When a family is formed through adoption, many of the early steps are different. You have an unpredictable timeline instead of a nine month countdown. If you are hoping to adopt from overseas, you can specify an age range, but it is increasingly rare to be able to adopt a child younger than six months.
So, many mothers of adoptive babies assume they would not be those sweet, tender newborn things. Often, they assume breast feeding is at the top of the list of baby things they won’t be doing. But adoptive mothers can and do breast feed.
Many mothers who have never been pregnant have found a variety of approaches to produce breast milk.
• Pumping: Many women have managed to produce milk just by using a breast pump regularly before their child arrives. This approach takes dedication and patience as you’ll need to pump every few hours.
• Herbs: Herbal remedies can offer a more natural way to enhance milk production. Fenugreek is a popular choice, but don’t just dash to the health food store to stock up. Talk to your doctor and read more about other women’s experiences. Herbs can be powerful – that’s why they work!
• Prescriptions: Your doctor can advise you on the best prescription approach to take if that is what you want to try. Above all, be aware that some medications marketed to induce lactation can be risky and have been outlawed in the USA.
• Technology: Okay, this might sound like cheating but it works! A supplemental feeding system, which is basically a tube, attaches to your breast so the baby is actually drinking formula at your breast. And yes, you can still be very snuggly.
Nursing for Nurturing not Nutrition
Most breastfeeding adoptive moms do not produce enough milk for their babies to rely solely on them for nourishment, and many children are adopted at an age when they have already started on baby foods.
Nursing fills needs deeper than the physical ones. Skin to skin contact is a powerful way to boost bonding, and holding your child to nurse also promotes good eye contact (another attachment essential).
There is one more potential obstacle to consider…
Baby Says NO!
Parents hear the word ‘No’ a lot. Some children, even preschoolers, will start rooting under their new mommy’s shirt quickly… perhaps even on the plane home! Others will reject the idea entirely. Never force a child to breast feed. That will backfire on every level.
Once your new child learns to trust you, he or she may be open to the idea or even surprise you by pulling up your top one day (Hopefully not at the grocery store).
You can introduce the idea when telling your child his or her story or when someone close to you has a baby and nurses. You can present it as ‘playing baby’. The most important thing is to focus on what your specific, unique child needs, and you will be the expert on that.
About the Author
This article has been written by Aishwarya Vohra for CarSeatOnline.net, where you can find Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat Review. Aishwarya is a part-time blogger who writes on subjects like parenting, health and beauty.
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