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Friday, March 03, 2006


Kristin H.

Yeah! Glad to hear your point of view on this one, Kateri! You bring up some excellent points.


As I'm sure is no surprise to you... I'm THRILLED to hear your take on this in a public forum... and I couldn't agree more with your caveats!

Lisa V

My best friend did a kinship adoption when her daughter was 14 months old. She could have easily nursed her son. Her son's birth mother was uncomfortable with it, so she didn't. Her son't birthmother nursed for 5 days, then pumped for 3 months and sent the milk. So the baby had more breast milk than most.

Still I think if both moms are in agreement, I would be in favor of it. I nursed both the daughters I gave birth to. I wish I had tried with the daughter I adopted. I loved it and think we both would have benefitted from the experience.


I love the way you're approaching this. It really helps to hear your perspective.

Your point is well-taken about the "ick" factor - I think a lot of people who are NOT involved in adoption are grossed out by the idea becaue of the ick factor, ethics aside.


I don't have a problem with adoptive mothers breastfeeding their infants since there is such overwhelming proof that breastmilk is better for infant's immune sytems development, etc. But I think it is a bit weird for the parent who adopts an older baby or toddler to start breastfeeding them, especially if up until the adoption the child has been bottlefed. Maybe this is my own personal prejudice here but I feel like the child is already dealing with enough stuff adjusting to their new surroundings, bonding with their new family, grieving for what has been lost, that trying to introduce breastfeeding for the first time may not faciliate bonding.


i'm totally doing it partly because it's punk rock ;)

naw - solely for the health benefits to the babe.

and your caveats - i agree wholeheartedly.

so with all this in mind - what would be your suggestion in approaching a woman who is looking to place her baby with us about potentially breastfeeding her baby in the first few days? i haven't figured out a way to do this yet...

honestly - i hope that we are not matched pre-birth because that just icks me out. and i hope that the baby's mom will have breastfed the baby in this situation. but if we are pre-"matched" (term used very lightly and only for descriptive purposes) what would you suggest in asking if she would want to or be willing to bfeed in the hospital? or should i just leave it alone and to do whatever she would have done if i weren't in the picture? see - i get caught here... best for baby vs. best for mom...


In reply to Jess' comment, I am considering ABF specifically *because* my child will probably be an older baby.

We are doing an international adoption and odds are good that our child may be malnurished and have feeding issues due to recieving poor quality formula/rice milk and having propped bottles. I personally am leaning toward pumping as much milk as I can and letting the baby nurse if he/she shows an interest. It isn't like you walk up to the kid and just pop your boob in its mouth. There are ways that you ease into ABF with an older child that are also similar to ways suggested to encourage attachment (holding close while feeding, skin to skin contact, eye contact etc.)

Adoptive breastfeeding will certainly be a hassle, because I have never found pumping to be much fun. But I have been giving it a lot of thought and I will have to face my own conscience about denying my adopted baby the best nutrition possible if there is any way I can provide it. If it doesn't work out, at least I tried.

The Pajama Mama

Wanna guess what my husband's carry-on luggage was when we flew back home after adopting our youngest daughter?? Two months worth of breastfeeding. Had her birth mother lived closer, we agreed we would have continued on with it. However, the cost to deep freeze and transport the milk across country was too much.

Now I'm looking into inducing laction.


Also in the camp of first mom and lactivist, I would rather my son had been breastfed. If he had to be adopted, I would have wanted him to have the best start possible. I wouldn't want to deny him the benefits of breastmilk, or that bonding opportunity. It doesn't ick me out at all. If I were in a close relationship with another nursing mother, when I was nursing my daughter, I would have happily nursed someone else's child and allowed my daughter to be nursed by the other mom (I didn't have that kind of relationship with another nursing mom). All other factors aside, if everyone is cool with it, I think it's just fine.


I have three children: two by birth and one by adoption. I am fertile. We chose adoption as a way to add to our family. I induced lactation before our adoption, and she came to us at 7 months of age. Sometimes she would nurse. Sometimes she insisted on the bottle. However, I provided her milk until she was 18 months. Every opportunity I gave her to nurse brought about a much more intimate bonding process than had I not tried. For instance, many times she would reach for the bottle (after suckling a little), put the bottle in her mouth but still insist on nuzzling to my breast while she drank. When you plan to straight bottle feed, you normally don't think to provide those opportunities for warmth and skin to skin contact (hearing my heart beat, voice, etc.).

I'm also a foster mother to newborns who are awaiting adoption. Our agency encourages each and every birth mother to nurse in the hospital. If anyone would ever DIScourage it for fear that the bmom would change her mind ... then, they shouldn't be involved in adoption! That would be coersion, and it's horribly wrong. Birth moms should have every opportunity to make the decision their own. Breastfeeding helps to solidify their decision - either way. It can lead them to parent, or help them feel positive that they played a huge role in giving them the best start in life before they join their new home.

I induced lactation this past year to provide milk for my foster newborns. All of them had to use a Lact-Aid so I could supplement. The benefits of bfeeding are MONSTROUS. For instance, one of the babies was drug exposed. He had a very difficult time feeding because of his mouth muscles contracting, etc. However, on the breast, he would relax. His suckling started within 1-2 minutes, as opposed to the 15 minutes of screaming with a bottle. It was warm and pliable. It gave us time to teach him how to suckle, and then we started to work in bottle feeds, as his adoptive mom did not plan to abf.

ABF also increases mouth muscle tone in ways that bottle feeding does not.

Oh, I could go on and on. This is something that I've researched and done for years now. So, I see the broad scope of advantages. While not every birth mom or amom involved in our foster care cases participated in bfeeding, they were all thankful that I did. They saw it as a gift.

Sorry to take up so much space! It's a subject near and dear to my heart.

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