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Commentary: Breast Feeding Adopted Children

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I am a single, fertile, 35 year old female living in New York City. I love my life! So what on earth would make me want to adopt a baby? My friend Lydia and I stood dumbfounded in Borders book store.  We were perusing baby books while waiting for our friend Brian.  I picked up What to Expect the First Year and I came across an unexpected chapter entitled "Breast feeding for adoptive parents." OK, I don't know about you but I didn't know that you could do that!  I read the first paragraphs aloud and Lydia and I giggled like two immature school girls reading a tawdry romance novel we should not have been reading.  We were perplexed! How is that possible? I always thought that breastfeeding accompanied pregnancy because of a hormone or something that triggered milk production.  The subject got me thinking, is it possible for our minds to trick our bodies into making milk when nurturing a baby?  Do we have the ability to turn our milk ducts on or off as we please?  Do we even have ducts?  What does the milk come out of?  I had no idea that you could voluntarily open the shop for business! So I Googled it and found out that all women are capable of breast feeding.  This blows my mind!  As a well endowed woman I've experienced my share of men who tried to suck the life of these puppies and if milk did not come out then, I don't know when or how it will! Here's what I learned.  Many adoptive mothers breastfeed their newborns.  There are two challenges to breastfeeding.  One is getting your baby to breastfeed and the other is getting your body to produce milk.  Women use a breast pump to get started.  It is recommended to start as early as possible to get your body used to producing milk. Domperidone is a drug that can be used to develop a more abundant milk supply and is safe for mommy and baby.  It can take 2-4 weeks before milk is produced and you most likely will not be able to produce enough milk for all of the babies needs.  But some is better than none and moms can supplement breast milk with formula. What surprised me are the number of adoptive mothers who wanted to breastfeed solely as a way to bond with their children.  I applaud them for that and recognize that I don't have that need for myself.  I've never thought for a second that I wouldn't bond with my baby.  Perhaps I've been nave.  From this moment on I will not assume this and will ask for God's grace through prayer that the connection between my child and I will be natural.    I wish I didn't learn that it would be possible for me to breastfeed.  I actually enjoyed the fact that I had an easy out from the breastfeeding question that all new moms are inevitably asked. "No I can't breastfeed. My baby is adopted."  End of conversation.     So now that I know that I can breastfeed, will I?  I highly doubt it.  Tell me what you think?  Did you breastfeed, why or why not?  Are you an adoptive parent that breastfed? Please share your story. Click here for more My Adoption Chronicles with Tamara Francois
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