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<p>Hello all,</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We are just starting on this journey, though it is something that has been on my mind and in my heart since I was a child myself. I have tons of questions, but might as well start with one.</p>
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<p>My 5 yo ds is still nursing a little bit, but seems to be in the process of slowly weaning. He just nurses usually a couple minutes a day. He is getting milk. I'm in a position where I can encourage the weaning or not. We have talked about him being done by the time he is 6 (in 2 months). But, it occurred to me today that nursing an adopted child might be much easier if I was already lactating, even just a little bit.</p>
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<p>I am curious to hear from people who have nursed an adopted child before or just after weaning another child. Does the milk come back easier the closer you are to weaning. Is it going to be hugely easier if he hasn't weaned?</p>
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<p>i nursed my daughter and was able to get a full supply pretty easily (which is not typical). i had an over-supply when my oldest was a baby though and he was only 14 months when we adopted my daughter (and he was still nursing several times a day).</p>
 

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<p>I did not nurse my son, I am older and I didn't want to deal with all those hormones...just a personal choice. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that my son had breast milk for 3/4 of his first year...I had a friend who donated at first and then I found milkshare.org and received breast milk from amazing moms who have too much milk. Some may think its odd, but I don't. It's not cheap. I had to pay for shipping in ice overnight from all over he country, but in my opinion it was totally worth it to get him all the health benefits...just keep it in mind in case you need to supplement etc.</p>
<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>When my bioson was about 20 months, I started pumping 3 times a day in preparation for an adopted baby. My son was still nursing 8 times a day 11 months later when our adopted daughter was born. My daughter is now 2.5 and still nursing. I am just about out of domperidone and Motherlove's More Milk Special Blend. My son turned 5 in December. He was nursing once a day for a minute or so until about 3 weeks before his birthday.</p>
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<p>My  daughter had less than 2 ounces of formula in her life (before I could get to her at 6 hours of age.) I have always needed to use a supplementer with either milk I had frozen myself or donated milk (or at a year I started using cow's milk.)  I spent about $100 a month on medication and herbs the first year or two. I was fortunate to find four donors that lived within driving distance. I never needed much extra milk--two to six ounces a day.</p>
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<p>Who knows if you will be able to get your milk back without medication. Most likely you won't, but you never know. You are probably making so little now that it's practically nothing. My suggestion is to read about the Newman protocol <a href="http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/induced_lactation/gn_protocols.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/induced_lactation/gn_protocols.shtml</a></p>
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<p>When your bioson started  eating solids and you didn't need quite so much milk, your body started breaking down the milk making tissues. That process is ongoing. At this point you probably have almost none of those tissues left. I don't want to be all doom and gloom because some women who have never been pregnant can put a baby to breast and within a short period they can make all the baby's milk. That just wasn't my experience. I have had an exceptional nursing relationship with my daughter, but it has been a lot of work and very expensive. Definitely one of the best things I've ever done, it just wasn't easy.</p>
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<p>Let me know if I can answer any specific questions.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>Thanks everyone!</p>
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<p><strong>aja-belly</strong>, it is nice to hear one person that can actually associate the word "easily" with this! That is wonderful.</p>
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<p><strong>akingme</strong>, I'm lucky that I live in a populated area and I know there is at least one local mama-milk bank, so if I went that route I wouldn't have to pay for shipping at least.</p>
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<p><strong>SundayCrepes</strong>, I'm so glad you showed up. I remembered seeing "Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing" on someone's signature, but I couldn't remember whose. I was glad to hear your story. My ds got sick recently and was nursing more and my boobs actually got bigger, so that made me hopeful that more demand can increase my supply. And I do imagine I'd supplement, too. I appreciate the reality check about the $$. Do you know of any online community of nursing adoptive mothers? I'm thinking that would be really supportive. It occurs to me if I get farther into this I could start a thread here myself.</p>
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<p>waturmom i pm'ed you some resources.</p>
 

