We are just finishing our home study and will be on the waiting list soon. (The paperwork is done, we just have to have a SW come to our home) When do you start the protocol for inducing lactation? I am afraid that I will start when we are matched and the mother will change her mind, but I will be lactating. So then what? Do you just stop or keep going till you are matched again. Is it better to just wait until you have a babe in arms?
Also do some mothers have little to no supply and just use an SNS the entire time. Did you find it a nice bonding experience. I know its a lot more work, but is it worth it.
I nursed my DD for 2 years and really enjoyed it. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how I will nurse my adopted baby.
Mama to L (7) and A (born 7/15 by VBAC)
Hi there- that is a tricky question and one I hope some others will hop on to help you with soon. In the meantime, did you check the askelnore website. I'll post the link in a moment.
Yeah I have seen the lactation protocol. But I am just afraid that I am going to put in all this effort and not have a baby, but lactating breasts. They say the riskiest time is right after childbirth for a mother to change her mind, so now I am wondering if I should just wait until I actually have a baby or take the risk.
Mama to L (7) and A (born 7/15 by VBAC)
Just a quick thought--I don't know enough to share advice regarding when to start the lactation protocol.
I have two co-workers who induced lactation to breastfeed adopted babies. I do not know when they started, but I know that both of them had lactation established by the time the baby was born. With co-worker #1 the adoption went smoothly, no issues, breastfeeding continued for about 18 months. With co-worker #2 the adoption did fall through a few days after the baby was born. She continued to pump and freeze for about four months afterwards in the hopes of adopting another baby soon. She found out about a child in her state that needed breastmilk due to severe allergies and digestive issues attributed to prematurity. She was able to donate all of her stored breastmilk to him. Although the breastmilk did not serve its intended purpose, it did help a child who was sorely in need of it. She later adopted a 2 year old.
Would it make any sense at all to wait for the baby to arrive, begin inducing lactation while using a supplemental nursing system (the tubes) and then nursing baby this way while waiting for lactation to begin?
I was nursing my bio-son when we decided to adopt. For 11 months I pumped three times a day to keep my supply up. When our daughter was born I ended up needing to supplement so was able to use the frozen milk. (Sadly when she was 4 weeks we had a freezer accident and I lost 75% of my milk.) I still got her to 5 months with only my milk then used donor milk for supplementation until she was a year. She will be 4 in less than a month and continues to nurse. I stopped taking domperidone when she was 2.5. I'm not sure when I stopped lactating but we kept using a supplementor with cow's milk (until we realized it was giving her diarrhea.) I've recently stopped using milk in the SNS at bedtime since it is giving her pits in her teeth. She prefers the SNS but will dry nurse. I don't know if she'll ever stop nursing.
After my bio-son was born I donated milk to an adopted baby. His mom wasn't able to put in the time to induce lactation but still nursed with a lactaid and donor milk for at least a year for him and his younger sister.
Online I met someone who had 3,000 ounces (that's not a typo) of breastmilk in her freezer by the time she got a baby. I hope she donated that milk since a lot of other babies could have benefited from it.
I find the nursing experience far more important than the pregnancy experience. Definitely you should nurse your adopted baby.
I'd recommend starting the protocol ASAP. I was only able to pump a couple ounces a day, but after 11 months I had enough milk to last a long time and I needed it all. Bummer most of it had to be thrown out.
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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Thanks ladies. I am caught between Lauren and Sunday Crepes. I dont know that anyone would want my breastmilk because I take medication that a lot of people decide not to breastfeed on. So if I had a big stash it would likely go to waste. After looking on LactMed and talking to my GI, I decided that I could breastfeed while taking it.
I would have cried over that stash SundayCrepes.
Mama to L (7) and A (born 7/15 by VBAC)
Dear Mountain Mama,
It's definitely a very personal decision. There are lots of different ways of preparing for adoptive breastfeeding, both physically and emotionally. I can tell you the choices I made -- this particular combination worked for me.
I waited for nine months for a baby after all my paperwork was set. I had a couple of failed matches during those nine months.
My adopted son is now nine years old.
While we were waiting, we of course didn't know if we would be successful before the time limit we had set for ourselves. So I felt it was important for me to protect myself emotionally from the devastating disappointment I would feel if I were pumping but no baby ever came.
I took estrogen and progesterone according to the protocol, but did not pump or take domperidone while I was waiting.
When the agency called with what sounded like a high likelihood baby, that was due within a couple of weeks, I took the plunge. I stopped taking the hormones, started taking the domperidone, and started pumping. Two weeks later, when the baby arrived, I was getting a total of one teaspoon of milk per day with the pump.
When the baby arrived (newborn), I stopped pumping and nursed him with a Lactaid supplementer.
When the baby was four months old, before we started any solids, we weighed the supplementers before and after nursing for a week, and compared the amount of supplement he had ingested with the estimated amount of milk a baby of his age and weight normally takes. From that calculation, we were able to conclude that I was supplying half of his nutrition. I was very pleased.
From the start, my goal was to have a close relationship with my baby. I knew that some mothers set goals for themselves to try to nurse without a supplementer. I did not set that goal for myself. For us, the whole adoptive breastfeeding thing was a huge success.
One thing that helped me was that I started the domperidone with a very low dose and increased very slowly with the help of a compounding pharmacy. This way I hardly felt any side effects from the domperidone.
We called the domperidone my Dom Perignon. I know that it helped my milk production, because a couple of times I ran out, and while I was waiting for the package to arrive in the mail, my production noticeably went down, and then recovered when I started taking it again.
I won't say that nursing with the supplementer was effortless -- but it was certainly worth the effort, and it got easier with practice.
As you are preparing to adopt, I recommend that you read a lot about breastfeeding in general, and about transracial adoption, if that's something you are interested in. If you are thinking about adopting an African American baby, then read about African American history, read African American literature. Immerse yourself, educate yourself, so you can be a bridge for your child to his or her people. Because sooner or later, that is how he will see people who look like him -- as his people. You may never feel that way -- but you can certainly help him with connections and understanding.