Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adoption Breastfeeding

Adoption means arriving a bit later than usual in the life of your kid. Most parents conceive, carry and give birth to their children.
For some adoptive families, there is a sense of loss around the portion of their children’s life they missed on. Adoptive mothers are not going to feel their baby kicking in their ribs in the middle of the night, they will never experience that magical moment when, exhausted and sweaty, they hear the very first cry of their tiny newborn.
But did you know that some adoptive mothers are able to nurse their babies?
Yep. You read me right. Women who were never pregnant, who did not give birth but rather travelled across country to meet their brand new baby can produce milk and breastfeed them.
It’s not for everyone. The process is demanding, you have to start much before your baby is even born, and most women need medication to get their milk supply up. The baby has to be either brand new at the time of adoption, or already breastfed by her birthmother. And there is no guarantee that it will work. Often, a supplementation system is needed, where formula is given at the same time.
Consideration also has to be given to the birthmother. Is it OK to ask her to breastfeed a baby she will have to grieve for in a few days, until you can take over?
On the other hand, if all conditions are favorable, it’s a great way to foster attachment between the mother and baby.
If you decide this is right for your family and feel like the hard work and dedication is worth the chance that it will work, have a look at this web page. It has lots of information on how to get started and what to expect.
As for ourselves, nursing is not even an option. Our baby will be too old when we meet her and very probably bottle-fed. Even then, adoptive breastfeeding doesn’t feel like the right option to me. I know that’s the best source of food for a baby, but the amount of work it represents and the relatively high chance of not succeeding wouldn’t make it that appealing. Also, it would feel a bit weird to me (though I fully realize that it may be the best option for other families).
On top of that, I like that Pablo will get the attachment benefits of feeding our baby as much as I will!

1 comment:

  1. I've read that before and I think it's really awesome! If I ever adopted a brand new infant, I would probably consider it, but with international adoption it is basically impossible since the babies are older.