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<p>The asklenore site I previously mentioned has a forum for moms who adoptive nurse. </p>
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<p>My recommendation is you start pumping now to see how your body responds. If you can pump every 2 hours during the day and maybe even once or twice at night, that would be best (though don't make yourself sleep deprived.) You can rent a hospital grade pump from a hospital for a month since those will give you the best response. (I bought a lactina off ebay since I didn't know how long I would be pumping and I was committed to the long-term.) If you have good response, keep pumping until your baby arrives. Freeze all the milk you pump. I have used milk up to 18 months old with no problems. If your milk is getting to be a year old and no baby in site, you could donate it to another baby.</p>
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<p>I pumped for 11 months and had a small freezer full of milk. When my daughter was a month old, we went out of town for 4 days and the freezer was left open a crack. I lost 75% of my milk. I still got her to 5 months of age without using donor milk. Without that accident we probably wouldn't have needed any donor milk.</p>
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<p>Also randomly taste your milk. I had high lipase so my milk tasted horrid after 24 hours in the fridge or a week in the freezer. I got rid of the problem by scalding my milk before freezing it. Fortunately, my baby would drink the unscalded milk, so I used that first then moved onto the scalded. (Younger babies are more likely to take the high lipase milk.) The milk is safe, it just tastes nasty.</p>
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<p>I was lucky to get all my donor milk locally. Mainly because I didn't need much. When my daughter was a year, I shipped all the leftover milk to a newborn in Maryland. It cost them $320 for one ice chest to be delivered from Tucson. For people who can't find enough local donors (and if you can't make much milk, you may need dozens of donors,) shipping can be very expensive.</p>
 

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<p>WaturMama....I live in Los Angeles, which is pretty populated!!! And I had to have most of the milk shipped in. Part of the issue is the competition for the milk, but mostly I didn't find a lot of donors here! All the best.</p>
 

