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Nursing an adopted infant

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Have any of you successfully nursed an adopted infant? How did you induce lactation? How did you bring it up with the birth mom/parents? If we are blessed with a newborn it is really important to me to nure but I am afraid it will prevent us from finding a match.
post #2 of 14

I am planning to breastfeed. I am on birth control pills right now, and when we get a match I will start the domperidone, and pumping according to how much time I have left till the baby comes. Our agency has a 6-36 month wait so I am not going to start pumping till we get matched as it could be up to 3 years before we get a baby. 


I let my intention be known. You never know what a birth mom will find appealing, that could also be the one thing that gets you chosen. 


The goals with adoptive breastfeeding are different. You have to change your definition of success as its very rare to get a full supply going. I plan to use an SNS for supplementing at the breast and as long as my baby gets SOME breastmilk, I will be happy. My friend is due in May and is going to donate some milk to us. 

post #3 of 14

You should check out this recent thread on the same topic in Breastfeeding Challenges.  I recommend working with a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to learn more about inducing lactation. 

post #4 of 14

My wonderful LC breastfed her adopted daughter. You can read her story here:



best of luck to you!

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas!

I was thinking of starting the process of relactating after our homestudy is approved. I was hoping to have a freezer stash built up just in case my milk doesn't fully come in. It would suck to pump for 3 years though!
post #6 of 14

We've also had some great threads here in Adoptive Parenting on this topic. Later when I have a few more moments I can look a couple up. Also check our resource thread at the top of the page.

post #7 of 14

I have a friend who nursed her adoptive son, he actually never had a drop of formula, she was able to get a full supply (without ever having been pregnant before so pretty amazing). She went on to nurse for over a year.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks you so much Christophersmom! That is very encouraging news! When I breastfed my own children I nursed them for 2 1/2 years and 3+ years (my sons is just now self weaning) and I had a very, very large milk supply. I used to joke that I could feed a third world country with my milk. If I could get even half that supply back I think I'd be good to go. If I can't though I have an amazing network of mamas that I could get donor milk from. I'm hoping that one way or an our newest addition wouldn't have to get any formula either.

post #9 of 14

Yeah, we used a milk share site and were able to get donor milk for both my girls. I had a hard time nursing DS and that coupled with we didn't know what age and when we'd get a kid, I didn't even attempt lactation. It was the only thing I feel I missed out on with my infertility issues. I really had wanted to nurse my children.

post #10 of 14
I am currently nursing my 10 day old adopted little princess. I was very blessed with a birth mom who is supportive. She is also pumping. She wanted to pump before she choose us to adopt. I didn't have much notice so I was only on BC for a month then pumping and dome for a month. I have some milk but not much. So I am using the lact-aid system with donor milk. I'm hoping that my supply will keep increasing I don't respond well to a pump so it's hard to know how much she is getting from me. The pumping was the same for my bio son that I nursed for 22 months.
post #11 of 14

Congratulations Taelia on your new family member! Sounds like a pretty ideal situation. Best of luck!

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing Taelia and congrats on your new addition! I hope that we are able to find a supportive birth mom. It would be awesome if she could pump for the baby for a little while. I'm not going to hold my breath for that though. I'll just be happy if the idea of me breastfeeding doesn't scare her off completely.

post #13 of 14

I breastfed my foster, now adoptive son, with very limited success. I got him to the breast sometimes (I'm trying to celebrate that it's something) and provided donated milk often, but he never received my milk. I was still nursing my almost-4-year-old, so I wrongly assumed I still had milk. I wish I had followed the most intense relactation protocol at asklenore.com rather than a less intense one.


My situation was different as he was in foster care, but I took on a don't ask, don't tell mantra.

post #14 of 14

I started nursing my adopted daughter at 6 hours of age. She is 4.5 YEARS and still nursing. I don't think I've actually made milk in a couple years since I stopped taking the domperidone, but that doesn't seem to bother her. She is clearly weaning--not nursing as often or as much, but she still loves "milkies."


I was nursing my bio-son when we decided to adopt and started pumping to maintain my supply. I never got to full supply, though close. I had a freezer full of milk I had pumped over 11 months but when she was a month old we had a freezer accident and lost 75% of my milk. I still got her to 5 months on just my fresh and frozen milk then to a year using donor milk. At that point I gave away the donor milk I had to a newborn and used cow's milk in a supplementer (not knowing she has a cow's milk sensitivity.)


I don't have a lot of time to write right now so look for my old posts here and in breastfeeding challenges. I'll be happy to answer any questions at a later date. Also, check out http://asklenore.com/ which is one of the best sites there are for adoptive nursing. 


Finding a lactation consultant experienced with adoptive nursing is a good idea. Just be careful of people who aren't experienced with adoptive/surrogate nursing. It is NOT the same as post-partum nursing. I was given very good post-partum advice by a LLL leader. Except it was poor advice for an adoptive situation. So just make sure the people you consult are experienced with adoptive nursing.

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