts as often as you would feed a new born (at least every 2 hours)
    -breastfeeding supplementer. This consists of a plastic container to hold breast milk or formula, connected to a feeding tube to deliver it. THe supplementer is suspended by a cord around your nexk and rests between your breasts. TIny flexible tubings extend from the supplementer and rest over the mother's nipple. While sucking at your breast the baby draws milk from the supplementer throught he tubing. ANy of your milk present in your breast also comes to the baby through your nipple.
    3. choose a pediatrician who is experienced in counseling adoptive breastfeeding mthers.
    4. make arrangements if possible to be present at deliver so baby can begin bonding with you and you can be the first to feed the baby (no bottles!)
    5. While the baby is in the hospital try to be present for as many feedings as you can. With the help of a lc begin feeding the baby formula at your breast with a supplementer. IF you can't be present ask the nurses to use the finger and syringe method of feeding to avoid bottle feeding.
    6. Remember it's the FREQUENCEY of sucking that stimulates milk. So nurse or pump as often as possible! Most mothers will begin producing some milk in three to four weeks.
    7. Wear your baby alot. (for more information go to peppermint.com or thebabywearer.com) Massage your baby and sleep with your baby. The closer you are to your infant the more your supply will increase.
    8. try not to focus on how soon you will produce milk or how much. Even after your milk appears do not establish milk supply expectations; the quantity of milk produced is not the ultimate goal. The close bonding that breastfeeding helps you achieve is the main benefit of breastfeeding your adopted baby.


    I must tell you how thoroughly impressed I am with your commitment to give your child the very best you can offer. Good luck!
    Last edited by LLL_Kristie; January 23rd, 2006 at 09:15 PM.
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  3. #3
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    Moving this to induced lactation for faster response...

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    Congrats on your new arrival!

    Many women have successfully induced lactation. Hopefully, someone who has experienced this personally will come along with some helpful suggestions. Until then, I hope you'll check out this site:
    http://www.fourfriends.com/abrw/

    Do be sure to keep us updated. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    tallmom,
    Here are some resources available on the LLL website:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/adopt.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBadoptive.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...tNov04p99.html

    I'm still hoping that someone who has personal experience will come along with more suggestions for you.

    Do check out the site that home executive posted. It's a really good resource. You also might consider getting in touch with your local LLL Leader and a local IBCLC. Both will have more information (and support!) for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    31

    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    A woman I know accomplished this about 20 years ago - we, her friends, were all very impressed/amazed.

    She used a Medela product - a small boxy tippy-cup sized container that hung on a cord around her neck. It has small tubes like those used for tube feeding that you tape off to the breasts. When the baby nurses, he/she is rewarded by the milk from the "bottle" while the nursing helps stimulate milk production.

    http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/specialtyfdg.html

    I was so impressed, that years later when my infant son had serious complications following heart surgery, I remembered her and was able to use the same technique to help reestablish breastfeeding after he'd been off the breast for over three months.

    A hospital grade electric pump is probably going to be KEY. I rented mine from a hospital supply.

    There were some difficulties and a LLL volunteer helped me long distance on the phone to work my way through them. I think it's a little harder to do if the baby is already established on a bottle. I had to retrain my son's tongue using one of the tubes ttached to my pinkie. Time and patience are neccessary elements.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    5

    Smile Re: Adoptive nursing

    Hi,
    It is really helpful to be looking into the options in advance. I do hope that you have been able to look at the websites suggested. I also found that if you put the search "adoptive nursing" into www.kellymom.com that there are quite a few others, including some stories from mothers who have successful b/f adoptive babies.
    I have helped a woman about a year ago (in New Zealand) to successfully produce breastmilk for her adopted baby using the protocols by Dr Jack Newman - they can be found on the site: www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding along with other information relating to adoptive nursing.
    I wish you all the best

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    3

    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    I know this is an old thread, but if the OP is still seeking info about adoptive nursing, I have some experience.

    I bf'd my ds, who was adopted as a newborn. It was a challenging experience with mixed results, but we are now waiting for our second baby and I am eager to nurse again. I'm a little scared, but as I've had more and more time to think and plan for it, I'm getting really excited and I feel confident that things will go better this time.

    I chose to go with no medications, and after a great deal of debate and thought, that is what I'm planning to do the second time too. I did try some herbs such as fenugreek later on in the process (after my ds was a few months old), and while they helped some, the fenugreek in particular lowered my blood sugar with some scary results. My vision started blurring. I have heard that lowered blood sugar is a side effect of some of the galactagogue herbs. I think if you don't have blood sugar issues you can go ahead and use them and probably wouldn't have a problem, but just be very observant and look for symptoms. I might try some herbs again, but in lower doses.