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<p>So I am totally butting in here, not being an adoptive mom... but I thought I would just throw this out there bc nobody else has mentioned it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The composition of milk changes significantly over years of nursing.  I would actually be kind of concerned about trying to supply all the nutritional needs of a newborn from breasts that think they are feeding a 5-year-old.</p>
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<p>I don't know of any studies of this in humans but there are a lot of them in dairy cows and goats, and it's pretty clear that the volume and nutritional content of the milk produced is optimized if there is a dry period during pregnancy, during which the tissue can start over in lactogenesis I.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476176" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476176</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420610" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420610</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162527" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162527</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18024739" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18024739</a></p>
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<p>I have also heard anecdotally that back when wet-nursing was common, a significant reason for higher mortality rates in wet-nursed infants was because they typically received the milk of a mother whose own baby was significantly older.  And that milk banks will not accept donations from mothers whose last delivery was over a year ago.</p>
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<p>I really admire those of you who are willing to go through so much to provide the best for your adoptive babies, but I just wanted to throw it out there that some proportion of donor milk from a mom with an infant under 1 y/o might be preferable to full breastfeeding from a mom whose last pregnancy was over 5 years ago.</p>
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<p>Alternatively, if you do want to fully breastfeed your adoptive infant, it might be more optimal to wean your 5 y/o and take one of the hormonal protocols that allow your breast tissue to re-enter lactogenesis I, so that you generate more infant-appropriate milk (and most likely a better supply as well).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck!!</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mambera</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-child-by-birth-question#post_16231041"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>So I am totally butting in here, not being an adoptive mom... but I thought I would just throw this out there bc nobody else has mentioned it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The composition of milk changes significantly over years of nursing.  I would actually be kind of concerned about trying to supply all the nutritional needs of a newborn from breasts that think they are feeding a 5-year-old.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't know of any studies of this in humans but there are a lot of them in dairy cows and goats, and it's pretty clear that the volume and nutritional content of the milk produced is optimized if there is a dry period during pregnancy, during which the tissue can start over in lactogenesis I.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476176" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476176</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420610" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420610</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162527" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162527</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18024739" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18024739</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have also heard anecdotally that back when wet-nursing was common, a significant reason for higher mortality rates in wet-nursed infants was because they typically received the milk of a mother whose own baby was significantly older.  And that milk banks will not accept donations from mothers whose last delivery was over a year ago.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I really admire those of you who are willing to go through so much to provide the best for your adoptive babies, but I just wanted to throw it out there that some proportion of donor milk from a mom with an infant under 1 y/o might be preferable to full breastfeeding from a mom whose last pregnancy was over 5 years ago.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Alternatively, if you do want to fully breastfeed your adoptive infant, it might be more optimal to wean your 5 y/o and take one of the hormonal protocols that allow your breast tissue to re-enter lactogenesis I, so that you generate more infant-appropriate milk (and most likely a better supply as well).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck!!</p>
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<p>OK I guess I'm butting in too, been reading this thread because I'm sort of considering adopting someday, but this really caught my attention & I'd love to discuss it more, not specifically in relation to adoptive nursing... I hope you don't mind but I just started a thread <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1295480/nursing-through-pregnancy-milk-that-s-not-ideal-for-a-newborn#post_16231144">here</a> -- I've very curious & never heard this before!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mambera</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-child-by-birth-question#post_16231041"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>So I am totally butting in here, not being an adoptive mom... but I thought I would just throw this out there bc nobody else has mentioned it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The composition of milk changes significantly over years of nursing.  I would actually be kind of concerned about trying to supply all the nutritional needs of a newborn from breasts that think they are feeding a 5-year-old.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't know of any studies of this in humans but there are a lot of them in dairy cows and goats, and it's pretty clear that the volume and nutritional content of the milk produced is optimized if there is a dry period during pregnancy, during which the tissue can start over in lactogenesis I.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476176" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476176</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420610" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18420610</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162527" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162527</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18024739" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18024739</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have also heard anecdotally that back when wet-nursing was common, a significant reason for higher mortality rates in wet-nursed infants was because they typically received the milk of a mother whose own baby was significantly older.  And that milk banks will not accept donations from mothers whose last delivery was over a year ago.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I really admire those of you who are willing to go through so much to provide the best for your adoptive babies, but I just wanted to throw it out there that some proportion of donor milk from a mom with an infant under 1 y/o might be preferable to full breastfeeding from a mom whose last pregnancy was over 5 years ago.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Alternatively, if you do want to fully breastfeed your adoptive infant, it might be more optimal to wean your 5 y/o and take one of the hormonal protocols that allow your breast tissue to re-enter lactogenesis I, so that you generate more infant-appropriate milk (and most likely a better supply as well).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck!!</p>
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<p>I spoke with a lactation consultant with much education about adoptive nursing and a LLL leader about just this issue. I also read the LLL book on adoptive nursing and did other reading on the subject. They all said adoptive nursing is safe and healthy. I was told the changes seen in breastmilk have to do with the volume. If you increase the volume, it goes back to being the same as milk made earlier.</p>
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<p>I am an RN. One of the considerations on donated milk is some potentially lethal diseases. All my donors were screened, but I still worried. That is why I stopped using donor milk at a year of age and switched to cow's milk even though I had a freezer full of tested milk (I was able to give that milk to a newborn which needed it more than my daughter did.) I worried about diseases in donor milk, then there was an incident with US formula having nasty chemicals discovered in it. Nothing is 100% safe. My daughter is 2.5 and very healthy. She thrived on my milk with a little donor milk thrown in. For an adopted baby, you do the best you can. Regarding the wet nurse babies higher mortality, my first question is to wonder if they were able to make enough volume. Maybe those babies starved to death. And regarding the milk banks, remember they are all about profits and liability. I wouldn't put to much stock in them.</p>
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<p>Each family has to choose what they think is best. I don't consider donor milk 100% safe. I don't consider formula healthy or 100% safe. That left me as my baby's best option.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SundayCrepes</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-child-by-birth-question#post_16231754"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
I was told the changes seen in breastmilk have to do with the volume. If you increase the volume, it goes back to being the same as milk made earlier.</div>
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<p>So the continuously milked dairy animals generate milk with *lower* concentrations of fat and protein than the ones given a dry period before delivering the next baby.  If you further *increased* the milk volume, that would further *decrease* the concentration of fat and protein.  So if I am understanding your suggestion correctly (and please let me know if I am not), that correction would actually take things in the opposite direction from what you want.<br>
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<p>(Are you thinking of antibody concentration?  That does run inversely with milk volume I think, unlike nutrient content.)</p>
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<div>My daughter is 2.5 and very healthy.</div>
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<p>I don't doubt that there are plenty of healthy children who received BM of the 'wrong age.'  I would imagine you'd need a large study to find any effects of 'milk age' on nursling health, just like you need a large study to find differences between breastfed and formula-fed infants (most FF infants are also very healthy). </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mambera</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-child-by-birth-question#post_16231800"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>So the continuously milked dairy animals generate milk with *lower* concentrations of fat and protein than the ones given a dry period before delivering the next baby.  </p>
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<p>a big piece this is leaving out is that when adopting a newborn (or giving birth) after nursing a toddler you are nursing the newborn (spending all day holding/snuggling a newborn).  in dairy animals the only change that happens is the pregnancy/birth. they aren't nursing their newborns or spending any time with them, right?  i don't think you can ignore the impact nursing a newborn has on lactation.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>aja-belly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-child-by-birth-question#post_16231826"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a>
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<div class="quote-block">
<p> </p>
<p>a big piece this is leaving out is that when adopting a newborn (or giving birth) after nursing a toddler you are nursing the newborn (spending all day holding/snuggling a newborn).  in dairy animals the only change that happens is the pregnancy/birth. they aren't nursing their newborns or spending any time with them, right?  i don't think you can ignore the impact nursing a newborn has on lactation.</p>
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<br><br><p>OK but snuggling your newborn doesn't cause your mammary glands to reenter lactogenesis I. If it did, you'd get a dry period, right?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<p>Thank you very much for all of this. I appreciate the questions, comments, and answers.</p>
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<p>I'm sitting here with <em>Adventures in Tandem Nursing</em> by Hilary Flower, published by La Leche League. It has a great section on "Adopting a Second Nursling." It says that while the breastmilk's composition changes by the end of the 2nd year, its nutrients and fats (that are good for brain growth) are still more bioavailable than those in formula. In fact studies with poorly nourished mothers (  :(  ) show that even if their milk has less nutrients than formula, because it is more bioavailable infants still get more of nutrients than they do in the best formulas. The immunological benefits of breastmilk continue as well.</p>
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<p><strong>Akingme</strong>, thank you for the heads up that even if milk banks are local, milk may not be available. And <strong>SundayCrepes</strong>, yikes about the disease issue, that had not occurred to me. A 4th option besides my milk, milk bank, and store-bought formula, is making one's own formula. The Weston Price web site has one recipe. It looks pricey, but it is good to know there are such options.</p>
 

