Have you adopted a baby? Are you worried that you won’t be able to breastfeed your little one? Do you think that only biological moms can breastfeed and just because you adopted, you may have to give up on it?
Now that you have your baby with you or are planning to bring her home soon, read up on all you need to know on breastfeeding an adopted baby.
Can You Breastfeed Your Adopted Baby?
If you are already thinking about breastfeeding your adopted baby, it’s the right approach for both you and your little one. Every adoption situation is different, so whether or not you can breastfeed adopted baby also depends on other factors. Also, only about 50 percent of mothers who adopt a baby produce some amount of breast milk. The amount of moms who can produce enough milk to take care of their adopted baby’s breast milk requirement is even lower.
[ Read: Common Breastfeeding Problems ]
Here are a few things you should keep in mind, especially when you are planning on nursing an adopted baby without having given birth:
- Depending on your overall health, you will be able to produce some amount of milk even if you have not been pregnant.
- Even though you may be an adoptive mother, you will still be able to induce lactation by stimulating your breasts.
- Your baby’s suckling will help your body to produce the milk and it does not have to be only a pregnancy that will trigger the production of breast milk.
- Your breast milk is largely produced as a result of the hormone prolactin, which is generated by your pituitary gland. If you stimulate your breasts enough, the levels of prolactin increase and your body will make breast milk.
- To induce lactation and to stimulate your breasts properly, you should try and use a breast pump. Make sure you use it every two to three hours and pump your breasts, even though there may not be any milk. If you want, you can also try and start doing it even before you bring your baby home. If you have not had time to do it earlier, you can still start pumping your breasts once your baby is home with you. No matter when you start pumping your breasts to stimulate, try and do it at least ten times a day. It will help your stimulate your breasts for milk production.
- Check out what kind of breast pump works best for you. In some cases, you can try a breast pump that allows you to pump the milk even as you are feeding your baby. It will help you stimulate your breasts and make more milk even as you keep feeding your baby.
Here are a few things you can try out to stimulate your breasts and increase the production of breast milk:
While certain hormones play a big role in triggering breast milk production during pregnancy, it is possible for you to do the same without being pregnant. However, you should remember that you will not be able to produce breast milk overnight. It will be a long and tiring process, which needs you to be patient, committed, take time out and know exactly what it is that you are doing and how to breastfeed an adopted baby.
[ Read: Tips To Bond With Adopted Child ]
What If You Are Still Not Able To Produce Milk?
Your main objective right now should not be how much you can breastfeed your baby. Your main objective should be to connect with your adopted baby. Even though you may be trying everything to produce milk, the amount you are able to produce and the frequency at which it happens may differ.
- You may have breastfed your biological baby earlier, but it could still take a lot of time for your body to start producing milk in the case of an adopted baby.
- If you feel you are not yet able to produce milk, try not to think about breastfeeding exclusively. Look at options where you may breastfeed your baby once or a few times in a day. Also, think about alternate ways in which you can provide her nutrition.
- You can hold your baby close to you and even practice the skin-to-skin touch. It helps your baby bond better with you. The only difference to the more commonly followed mode of skin-to-skin touch therapy that you will be feeding your baby from a bottle instead of breastfeeding.
- Make good use of your baby’s feeding time to connect with your little one. Use the time to talk to your baby, sing to your baby and look into your baby’s eyes. Let her get to know you and give her your undivided attention.
[ Read: Is Donor Breast Milk Safe ]
Two Options You Can Try:
If you have tried everything but are still not able to produce any milk, here are two more options you can try:
1. Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS):
It is a supplemental nursing system that allows you to feed formula milk to your baby along with some of your breast milk.
- To get it in use, you have to attach a pair of thin tubes to your areola using surgical tapes.
- Your baby will be able to nurse in a normal way while you ensure your baby does not stay hungry.
- You can check it out here.
[ Read: Ways To Increase Breast Milk Supply ]
2. Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer:
The Lact-Aid system is similar to the Medela one, but uses soft and collapsible plastic bags instead of plastic bottles.
- It will encourage nipple sucking and ensure better stimulation to your breasts.
- You can check it out here.
[ Read: How To Store Breast Milk For Baby ]
Breastfeeding adopted baby is crucial, but your biggest goal will be to bond with your adopted darling. Do not get too worried about it if you are unable to produce milk. Instead, focus on the good moments you will still spend with her.
Hope you liked our post on can you breastfeed your adopted baby. If you have breastfed your adopted baby or know someone who did, do tell us your story. Leave a comment in the section below.
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