Yes, you can breastfeed your adopted child. Just because you adopted, you don’t need to be deprived of any love or bonding. It is huge myth that only moms who deliver can lactate. Stimulated or induced lactation is a life saver for moms who choose the path of adoption. Share that intimate bond, breastfeed your adopted child and put all rubbish thoughts to the side. You are a mother - no less, no more.
“I still remember the first dimpled smile which has since brightened my life. But on the first night, I cried continuously because I thought my daughter was hungry. People in the NGO used small glasses to feed my baby, but I was not satisfied because I was not able to use the glasses properly. Eventually, I shifted to using the feeding bottle.” —Poornima Sood
Does this leave you with many questions? Why did the woman think her baby was hungry? NGO? Small glasses? What is she talking about?
Welcome to the World of Adoption
A mother from the heart—Poornima, has gone ahead to adopt a baby and enjoy every bit of joy motherhood has to offer. Like her, many people turn to adoption because of several rounds of miscarriages or IVF, or they may not want to have kids of their own but give a better quality of life to someone deserving. Whatever may be your reason for saying yes to adoption, the reality is that now you are a proud parent of a lovely child who is here to satiate your motherly instincts.
Also Read: An Inspiring Story Of Adoption
But wait, how will you establish a connection with your adopted child? Well, breastfeeding is the best way to let your child feel your warmth and love, but you have adopted a child, so how would you strike that chord with your kid? Lactation is an important step as it helps a mother and child bond well right from the outset. Does it mean, you will never be able to actually experience the feeling of being a mother just because you have adopted a child and not given birth?
Hey, before you feel sorry, remind yourself—You are a strong woman who goes for adoption so, such small issues should not panic you. And yes, as far as breastfeeding is concerned, you can breastfeed your adopted child!
Many women assume that adoption may deprive them of the pleasure of feeding their child, a process that is comparable to nothing else as far as a mom is concerned. So for all those women who garner these myths, we have some good news. Adopted mothers are in no way inferior to mothers who give birth. And yes, they too can breastfeed their little ones.
Breastfeed Your Adopted Child—How?
The process of breastfeeding an adopted baby is called induced lactation and it has been in practice since ancient times. It surprises me that a practice that has been prevalent for so long is neither known to many of us nor talked about. Sometimes, it is possible that the adoptive mother was already lactating, and so it gets easier, but if not, then sucking by the baby triggers the process. But, this does not happen in all the cases and in some instances, though the adoptive mother can produce milk, it is not sufficient to satisfy the baby’s needs completely. During that time, some additional supplements are necessary as add on.
Hormones To Aid Lactation or Breastfeeding
Contrary to popular belief, lactation is not an automatic physiological process that starts during pregnancy; it’s the suckling of the child that triggers milk production and flow. Prolactin, created by the pituitary gland is responsible for milk production, and if you stimulate the breast enough, prolactin levels can be created. It is also true that estrogen and progesterone increase during pregnancy and that in turn enlarge the ducts and alveoli, preparing your body for lactation.
Preparation Tips To Breastfeed Your Adopted Child?
If you are planning for an adoption, here’s what you can do to prepare yourself for lactation and breastfeed your adoptive kid.
1= Start manually stimulating your breasts, first by massaging it and then using a breast pump
2= The massage must be for a few minutes followed by pumping several times a day. This must be gradually increased to pumping for 10 minutes, at least 8-10 times in a day
3= Make sure to lubricate the pump flange with oil to avoid discomfort
4= Once you get into this routine, you can consult a good doctor who can put you on medications to stimulate the breasts further to increase milk production
And Finally, You Are Here…
Once everything is in place, you will start noticing in about a week’s time that you can produce drops of milk. At the same time, the breasts may feel heavier, and the areola (the skin around the nipple) darkens. This is normal. But, then how much milk this whole process of stimulation will produce cannot be ascertained.
You must understand that the quantity of milk that you produce might not be sufficient to fill the little tummy. But what is important is your baby can latch on to you, and YOU CAN VIRTUALLY FEED. Isn’t that wonderful in itself?
Breastfeeding brings the mother and child closer and I’m sure you don’t want to miss experiencing this wonderful magic unfold
Times have changed, and technology has virtually placed the whole world in our hands. So, if you are reading this and planning for an adoption, don’t look back. After all, it is feasible to breastfeed your adopted child!
Contact Us: If you wish to connect with Purnima or other parent in adoption to understand all about the journey then write to us and we will connect you.
This breastfeeding awareness campaign is supported by Medela.Tags: adoption breastfeeding your adoptive child induced lactation lactation nursing adoptive kid