Adoptive Breastfeeding

Tuesday September 11, 2012 

Tomorrow is my first La Leche meeting!  I really hope it goes well and isn't too uncomfortable.  This is the first time I will be surrounded by new and expecting mothers and actually fit in with them!  Well, sort of.  (sigh)  Such is life.  It's okay, though.  I'm extremely blessed and excited to be on the journey to adoption.  This is a path I've wanted to travel since I was seven years old.  Twenty one years later, I'm truly "livin' the dream".  :)

I will post after tomorrow's meeting and let you know how it goes!
Did you know that all mammals have the ability to lactate?  When I told my husband this information, his first response was, "No.  I'm not doing it."  I couldn't help but laugh before reassuring him that the conversation was headed a different direction than he assumed.

What I know so far is that it's possible for me to breastfeed my adopted baby.  I know that I will need to use a breast pump to stimulate the lactation process.  From what I've read, the "dry" pumping will be painful and may or may not go so well.  In addition to pumping months before my baby is home, I may or may not need to take lactose inducing hormones to "trick" my body into acting as though I've gone through labor and delivery.  I'm not a huge fan of medication, have boycotted birth control since I was 23 years old and am not sure how I feel about taking hormones to artificially produce breast milk, but we will see.  I'm going to talk to a lactation consultant, do my research, and make my decisions well informed.  Whatever I end up doing, will be what is best for me, Adam, and Baby.

I don't have specific websites to recommend yet.  This process is close to the top of my list for the next couple weeks, but I'm trying not to drive myself crazy with deadlines and self proclaimed due dates.  I will take my time looking into it, but I do know that I need to have a plan before our application process is complete.  This way, once we are officially an "awaiting family", I will be starting the lactation process, if not already producing even a small supply of milk.

Most adoptive mothers succeed at breastfeeding.  However, the amount of milk produced varies.  Some mothers produce up to 75% of the necessary milk for their baby's daily feeding.  The rest is supplemented with formula.  On the other hand, some adoptive mothers barely fall in the 25% range.  Whether a mother is going through the lactation process for the first time, or "re-lactating" (because she has lactated before after a previous pregnancy or she has done adoptive lactation before) can effect her milk production.

I know that regardless of however my journey is paved, God has laid it out, and will guide me through each step.  The thought of formula feeding my baby at all makes me cringe and drives me to do no less than try everything I can to produce breast milk.  That being said, I have helped raise plenty of babies, as a nanny, who were formula fed and very healthy.  I know that if God has planned formula feeding our baby, He will give me peace about the decision and take away my discomfort.  He will help me become informed of its benefits as well as give me the ability to inform and support other adoptive mothers in my situation.


  1. Okay, so this is random, but when I nursed Jake and Sadie, I wasn't able to keep up with my milk supply. My doctor told me to try "Fenugreek".. a natural herb type thing, that I purchased at a vitamin store. Not to pricey and worked crazy good. However, I did notice a different type of smell when I was sweaty.... hhmmm.. Anyway, I'm not sure if this is something that will stimulate you to lactate but it could very well help you to achieve at least 75 percent once you are lactating. Or not.. so off to researching as I know you will :)

  2. Thank you so much for this! I will look into when I get to that part in our journey. I've done some research on adoptive breastfeeding but have kept the details off our blog for now. I'm not sure how much I want to share publicly yet, you know? I will add this to my list of resources, though! I really appreciate it!