Has anyone successfully induced lactation for an adoptive child? We're in the process of hopefully being placed with a 4 month old and I'd like to breastfeed him. Unfortunately, I never had a very good supply with my 3 biological children and I'm also in college part time so I fear I won't be successful. Really, even if I can provide him anything it's better than nothing.
What has your experience been? What are the first steps to inducing lactation?
Contact a lactation consultant. http://americas.iblce.org/find-an-ibclc
There are galactalogues that can help induce lactation. Some are herbal; some are prescription. Rent a Hospital grade electric breastpump (probably about $100 first month, $50 a month after) and begin pumping. It takes a lot of dedication and time.
Another issue you will have besides milk supply is that the baby is 4 months old. Baby may not be willing to accept the breast. A nipple shield may help, but might not. You might need a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) to supplement at the breast.
I was a Lactation consultant for 7 years in a former life.. ha ha it really was like 5 years ago. I worked part time, and in those 7 years I would say that I personally talked to 5 people who called for information about inducing lactation for adoption and 1 came in for a consultation. The one who came in was succesfully, although she had recently breastfed her own children (last one she had weaned about 3 months prior to starting the induction) and the baby was a newborn. Information may have changed in the past 5 years, so your best bet is calling a IBCLC.
You have many obstacles to overcome, and I wish you the very best!
My baby was 4 months when I got her. Domperidone and a good pump made the milk and lots and lots of trying different things got her to finally take the breast. I think it took about a month of persistent effort to get her to take the breast. It was helpful to take away all artificial nipples and to have her watch other babies breastfeed. It was really, really hard to get it all to work, but once it was working it was easy to do, and she nursed for about 3 years. I only had to take the domperidone for about 4 or so months, then my body made the milk on its own (never even been pregnant). I consulted a lactation consultant who told me that the baby was too old and would never take the breast. It was very discouraging, and luckily wrong in our case.
I'm still nursing my 3.5 year old, though I don't think I've made any milk since I stopped taking the domperidone a year ago.
There's lots of info at www.asklenore.info.
If you can get baby to breast and use a supplementer http://www.lact-aid.com/ you will get lots of stimulation to help make milk plus the baby will at least get the benefits of nursing even if you don't make milk. However, with a 4 month old that could take a bit of work. I'd get a list of everything zombie tried to get her baby to breast.
Also, be careful who you get information from. Adoptive nursing is not the same as post-partum nursing. It can be done, but it's a lot of work. It's easy to feel derailed. You have a great idea and with persistence you have a good chance to be successful on at least some level. Find the experienced and/or supportive folk and let them 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. Now living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it. See me at
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