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<p>i'm saying that because of that i don't i know that the studies on livestock are even comparable to to what happens when a human nurses through pregnancy and then nurses a newborn - or nurses a toddler and then nurses a newborn. </p>
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<p>have there not been studies that show that a newborn's suckling can change the nutritional content of milk? wishing i could remember where i read that. it was several years ago now.</p>
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<p>i'm thinking about your comment</p>
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<div>  I would actually be kind of concerned about trying to supply all the nutritional needs of a newborn from breasts that think they are feeding a 5-year-old.<span style="display:none;"> </span></div>
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<p>because it has been my personal experience that breasts respond to the infant beyond just "how long has it been since a dry period".  and if you are exclusively nursing a newborn your breasts don't "think they are feeding a 5 year old".  i certainly don't think my experience is unusual either. i've heard similar experiences again and again in adoptive nursing groups.</p>
 

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<p><br>
i didn't realize it had a section on adoptive nursing.  i actually have a copy around here somewhere but have not had a chance to read it.<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>WaturMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-biochild#post_16231918"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thank you very much for all of this. I appreciate the questions, comments, and answers.</p>
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<p>I'm sitting here with <em>Adventures in Tandem Nursing</em> by Hilary Flower, published by La Leche League. It has a great section on "Adopting a Second Nursling." </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>WaturMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291963/nursing-adopted-child-after-biochild#post_16231918"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p><strong>Akingme</strong>, thank you for the heads up that even if milk banks are local, milk may not be available. And <strong>SundayCrepes</strong>, yikes about the disease issue, that had not occurred to me. A 4th option besides my milk, milk bank, and store-bought formula, is making one's own formula. The Weston Price web site has one recipe. It looks pricey, but it is good to know there are such options.</p>
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From what I have read, making your own formula is a really bad choice. There are a lot of micronutrients that will be missed. I would go with a good organic formula--baby only formula--before I would make my own.</p>
 

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<p>I'm hoping to be able to induce a full supply when we adopt (soon-ish).  However, I plan on buying a lactaid system to supplement.  I don't plan to start inducing lactation until we are matched with an expectant mother, because I just think it will be too emotional <em>for me</em> to start way ahead of time.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA-I had no supply issues with my dd.  I actually donated 8lb 14oz of milk to another mother when my dd stopped taking bottles (I WOH).  I am hopeful that I can induce a good supply.</p>
 

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<p>I don't have the book handy for a direct quote, but as I recall <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBreastfeeding-Adopted-Relactation-League-International%2Fdp%2F0976896974%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1296684812%26sr%3D8-1" rel="norewrite" target="_blank"><em>Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation</em></a> says it is actually most difficult to relactate directly from the weaning phase, and easier if your breasts are allowed to more completely finish the involution process before attempting to relactate.</p>
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