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Adoptive Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding success question?? (Please help! :) )

Hello everyone!

I know this question has been asked in a lot of ways already, but I just wanted to ask it specifically, and see if I can get any feedback. 

I am currently trying to induce lactation, and I feel like I’ve tried every hint and suggestion I can find on the internet (lol).  I don’t want to go the route of any medications, so I opted for the natural route only. 

That being said, all I’ve been doing is drinking “Mother’s Milk” tea 3 times a day, and pumping every two to three hours, religiously.  I also am eating oatmeal (yuck) for breakfast, and drinking more fluids then my body knows what to do with, hahah!

I’ve been doing this for a few days now.  At first, I got a clearish liquid coming out of my left nipple, but nothing out of the right.  Next, a clearish liquid coming from both nipples (although there were always more droplets on the left side).  After a while, the clearish liquid turned into a clearish yellow liquid (again, more so on the left).

Now, my left nipple has drops of this clearish yellow liquid at every pumping, and the right nipple (which always seemed to be the slowpoke), has a thicker, non-clear liquid that is a whitish yellow.

Is this normal? Does one breast sometimes produce quicker or more than the other?  Are the clear drops, and now the thicker drops okay?  Can anyone give me any tips?  Should I increase my tea drinking, eat different foods, pump more/ less, etc etc??

Thank you so much! Being able to breastfeed organically is so important to me, and I want to do everything right.  I appreciate any and all feedback!



My lactation consultant said the overwhelming majority of women produce more on the left than the right (90%).

I wonder if that is the same for left-handed people (10% of the population), or if it is somehow related to handedness and the brain!

I would also add Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek capsules, along with the tea.

Also, I would recommend thinking in weeks and months rather than days.  It sounds like you are headed for success though!

Posted by mamina on Dec 15, 2012 at 12:26am

Oh, I meant 90% of women produce more on the left, NOT that they produce 90% more!

Posted by mamina on Dec 15, 2012 at 12:30am

You are doing an amazing job - good for you!  As a lactation consultant (and adoptive mother), I can offer you some feedback on your questions.

When inducing lactation, initial secretions can be anywhere from clear to colostrum-like (thick, yellow) to milky.  Generally, the secretions go from more clear to more opaque.  So what you are experiencing is completely normal.

Also completely normal for one breast to produce more than the other.  (That’s for all mothers:  adoptive or not.)

With regards to herbs, the tea form is the weakest form of the herb. The dried herb is the next strongest, and the tincture is the strongest.  There are a few excellent combination herbal tinctures for adoptive mothers:  More Milk Special Blend by Motherlove Herbals, Adoptive Milk In Formula by Simply Herbal, and Mother’s Lactaflow by Wise Woman Herbals.

It is a myth that the more fluids a mother drinks, the more milk the mother makes.  Drink to thirst only.  Getting too waterlogged can actually decrease milk production.

Best of luck!  Most mothers do not start producing any secretions as soon as you have, so you are off to a great start.

Posted by Alyssa IBCLC on Dec 15, 2012 at 8:01am

Yay for boobies!  I really believe that nothing creates a bond as quickly or easily as breast feeding.  Breast feeding is not easy, however, at least not for me.  I adopted my two older children as toddlers, and they were too old to breastfeed.  I breastfeed my birth daughter, who is now 20 months old.  Even not having to induce lactation, I found it difficult to get enough milk for the first year or so.  Even though I didn’t go to work, I pumped daily for 12 months just to keep my supply up to demand.  And there is still one breast fuller than the other.  So even without having to induce lactation,  your boobs can have a mind of their own.  So don’t sweat it if things don’t move as fast as you would like, or just like you think they should.  Even if you end up having to supplement or use a tube during breastfeeding, that time with your baby is precious and priceless. 
Also, I recommend “the womanly art of breastfeeding” by la leche league.  It is mostly geared toward breastfeeding after birth, but there is a section on inducing lactation, and is very helpful in troubleshooting and identifying what is normal at different stages both for breasts and babies.  Also check out your local la leche league if you have one.  Again,  most members will be there with birth children, but above all, they support nursing your baby.  Good luck!

Posted by housefrau on Jan 03, 2013 at 12:59pm
Posted by housefrau on Jan 03, 2013 at 1:01pm

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