An Adoptive Mother’s Decision to Breastfeed

An Adoptive Mother’s Decision to Breastfeed

I just saw this article on Shine by Melanie Blodgett about how her sister breastfed her adopted son. Fascinating stuff, I think. Here’s how she did it:

I started taking some Domperidone (or motillium), which is a medicine that helps you lactate, which I ordered from an international pharmacy. I took 20mg, four times a day. I also took fenugreek and blessed thistle which are herbs that are supposed to help with milk supply. I then bought a good pump and started pumping about two months before Lucas was born. I pumped before work and every three hours or so after I got home for a total of about four times a day, with more on the weekends… After taking the medicine and pumping for a couple weeks, I saw some definite progress. It started out with a little secretion at first and then developed into a few drops of milk and then into much more. Right before Lucas was born I was pumping around one ounce per pumping session.

After we took Lucas home from the hospital I had my first experience nursing him. It was a miracle. My husband definitely teared up. Lucas just latched on so perfectly and was a pro at it (I realize how lucky that makes us). I probably fumbled my way through it, but it was so perfect in every way. I continued taking the medicine and he was eating every 3 hours so there was no need to pump. I also used a nursing supplementer called the medela supplemental nursing system. It is an external feeding device that has a tube that I tape to my nipple and that way he gets all he needs from my breast milk with the addition of formula.

My milk supply increased significantly in the months after he was born. I always needed to supplement, but my goal in breastfeeding was to be able to bond with my son, it wasn’t for him to only get breast milk. After he started sleeping through the night, I didn’t need to supplement him in the morning because I definitely had enough milk.

I still love breastfeeding him and I’m so happy that I made that decision.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com user MIKI Yokishito

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6 comments

  1. What amazing dedication. It makes me realize even more what an incredible FREE gift hashem gives us when we give birth. Poteach et Yadecha Umasbiah lekol chai Ratzon… And I am someone who struggles with nursing so this story was particularly poignant for me.

    I wonder if there were any side effects from taking such a powerful supplement?

    • I did the same thing, and I never had any side effects at all. My daughter is just fine, too. B’H

  2. Hi, I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I am always amazed at how dedicated woman are to their new child. However, breastfeeding an adoptive child goes beyond just being dedicated. You woman show me what live is all about by how unselfish you all are. I hope to blog about breastfeeding an adoptive child next. Dr. Thomas Hale puts out a great website to check medications during breastfeeding. Additionally, always check with your pediatrician and primary care physician about using drugs. Please visit my website at http://www.breastfeedingwithlove.com Have a blessed day.

  3. Important! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has prohibited the use of Domperidone to increase breast milk production, due to potential health risks.

  4. Oh my goodness, I just found this post. I did the exact same thing for my adopted daughter! All this time, I was thinking I was the only one, LOL. How wonderful to find someone else who has done the same.

    I can honestly say that my time breastfeeding was the most satisfying thing I have ever done in my life.

    For Kathy, my daughter is 10 years old now, and has no health problems. Just because the USDA doesn’t like something, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. Other countries use domperidone just fine with no problems at all.

  5. I love it, Chana Jenny! Thank you.

    I especially appreciate the adoptive mother’s focus on her goal, and her realism, when she says:

    I always needed to supplement, but my goal in breastfeeding was to be able to bond with my son, it wasn’t for him to only get breast milk.

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