Coming home with an adopted infant does not mean that you have to deprive the child the goodness of breast milk. There is nothing that an adoptive mother cannot do as well as the birth mother. Medical technology allows adoptive mothers to feed their children.
You may have to reconcile yourself to the fact that you will not lactate as well as the birth mother. In such cases, you may have to supplement the breast milk with formula milk. Breast-feeding will be possible only when the baby you are adopting is a newborn and has not been exposed to a bottle.
It is also important to ask yourself why you want to breast-feed your adopted baby. If it is to emotionally bond with the child and to give him/her sound nutrition, by all means, go ahead. Here are some steps to breast feed an adopted infant.
Breastfeeding Tips for An Adopted Baby
Feeding an adopted baby will not be easy. You may have to go through weeks of frustration without seeing any desired results. You may also not produce enough milk for the baby. Be prepared to wait for days without losing patience or getting frustrated. Your doctor may also put you on medicines that induce lactation.
All efforts to breast feed the baby will be in vain if you do not get support from your husband and family. You cannot do this alone.
See the Doctor
Discuss your plans with the doctor and see that no other condition exists that will prevent you from feeding your baby. Take the help of lactation consultants in the hospital who will give you essential information on breast-feeding. Read up to know more. Make sure that the lactation consultant can come over and give you help at home in case you suffer from roadblocks.
Prime your breasts to produce milk even before the baby arrives. Start a couple of weeks earlier. If you are able to produce some milk, store this in a freezer rather than let it go waste. Stimulate your breasts to produce milk with the help of an electric pump, which is very powerful and can help you produce enough milk.
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Look for Options
In case your baby is not getting enough milk via the breasts, do not feel guilty about giving the baby formula milk which will fulfil his/her nutritional requirements.
Encourage Let Down
If you are having trouble with letdown, i.e. the milk is not coming out effectively even though it is there in the breasts, take help from the doctor. The doctor might give you a dose of oxytocin. Oxytocin helps to stimulate the Pituitary gland to produce the hormone prolactin, which in turn will stimulate your breasts to produce milk.
Learn to Relax
Stress can inhibit breast milk production so get enough rest. Try to relax and sleep as much as you can. Stress can interfere with letdown so make sure you are doing some serious relaxing before each nursing or breast stimulation session.
Eat well and Do not Give Up
Make sure that you eat well so that you get enough calories and fluids and that you take all your prenatal supplements. Do not give up too soon. Lactation takes time so be patient and persistent.