Adoptive breastfeeding may be a new concept to most people, but for adoptive mothers opting to induce lactation and breastfeed their adopted baby is very possible. Like all new mothers trying to breastfeed, it is helpful to have some guidance in the process. From all the resources I read from Dr. Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC, here are the top adoptive breastfeeding tips that I gathered from his vast written material on the subject.
Have realistic expectations regarding breastfeeding. Very few adoptive mothers can produce all of the breast milk their baby will need. There are a number of benefits of breastfeeding your adopted child, don't feel like you have to provide one hundred percent of the breast milk.
Inform the biological mother, adoption workers, and/or lawyers about your desire to breastfeed. Make sure that you have told the expectant mother or have expressed your interest in breastfeeding. Not only is this important to disclose prior to the adoption match, it's also important that the baby begin to breastfeed as soon as possible.
If the biological mother is comfortable, she may breastfeed the baby. This may be something that the birth mother is not comfortable with or she may be fully on board and be willing to breastfeed the baby immediately after birth as it's important that the baby learns how to breastfeed and receive the important colostrum right away. If she's not comfortable, you may be allowed to breastfeed the baby.
Ask the birthmother to provide her breast milk for the baby. Aask the birthmother to pump her breast milk for you to provide the baby through a lactation aid.
Get skin to skin with the baby. This is a time for attaching with your baby and getting to know each other.
Make sure that the baby is latched on correctly. This breastfeeding tip, knowing how to latch on, will make all the difference in the comfort of the adoptive mom and the amount of milk the baby is receiving.
Utilize a lactation aid as needed. A lactation aid is simply a bottle that holds formula or breast milk, and a thin tube that is attached to the bottle and then lays over the breast and nipple so the baby is receiving milk while suckling the breast. This will also help stimulate the breasts to make more milk.
Seek additional breastfeeding tips from the experts. If you are still struggling to breastfeed your baby, these breastfeeding tips are not doing the trick, or you just want to make sure that your baby is latching on appropriately, then call for help from a lactation consultant. La Leche League has a great website and a directory of people willing to help.