Adoptive Breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-10-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm a first time mom of a six week old little girl. Her birthmother breastfed her for five days, then switched to formula only. Since being home, I've noticed my daughter spitting up more and occassionally vomitting. Her doctor said it's nothing to worry about, however I am worried. I had always planned to breastfeed my children and I've read various articles of induced lactation, however, I am unsure exactly how to start or how long it will take me to produce enough milk for my daughter. I desparately want her off the formula, especially after the articles I read today. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice or know of any organizations that I can contact for help?
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#2 of 7 Old 02-10-2012, 12:14 PM
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1. Order domperidone.


2. Get a breastpump and start using it while you wait for the motilium to come.


3. Attempt to get baby used to the breast so that they will be willing to nurse.  See if you can get baby to nurse for comfort.


4. Order a supplemental nursing system.  Try to get baby to take formula from the SNS at the breast.





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#3 of 7 Old 02-10-2012, 08:51 PM
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Here's a LOT of info on adoptive breastfeeding:


There's info on the Newman protocol, where/how to get domperidone, other medications involved, etc. There is also a forum to communicate with other adoptive nursing moms.


You can get donor milk at or


Find yourself a lactation consultant that is experienced with adoptive nursing. Adoptive nursing is NOT the same as post-partum nursing. Someone not experienced with adoptive nursing could easily give you wrong information. I got bad information for Le Leche League. The leader didn't know what she was talking about and I think it kept me from attaining full supply (I was very close, but her bad info really derailed me.)


Getting the baby to breast will be your biggest challenge to start with. At this age, it may not happen. Your best bet is that the first time you try it you have a lactaid in place Trying to nurse a baby this age without any milk/formula present could teach the baby that there's no reason to nurse at the breast.


I used to donate milk to an adopted baby. His mom successfully breastfed two adopted children without making any milk. She relied strictly on donor milk then nursed using the lactaid. I tell you this to let you know you have plenty of options even if you can't make a full supply of milk.


My adopted daughter is still nursing at 3.5 years. I started pumping to adoptive nurse when my bioson was 20 months old, so my experience was different than yours will be.


Adoptive nursing is a lot of work. However, it is so worth it. My daughter had less than 2 ounces of formula in her life. At 3.5 years she thinks it is perfectly natural to use a "night-night" (supplementer) to nurse. It is so sweet when we are in the shower and I bend down to put the bathtub plug in so she can take a bath. She reaches up and takes just a little sip from each breast. 


So, with good support you should be able to do this. Even if you end up having to use mainly/all donor milk and she will only bottle feed, whatever steps you can accomplish will only be good for her.


Let me know if I can help you.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-20-2012, 03:46 PM
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I am an adoptive mama to a 4 week old. I can attest that you can breast feed your little one, however.... it is a lot of work (and completely work the effort)! If you are a stay at home mama, you may be able to have a certain amount of success but if you work full-time - that will make it much more difficult.

I knew that I wanted to nurse and so prepared ahead of time, my little guy has only ever had breastmilk 'from me'. I am able to have a large enough supply that I do not have to use the supplementer. But... I am fully prepared to use it if I need to.


First of all, I would recommend that you get access to donors in your area. Before doing anything else.


Check out Human Milk 4 Human Babies. It's an amazing resource.


Don't try her on the breast until you have a supplemental nursing system and it is best used with donated breastmilk.


I would be happy to share my experience with you. You can contact me privately.


Best wishes.

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#5 of 7 Old 02-22-2012, 10:25 AM
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In addition to the other advice, I would also recommend lots of "kangaroo care", skin to skin contact and baby wearing.  You need to get those bonding hormones freely flowing.  Also, instead of a pacifier, use your breast to "pacify" when baby is not really hungry but needs to suck.  As much nipple stimulation as possible through out the day will help. 


"Defining your own success" is book published through LLL that discusses induced lactation (and other situations in which exclusive breastfeeding may not be attainable) and may also have some good tips. Breastfeeding can be such a wonderful experience and I wish you the best of luck on this journey.

Mama to Butterfly, B(ee), Bug, and Laniecakes

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#6 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 07:45 PM
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Hopefully your adventures with breastfeeding are going along smoothly, but I just wanted to mention for anyone else, that it is not mandatory that you use a supplemental nursing system. This was not at all useful for us, in getting our 6 week old son to latch on. We didn't use it at all. And we did use bottles of expressed milk to supplement. He was a boob-fiend, and had had bottles for 6 weeks, so nipple confusion just wasn't an issue.


What worked for us, with a baby who had no idea what a breast was for, was to put him under the breast, within mouth reach of the nipple, and use a syringe to drip milk down the breast/nipple onto his mouth. He quickly got the idea that food was there, and went searching for it. We had to use that method to get him to latch on for a few days, but then he got it and happily nursed. He was EBF until 8 months old (by my partner and myself, each providing about 1/2 of his BM intake) and continued to nurse unti he was 4.5 years old. (And, at 5, would still like to be nursing...even though it was his decision, he occasionally regrets it.) :)

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#7 of 7 Old 03-19-2012, 11:55 AM
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Hello -


My daughter was a month old when we adopted her, and she had been on formula the whole time up until then.  We tried adoptive breastfeeding but it was difficult and also seemed really upsetting for her -- she had never been breastfed at all and loved her bottle.  She was my first baby and so I had never nursed before.  Now that I have nursed my bio-son and realize how even that was kind of tough to get the hang of initially, I am not surprised that we were not able to get the adoptive nursing underway -- we had no support for that approach at all. So, if it is at all possible for you, I would suggest meeting with a lactation consultant for some in-person tips and support.


Also, though, my daughter ultimately was a formula baby and, at age 8, is super-healthy and thriving.  So, I totally support the adoptive breastfeeding and/or donated breastmilk approach, but just wanted to add that, if it doesn't work out, don't beat yourself up!  



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