Adoptive breastfeeding is not only possible, but includes many
advantages. If you are adopting a child that has been abused, or that has
been taken from temporary parents, breastfeeding can actually help the
adopted child heal; helping him/her feel content and enhancing the bonding
Some Moms that adopt a baby that is over six months old, have found that adoptive breastfeeding really helps to get the baby relaxed and feeling wanted and safe.
Some Moms might need to use an at-the-breast nursing supplementer for some feedings. An SNS will ensure that Baby is receiving her breast milk, the supplement and at the same time, Mom will be increasing her milk supply.
Some Moms take up to 5 months before being able to produce a full supply of breast milk, others never develop a full breast milk supply, but every little bit counts.
Adoptive nursing allows Mom the opportunity, to enjoy the physical closeness, skin-to-skin contact and mother-infant connection; same as if it was her own biological child.
How does Relactation work?
When a baby sucks on a mother's breasts, it will trigger milk production, so that the mother does not depend on pregnancy to breastfeed.
When you stimulate the breast enough, your “milk hormones” (prolactin levels) will go up, and therefore stimulate milk production.
Stimulating lactation in mothers who have been pregnant previously, has been found to be easier. This is due to the fact, that their breasts have already gone through a growth process, in which the ducts and alveoli become lactation ready.
What if I don’t produce Enough Breast Milk?
It doesn't matter. You can supplement breast milk with formula, or just have Baby on the breast with only formula. With a supplemental feeding system, your baby will still be getting the benefits of bonding with you, and also will benefit from oral development, which occurs whilst breastfeeding.
Instead of using formula, you could always contact a breast milk bank.
What is a Supplemental Feeding Device? How Does it Work?
A nursing supplementer consists of a silicone tube, attached to a milk reservoir. The reservoir is filled with formula, or with breastmilk. The tube is taped to your breast, so that the tip of the tube comes out past your nipple. Baby then sucks on the tube, and receives the milk in the reservoir. This stimulates the breast, which causes you to produce more milk.
Induced Lactation for Breastfeeding Adopted Children
To induce lactation for adoptive breastfeeding, you can:
How to Increase Lactation
What about Nipple Confusion?
If your baby is accustomed to drinking out of a bottle, he/she might not want to breastfeed.
Finger feeding is something that some adoptive Moms have found works, this is to prevent the frustration of breast refusal in the beginning. Baby will continue to consume breast milk, whilst slowly being weaned onto the breast.
How to get baby to accept the breast
Breastfeeding the Adopted Baby whilst you are already breastfeeding another child.
Some mothers that are still breastfeeding their own babies, adopt a child and wonder whether the milk will be substantial enough for a newborn.
Although you will not be producing colostrum for your adopted baby, breast milk is still superior to formula. Breast milk contains immune protection, growth factors, gut protection and is much easier for a baby to digest.
With adoptive nursing, it is especially important that you get as much support as possible. Try talking to other adoptive breastfeeding moms.
Another great alternative, for those moms who would like their adopted baby to receive all the benefits of breast milk, but who just don’t see chance to breastfeed themselves…they might want to consider a milk bank.
Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with breastfeeding adopted babies
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