adoptive parents, breastfeeding, prospective adoptive parents

Breastfeeding as an adoptive mother, is this really an option?

Can It Be Done?  Yes! Contrary to popular belief  it is possible for a woman to breastfeed without ever having been pregnant or given birth. This concept is defined as a woman’s ability to induce lactation also commonly referred to as, “adoption breastfeeding.”

Discuss It With Your Child’s Birth Mother. Before beginning this process, it is important that you consult not only your physician, but your child’s birth mother. Some birth mothers view adoptive breastfeeding as offensive or a lie. It’s important for them to be recognized as the child’s biological mother and for some this act goes against that. On the other hand, some birth mothers are completely on board. Having this discussion will help you to figure out what’s best for you.

If all is well and you are given the green light, you are faced with two options:

Wait Until After Birth– Some adoptive mothers opt to wait until the baby arrives and put the infant to the breast swiftly after birth to see if they take. However, this option is much less likely to allow the mother to produce significant amounts of breast milk.

Begin Before The Birth- Other adoptive mothers opt to start before the baby arrives using a breast pump. It is recommended for expecting adoptive mothers to pump every 2-3 hours leading up to the baby’s birth. This method is hopeful in that it allows the body time to start producing significant amounts of milk upon the baby’s arrival.

Don’t Ignore Your Babies’ Cues. Whether you choose to wait until after birth or get a head start be sure to pay attention to your babies’ cues. One indicator is refusing to make eye contact with the birth mother. If you’ve tried a few times and it still doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. Bottle feeding can provide intimacy too. Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone.

The Newman-Goldfarb Protocol. The Newman-Goldfarb Protocol is a fantastic resource for adoptive mothers looking to breastfeed. The guide includes specific details and instructions about inducing lactation, medications that can help production of breastmilk, breast pumps, and more. You can find it at

Why Some Adoptive Parents Want To Breastfeed: For an adoptive mother who didn’t have the  opportunity to carry her baby for nine months, breastfeeding is an act that can create an unbreakable bond and provide special moments for a mother and baby to cherish for the rest of their lives. This skin on skin contact provides a unique intimacy. Aside from the emotional benefits breastfeeding provides for an adoptive mother there are also other benefits to be considered.

Benefits for Mom:

  • Reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Delays menstruation
  • Temporary contraceptive (first 6 months)
  • Saves money
  • Eco Friendly

Not only can opting to breastfeed be beneficial to the mother and her relationship with the child, but it will also benefit the baby. The list of health benefits of breastfeeding for the child are extensive.

Benefits for Baby:

  • Ideal Nutrition
  • Antibodies that help fight viruses and bacteria
  • Stronger Immune System
  • Better Vision
  • Reduce of contracting illnesses such as
    • Ear infections
    • Respiratory track infections
    • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
    • Celiac Disease
    • Diabetes
    • Childhood leukemia
  • Healthy weight gain

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