Friday, January 15, 2010

Can I breastfeed my adopited baby?

pictures courtesy of google search

The answer is Yes! Adoptive breastfeeding is possible with good planning and preparation. More and more frequently mothers planning on baby adoption consider this option. To try and establish attachment. This is a personal choice.

There are many ways to prepare to breast feed you adoptive baby. Some mothers start to pump months before their baby's birth to elevate hormonal levels that support milk production. Use of a hospital-grade electric pump is recommended. Pumping frequently ( six to eight times in a 24 hour period) milk production may become evident. Even before infant suckling is initiated. This does not occur universally however. Some mothers do not establish any milk production until they are able to have the stimulation of their baby suckling on the breast.

Once your baby is available to be placed at your breast, you can begin nursing. This is assisted with a supplemental device that is taped to your breast. The devices that are used include the Lact-Aid and the Supplemental Nursing System. Both consist of a silicone tube attached to a milk reservoir. The reservoir is filled with banked human milk (or formula) and sealed. The silicone tube is taped to your breast so the tip of the tube extends about 1/8th inch past your nipple. The tube will be against the breast and milked by the tongue while your baby suckles.

There are some differences between the two devices. The Lact-Aid's milk reservoir is a sterile plastic bag. It's a closed system which collapses as milk is withdrawn. It also works against gravity, which probably increases breast stimulation. The plastic-bag feature makes clean-up easier but assembly more difficult. It is also discrete if worn under clothing while nursing in public. The Supplemental Nursing System has a plastic-bottle reservoir that is easier to fill. You can stand it on the counter and pour the milk in.

Using a tube device on the breast may distract you from proper latch-on technique. It's best to let the tape hold the tube in place and focus on getting a proper latch for optimal stimulation.

Some mothers use medical assistance to establish a milk supply. Metoclopramide and Oxytocin are regularly used.

Studies done on the use of metoclopramide are primarily based on birth mothers with supply problems. But case reports of adoptive mothers' use of this drug is also available. The studies found that the increase of milk production was related to the amount of medication taken. Doses up to 15mg three times a day were used. Mothers are weaned off the drug in a time frame of a few weeks. Use is not recommended for more than four weeks. Unfortunately, many mothers experience a drop in their milk supply when metoclopramide was eliminated.
Oxytocin is prescribed to assist milk flow. Other mothers use herbs including: fenugreek, aniseed, black elder, blessed thistle, caraway, fennel, vervain or vitex. Always consult your doctor before taking medicines or herbs.

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