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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adopted and Breastfed?

I have to tell you, the first time I ever heard of an adoptive mother taking the required hormones to induce lactation, I was so grossed out. I have no problem with breast feeding, and honestly, I feel a little guilty that I'm not able to.

I am able to, if I take the hormones. After three years of fertility treatments, I don't want to take one more hormone for the rest of my life. It may be selfish of me, but I need a break from all the medicine. Mentally and physically.

Also, I've seen Mrs. Jacks on Hellobee say many times, that often birth mothers are uncomfortable with the adoptive mom breast feeding. I can see her point in this, and it helped strengthen my argument to not do it (but my own personal feeling was really a strong enough argument).

I had coffee with my friend Amber who is a doula a few months ago, and she suggested looking into donated breast milk for Isaiah. My first reaction was similar to my induced lactation response. But then I started to think about it, and I don't really know why, but this didn't bother me. It may have something to do with the milk being in a bottle, and not coming directly from the breast. This is the best conclusion I can come up with. So I brought it up to Josh, and he was less than enthused. He was leery of it, and I finally dropped it.

I decided to strictly formula feed, because lots of babies (me and Josh included) are exclusively formula fed, and we've turned out fine. There is nothing wrong with formula, but it is expensive.

I really never said anything else about it because I had moved on. But our friend’s wife had an enormous supply and their last child is almost done with breastfeeding. We know this couple well, and we trust them. She is an excellent mother and we actually say often that we hope that we parent like they do. They were more than willing to help us out, and Josh arranged everything on his own! Two days before Isaiah was born, they stocked us up. I even had to get rid of the turkey we had in the freezer. Serious stuff, because food does not go to waste in this house (it still didn’t. I gave it to my Nanny who will use every bit of that turkey, including the bits you didn’t know it had).

The two bags on the top rack are full of milk.
 They brought it in this gigantic bag.
 And it filled our sink.
To be honest, I don't know how long a supply like this lasts. I've read lots about how much and often newborns eat, but I've never actually experienced it, and I don't really know how much is here. We're still going to use formula, but this will provide Isaiah with the added boost we really wanted him to have. This makes us feel so much better about his nutrition, and the quality of nourishment we're providing.

While we're discussing donated milk, I want to address what I've heard about it. This is a controversial thing. People are weirded out by it. Heck, I was. What bothers me the most though, is that you are able to buy and sell breast milk on Craigslist. This I absolutely do not recommend. I don't even like to buy furniture on Craigslist, let alone the nourishment for my newborn child. We feel confident giving Isaiah the breast milk because we know the source and we trust her. If you are planning to use donated milk, please take the necessary precautions to protect your child. Because honestly, nothing is more important.


  1. They do this sometimes in nicu for the babies, if the mom doesn't want to breastfeed or isn't producing enough milk. They get it from a breastmilk bank, which they check the milk and what not. Amish people will share with each other when a mom and baby are in need. Breastmilk will give your baby a better immune system. Any breastmilk is better than none. I'm not saying that formula is bad because I was also striticly formula baby. Congrats on your new little one.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I'm so glad we're able to do this for him. I got discouraged when I was reading about feeding before he was born because the benefits of breast milk are so high.

      Thanks for your congratulations!

  2. I think that you are a great mom and are trying your darnest to do everything right, breastfeeding helps the immune system no doubt. I breastfed for a year with Sebastian and got mixed reviews. My mom couldn't be around it which made me feel more sorry for her then anything but anyway... wic is a program for everyone, I would suggest you check it out. Especially since the formula is so expensive.

    1. I have looked into WIC and we don't qualify for it. We have a stockpile right now of some we know he can tolerate, so we're in good shape!

    2. If you strictly just do that breast milk you would know a difference in the smell of the bowl movement, it does not have much of a smell at all. Just something I remembered :P

  3. That is amazing!! That is a ton of breastmilk! Holy cow. haha. I do know breastmilk metabolizes faster than formula. So if he seems to eat more breastmilk than formula that's why and nothing wrong with that! :) And apparently breastfed babies are chunkier? E is HUGE compared to Khi when he was this age ahah. (Khi was formula fed). You are such a great Mommy already. <3



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