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Adoptive breastfeeding an HIV+ baby?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here's an interesting question. We're adopting a baby girl from Uganda. As we're getting closer to talking about specific children, we've decided to be open to an HIV+ child. It has always been my plan to try adoptive breastfeeding. I am wondering if this is still an option if the child we adopt is HIV+. I don't have to breastfeed again (I've been breastfeeding for most of the last six years, have finally weaned, and I'm enjoying my boobs just being mine and dh's again!) - but I want to do what is best for our daughter.

Any resources on this?
post #2 of 7
Try emailing Jack Newman http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...d=62&Itemid=33

I'm curious as to what he says.
post #3 of 7
I don't have any advice or anything to add, I just want to say this sounds fantastic and I am sending you TONS of well-wishes.
post #4 of 7
We were considering adopting an HIV exposed baby last year. I asked Le Leche League your exact question. HIV CAN be passed from baby to mother by breastfeeding.

For scientific papers on the subject go to pubmed.gov
Use searchterms: hiv transmission breastfeeding child-to-mother
post #5 of 7
hey again!

I have now relactated twice in preparation for adoptive breastfeeding. The first time my output was minimal, but likely would have built up to something more substantial over time. The second time, it was like I had given birth, and I'm really not sure why, and I know that's not the usual outcome. I had to quit, I was so engorged, and the little girl we were adopting died of malaria (or her dad changed his mind, or the whole thing was a scam, we'll never know) and we were many months away from having a baby home. Once we were matched with kids I realized that I would have to maintain a pumping regiment in africa, while trying to bond with our two new kiddos, who would both be at the age where it would be iffy at best whether they would even nurse at all... so I gave it up.

I guess my point is, I was really dedicated to adoptive nursing, but the logistics just made it impossible. If you would rather nurse your child than adopt an HIV+ child, keep in mind that the logistics with Ugandan adoption are such that it might be difficult to nurse anyway, so I wouldn't bank too heavily on nursing. I'm not trying to be discouraging, but if you compare the health benefits of breastfeeding with the health benefits for an HIV+ child being adopted into your family... there is really no comparison, ya know?

I know you're still in the consideration phase, just wanted to share my own experience!
post #6 of 7
oh, and I also noticed you're near Seattle -- we're in Blaine. There are a lot of Ugandan adoptive families here in WA, and a Ugandan community network that has events and such.
post #7 of 7
Some women can make tons of milk with the medications and pumping. Is an option you try and do that then feed your milk to an HIV+ baby? Or could you get donated milk from www.milkshare.com.

It sounds like the logistics of trying to pump in Uganda may be too cumbersome, but these are options to consider.
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