    I started pumping about four weeks before my son arrived. I pumped every three hours for 20 minutes with a hospital grade double pump. I tried pumping every two hours, but that just about did me in. This next time I am going to try a Medela Pump in Style, since my friend gave me a barely-used one. I have read that some women respond just as well to the PIS as they do the hospital pump, so I'm going to give it a try and see how it works.

    I did not see any milk while pumping. I did not see any until my ds was 4 weeks old, and that was through hand expression--and it was just drops. I know that my son was getting more than that, but it wasn't much. My estimate is about 1 oz per day. However, he was having a lot of problems with nursing, and I feel that there were many factors related to why I never made much milk--it wasn't just because I was inducing lactation.

    Once my son was placed with us, I just simply began nursing him using a supplementer. I used the Lact-aid (www.lact-aid.com ), which is the preferred supplementer for long-term use. If you have specific questions about this, I can answer those too.

    Unless you live in a large city, you will probably not find a doctor who is experienced in working with adoptive nursing mothers. You will have to do your own research and be your own advocate. My goal would be to find a dr who is supportive and will accept the research you present. My dr was initially supportive, but once we started having problems her support waned. My son was an extremely fussy nurser--he arched his back constantly, latched and unlatched constantly, etc. My dr blamed it all on my use of the nursing supplementer and said that my son was frustrated with the tube, couldn't get enough milk, etc. Well, after we finally quit nursing, the behavior didn't improve. After talking with other moms whose exclusively breastfed babies had the same problems, I felt that my son actually had reflux, which the dr never diagnosed because she was too busy blaming everything on induced lactation. Now I know.... if I have another baby with the same symptoms, I will INSIST that we find out what the real problem is. I will not accept "it's because you're adoptive bf'ing" as an answer.

    There are some realities that you will have to deal with that are just part of adoption, so I want to gently comment on some of the previous responses. When you are involved in an adoption, you are also dealing with a birth mother, and you must take her feelings and preferences into account (until she has relinquished her rights and the baby is yours). I'm sure as you've adopted before, you already know this. In the hospital, what she says goes. As an adoptive parent, you really have no place to express a preference on how the baby is fed while still in it's birthmother's custody. If the birthmother asks you your preferences or includes you in this process, then of course you can express you wishes. But the choices are still hers. So while from a purely breastfeeding perspective, of course we don't want our babies to have any bottles or artificial nipples, and we would like to be able to nurse them just as quickly as possible after birth, that often isn't reality when the emotions and experiences of adoption are all added into the mix. The birthmom is in charge. I would not bf my baby in front of his birthmother in the hospital. Even if she had previously said it would be OK, I just would be extremely careful about doing this, because of what it would/could do to her emotionally. She's getting ready to say goodbye to the child she just birthed, and the hormones are in full force and the emotions are extremely tender and difficult. Protecting her experience is my foremost goal before placement. Some birthmoms want to turn everything over to the adoptive parents from the very first moment, while others want to experience being the mom for awhile before the baby is placed.

    My feeling is that I would let my child's birthmother make all the choices while in the hospital. If she asked me my opinion, I'd tell her, but then make sure she knew it was up to her to decide. I would not even express a preference unless she specifically asked me. I would just go with the flow and be willing to deal with whatever happened next. It is not my baby until those papers are signed and that child is in my arms. I was very lucky in that my son's birthmom did breastfeed him in the hospital and throughout the placement. It made for a wonderful transition! If the birthmom wanted to breastfeed, I would certainly encourage her to go for it, for many reasons!

    I second the advice to nurse on demand as much as possible. I found it impossible to manage both pumping and nursing. I would just focus on nursing unless there's a specific reason to pump after the baby is here. I would also focus on frequent comfort-nursing without the supplementer from the time the baby is a newborn. This something I didn't do with my son, and I regret it, because by the time I needed him to be able to comfort nurse, he wouldn't touch it if the supplementer wasn't there. With my next baby, I will literally put the baby to my breast every time s/he makes a peep. I really, really want to encourage my child to comfort-nurse because I know my body needs every bit of stimulation possible.

    The bonding is wonderful! My son's placement ended at midnight, we got back to our hotel at 1:00 in the morning. I was totally exhausted before we even got started parenting. But my most precious memory is of nursing my baby for the first time in the middle of the night in our hotel room while my dh slept. I was so sad when it finally became apparent after almost 5 months of effort that it just wasn't going to work for us. I had tried everything I knew. But now I know even more, and I can't wait to do it again. It really is worth it!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    What a beautiful story, Laurelin, I'm so glad you shared. :-)
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Adoptive nursing

    Dedre, I sent you a pm. I had a question for you. Thanks so much!

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