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Adoptive Breastfeeding

Getting family and friends on board

Hi we have hoping to adopt a new born in a few months
Because the uk system is a bit drawn out we wouldn’t have full parental rights until about 4 months old at earliest
I really want to breast feed and have been reading up in it
My question is how do you get family or friends on board or did you have to be choosy about who you told? Some on the comments online about it have been really negative so it worries me to have to face that in real life. So far my best friend and husband are supportive. My sister though was a disaster which has knocked my confidence a lot.

How did you guys choose to deal with this? What reaction did you get?


When you say your sister “was a disaster,” what does that mean? How did she respond? And what did you feel/think, specifically, in response?

Posted by YeahBaby on Oct 21, 2013 at 2:24am

Honestly, I didn’t care what others thought. It was something I wanted to do, so I did it. I breast fed my bio children so it was assumed I would nurse our adopted one as well. It takes some prep work on your part, deciding if you will use a SNS or not, ect. But if YOU want to do it, go for it!

Posted by MotheringBoys on Oct 21, 2013 at 2:36am

Thanks. My sister just went on about how much hassle it had been breast feeding her baby and she couldn’t see why on earth I’d want to do it when it would be harder with an adopted baby. She made me feel like I was weird to want to and that it wasn’t natural :( I know I probably shouldn’t worry about what others think but it’s hard not knowing anyone else who has done it so I don’t feel quite so alone in it if I get negative comments from others

Posted by Mrs giggles on Oct 21, 2013 at 2:41am

Honestly, I would only tell people who absolutely had to know.  You can let your sister know that you were only telling her, not asking for her opinion.  And, her experience may not be yours.  In fact, her assumption that you will have the same experience as her is telling.

It’s hard for some non-adoptive mothers to understand and appreciate what they have taken for granted…for the most part breastfeeding is available to ALL mothers; whether one chooses to do so or not is a personal decision. 

For me, the work and effort is worth it.  Infertility will prevent me from experiencing a pregnancy, but mother nature has given women the ability to feed babies without a pregnancy!  You have to fully embrace your right to show this act of love to your baby.  Good Luck!

Posted by mumstheword on Oct 21, 2013 at 9:33am

You make a very interesting observation regarding your sister’s response.  She had a difficult time breastfeeding under typical circumstances, so your decision to breastfeed in this challenging circumstance can make her feel inadequate.  My suggestion is to fill your plate with people who will be supportive - like on this forum, at a La Leche League group, a lactation consultant experienced in working with adoptive mothers, supportive books, etc.  Best wishes on your breastfeeding journey.

Posted by Alyssa IBCLC on Oct 21, 2013 at 7:06pm

For me it came down to the question, is this MY baby or someone else’s baby that I am taking care of?  In other words, is it my right or even my responsibility to attempt to give “this” baby the best that I can offer?  My family was on board… except my mom said she did not want me to nurse in public… I told her that I could not agree to that, because I felt like complying with other people’s discomfort meant that I was in fact doing something less than ok, something that needed to be hidden.  I am in a family where some of us nursed easily, some with much labor and tears, and some not at all.  Nursing my bio daughter was smooth sailing and nursing my adopted son, not so much.  In nursing each child and talking with family I just tried to remain respectful of their personal choices and encourage them to do what works best for them and hope they return the favor.  Blessings on your journey.

Posted by Faith3 on Oct 23, 2013 at 10:41pm

I bresfed my baby for 2 years i had breastfed my biodaughter previously for 2 1/2 years and was very lucky that everyone was very supportive, but being a breastfeeding consultant I have heard of moms (with biological children) having a difficult time with friends and relatives. Support is very important but the most important thing is your own confidence plus you have your huisband support so you will make it. if you want I can share tips with you. good luck!

Posted by drayn on Oct 24, 2013 at 10:24pm

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