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Adoptive Breastfeeding

In need of some encouragement, honestly...

Hello moms.

I will be meeting with my dear adoptive son for the first time in November and I’m trying to induce lactation by using only the Marmet Technique (alone or combined with a small manual breast pump) for 5-10 minutes per breast, 6-8 times a day, and teas (once a day).

So far I only had two occurrences of clear fluid (pre-milk, I guess?), but they were smaller than a drop, just a little bigger than a needle tip. Sometimes I get tiny creamy dots of the same size, instead.

I have excluded drugs because I have hormone issues already and I’m on a lightweight birth pill to fix such issues (I also have hypothyroidism, but I take meds for it).

I have no support from my family, so I hope I’m doing things the right way.

Thanks in advance for any word of encouragement and advice!


I wasn’t successful until I used domperidone (which I still have) I got my first one from a pharmacy in the US then my lactation expert said she ordered her (she breastfed 2 adopted children) and she got hers from Mexico. Which is where I got my last supply (I only used about half of it).  I also have a thyroid condition and didn’t have any issues with the domperidone.

I also used wish garden drops to help with lactation and a mothers love supplement. But honestly I had the most luck with the domperidone. It was also suggested that I rent a hospital grade pump for better success.
Stay away from mint and things that are known to dry up production.

Posted by nille13 on Jul 03, 2015 at 5:49pm

There is a lot more that is possible for inducing lactation that doesn’t include hormone medications.  There are better ways to stimulate the breasts than hand expression and a hand pump.  There are more potent herbal supplements than teas.  Domperidone, as the other mother mentioned, is a medication that is extremely helpful in boosting milk production and it is not an artificial hormone.  I am an adoptive mother, a board certified lactation consultant,  and author of “Breastfeeding Without Birthing.”  In addition to this book, my website contains tons of helpful information - including a listing of lactation consultants with expertise in this area.  I highly recommend working with a lactation consultant (IBCLC).  If there isn’t one listed in your area, I am available for phone or Skype consultations.  Good luck!!

Posted by Alyssa IBCLC on Jul 03, 2015 at 6:47pm

I don’t know anything specific about the method you’re using, but your results (sporadic tiny drops of pre-milk) are thoroughly typical for a woman who is not relactating or using Domperidone. Pumping and hand expression can help prepare your breasts, but without either a baby in arms, Domperidone, or a naturally high prolactin level, you’re extremely unlikely to make significant quantities of milk. There is a helpful Facebook group called Adoptive Breastfeeding, if you’re on FB. 
Just FYI, hormonal birth control pills suppress milk production for most people. A few do see an increase in milk if they take progesterone (specifically I’ve heard of it with Depo Provera shots), but that’s not the case with all or even most women; I think that might be in women with very low natural levels of hormones. Obviously, you need to look after your health issues first, so you may need to stay on that med, but it might hinder your milk production.
Finally, remind yourself that this is a marathon, not a sprint! Be gentle with yourself and seek out supporters, even if it’s just one person, who will be your cheerleader in this. It’s very helpful! Also try to remember that success in feeding a baby is measured not by the ounces of exclusive Breastmilk feeding the baby gets, but by the baby’s thriving. Breastmilk is great and we all want to maximize our production of it within the limits of our personal physical/medical situations, but giving your baby just a few ounces of breastmilk a day will confer the immune benefits and gut health factors. And the act of feeding baby at the breast (I used a Lact-Aid supplemental nursing system at every feeding) is incredibly valuable for speeding the bonding process.
Rock on! It’s not always easy, but for me, inducing lactation for my two adopted kiddos was worth it.

Posted by Thalas'shaya on Jul 04, 2015 at 3:58am

Thanks fellow moms for your kind encouragement and advice!

I don’t have naturally high prolactin levels and I won’t be able to hold my new baby until November, so I have started taking Domperidone this week, as soon as a new (and thankfully, last) cycle of birth pill therapy started.

I suspended teas and diminished breast massage/expression to 3 times a day for now, until I suspend the birth pill completely in August.

I don’t want to focus on milk more than on bonding with my baby, but I know he has sensitive guts and my milk could help improve his health, so I hold on this hope.

Again, thank you very much!

Posted by lamamma on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:39pm

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