Friday, November 13, 2009

Adoptive Breastfeeding

Did you know it's possible to breastfeed an adopted child? Even if you've had a complete hysterectomy (as I have) or have gone through menopause, your body is still capable of producing milk.

I found out about this a while ago, and had given it a thought now and again, but now that we are truly beginning the process, I'm thinking about it even more.

I've done a SIGNIFICANT amount of research on this topic. According to a number of studies, the milk of an adoptive mother is equal to that of a birthmother's milk ten days postpartum. So, the child is getting all of the immune and health benefits that a birthmother's milk provides. It's a very healthy choice, and also allows for very valuable bonding time between the new mother and child.

Most adoptive mothers need to supplement their feedings for a little while with an SNS or Lact-Aid type system, as their milk supply continues to grow. But, most are able to eventually produce all the milk their baby needs with a little time and effort.

Please, take a moment to learn a little bit more about it from the following websites:

A very informative website with lots of links that are very valuable in deciding if adoptive breastfeeding is for you. It also contains helpful information for those who decide to follow through.

The best website (in my opinion) about adoptive breastfeeding is Ask Lenore. Here, you can find some FAQs, The Newman-Goldfarb Protocols for induced lactation (including regular, accelerated, and post-menopausal protocols), and message boards to connect with others in the same situation. Be aware that even though there are medicine/hormone induced lactation protocols, you can induce lactation naturally without the assistance of drugs. But, if you choose to use the Domperidone, there is no risk to the child or mother. The drug does not cross the blood-brain barrier as does Reglan, and does not express in the milk in any significant quantity.

A collection of moving stories from adoptive mothers who have breastfed their children can be found here, courtesy of La Leche League Intl.

A very nice blog post about adoptive breastfeeding that also deals with possible first-mother reactions and hospital etiquette.

What do you think about Adoptive Breastfeeding? Are you planning to breastfeed your child? Have you had success/failure with it?