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Monday, August 9, 2010

Adoption and breastfeeding

Peaceful Parenting posts a heart warming story of a determined mom who is adopting two babies from Ethiopia in September.  Determined because she's worked so tirelessly to be ready to breastfeed her babies.  Even though she has never been pregnant her self, through pumping and taking medication to encourage milk production she has begun the journey to lactating.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

First Time Mom to Adopt & Breastfeed Her Two Babies from Ethiopia

That’s Sara Ward, a soon-to-be mom. She’s leaving for Ethiopia on September 23rd and after waiting over a year to complete adoption procedures, she’s excited about being able to give her children breastmilk.

Ward has always wished she could breastfeed her babies, but never considered it as an option until a friend told her it was possible. Since then, Ward has been busy. She researched online how even women who have never been pregnant can actually produce breastmilk through pumping.

Since May, she has pumped every two hours and frozen the milk. She started taking supplements to increase her milk production in December. She says it’s already rewarding.

“It’s so worth it. I mean it’s amazing when you see that you’re able to produce milk and just knowing that you’re going to be able to provide that for your baby is an amazing thing,” says Ward....

HERE to read the entire article and listen to the radio show in MP3 format

Inducing lactation is a long road that takes determination, perseverance and most of all SUPPORT! But for all that hard work you may be rewarded by looking down on a sweet face, knowing that you're giving your new child the very best start.
Dr. Jack Newman has this to say about inducing lactation :

Producing Breastmilk

As soon as a baby is in sight, contact a breastfeeding clinic and start getting your milk supply ready. Please understand that you may never produce a full supply for your baby, though you may. You should not be discouraged by what you may be pumping before the baby is born, because a pump is never as good at extracting milk as a baby who is sucking well and well latched on. The main purpose of pumping before the baby is born is to draw milk out of your breast so that you will produce yet more milk, not only to build up a reserve of milk before the baby is born, though this is good if you can do it.

Using the medications discussed below in A. and B., helps to prepare your breasts to make milk. We are trying to make your body think you are pregnant. The medications are not an absolute requirement for you to produce milk, but they do help you make more.
A. Hormones—Oestrogen and Progesterone. If you know far enough in advance, say at least 3 or 4 months, treatment with a combination of oestrogen and progesterone will help prepare your breasts to produce milk. A birth control pill is one way of taking these hormones, but you skip the placebos (sugar pills for one week out of every four weeks) and go right to the next package; another way is to use oestrogen patches on the breast plus oral progesterone. Get information about this protocol from the clinic and see the Newman-Goldfarb Protocols for Induced Lactation at We encourage you to take the hormones until about 6 weeks before the baby is to be born.
B. Domperidone. See the information sheets Domperidone, Getting Started and Domperidone, Stopping. The starting dose is 30 mg three times a day, but we have gone as high as 40 mg 4 times a day. The domperidone is continued when the hormones are stopped. Usually it is necessary to continue it for several months after you start breastfeeding. Check the information sheets for more information. Ask at the clinic.
C. Pumping. If you can manage it, rent an electric pump with a double setup. Pumping both breasts at the same time takes half the time, obviously, and also results in better milk production. Start pumping when you stop the birth control pill. Do what is possible. If twice a day is possible at first, do it twice a day. If once a day during the week, but 6 times during the weekend can be done, fine. Partners can help with nipple stimulation as well (See the information sheet Expressing Milk)

But will I produce all the milk the baby needs?

Maybe, maybe not. If you do not, breastfeed your baby anyhow, and allow yourself and him to enjoy the special relationship that it brings. In any case, some breastmilk is better than none.

Very Important: If you decide to take the medications (the hormones and/or the domperidone), your family doctor must be aware of what you are taking and why. It is very important to have a physical and have your blood pressure checked before starting the protocols. Significant side effects have been rare, but that does not mean they cannot happen. Your doctor needs to be following you, and once the baby is with you, your baby’s doctor needs to know that you are breastfeeding him and needs to follow the baby’s progress just as s/he would any other baby.

HERE to read the entire handout on the NBCI site