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 breastmilk, 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 breastmilk, others never develop a full breastmilk 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 encouraging milk production.
Stimulating lactation in mothers who have been pregnant previously has been found to be easier. This is because 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 Breastmilk?
It doesn't matter. You can supplement breastmilk 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 while breastfeeding.
Instead of using formula, you could always contact a breastmilk 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. The 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 breastmilk, while slowly being weaned onto the breast.
How to get baby to accept the breast
Breastfeeding the Adopted Baby while 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, breastmilk is still superior to formula. Breastmilk 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.
A mother who would like her adopted baby to receive all the benefits of breast milk but who is incapable of breastfeeding might want to consider a milk bank.