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Adoptive Breastfeeding


Frozen milk can be stored in a deep freeze up to a year, but the fridge freezer only 3-6 months.

Because our agency wait time is 6 months to 3 years I chose to wait until matching to do anything.

Posted by Lyds780 on Dec 08, 2013 at 11:47pm

I waited until match as well. We thought we would have over a month wait, but our daughter was born 2 wks after we were matched. I started the lactation process the day after we were matched. LOL!

Posted by MotheringBoys on Dec 09, 2013 at 12:09am

Personally I would wait for a match… And hope for a bit of warning (4-6 months would be great for this - if you want to do the BCP prior to simulate pregnancy before lactating - but of course a long wait is not so great in other ways…), we only had 3 weeks!

It’s a wonderful thing but it does take quite a lot of work and effort and can be tiring - doing all that on top of a long wait for a match could be challenging.  Also there’s the hormonal triggers that come from an actual infant suckling, and sometimes it’s that final piece that brings the milk in.  Or like me, pumping never really produced that much but she seemed to get a lot more when suckling (and a lot of “naturally” breastfeeding mothers told me the same thing), so it would have been a LONG journey to build up any frozen supply by pumping alone before she got here.

What I WOULD do is use this time to get it all set up (get pump, herbs/teas/drugs/recipes for oatmeal cookies etc! Call local La Leche League leader, read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, watch videos online - Jack Newman’s site I believe has some, read lots from, print out the info to give to your doctor, etc).

We nursed until 16 months old and I highly recommend it!

Posted by mamina on Dec 09, 2013 at 12:13am

Oh, and another thing - I stopped menstruating for the first 6 months of nursing (which felt great! just like we had given birth and I got that break! previously I was regular)... But if that had been for one or two years of waiting and still no baby your hormones and emotions may be affected in not so good ways…

Posted by mamina on Dec 09, 2013 at 12:16am

I tried pumping a couple times a day for a week or so and quickly realized it needed more time investment, the books say 8x a day at least for 20minutes per session. Doing that while doing daily stuff was unrealistic. All I experienced by pumping that week was a subtle change in my breast and some clear fluid forming a little from the suction. Which this clear fluid can happen for some with no stimulation for some women our young girls, it has nothing to do with milk. But I will go full blown pumping once we’re matched.

Posted by JasminePA on Dec 09, 2013 at 12:44am

I went on the Regular Protocol (from to prepare my body as soon as we were homestudy approved and “on the list”.  Then, when we had a match, I started pumping (went into “phase 2” of the protocol).  That’s a pretty common arrangement.  We ended up with two hospital referrals (the babies were born before we were presented to their first mothers as potential adoptive parents) so I didn’t get to pump for very long ahead of time.  Personally, I preferred it that way.  The full 8-12x/day pumping protocol is really meant for gestational surrogacy situations where the timeline is known.  Using it in adoption requires some adaptation and flexibility!  I was working from home, the first time, so found it quite easy to pump 8x/day for 15 minute stretches.  The second time, for a host of reasons, I wasn’t able to pump before baby came home with us at all.  In both cases I wound up making between 1/3 and 1/2 of their needs, and supplementing at the breast with formula (using a Lact-Aid) for the remainder.  I was thrilled with that!

Posted by Thalas'shaya on Dec 09, 2013 at 9:20am

I used the regular protocol as well, including oral contraceptives to simulate pregnancy hormones, stopping 6 weeks before the due date to begin the pumping phase.  I had lactated before, so I probably had an edge.  We had 2 quick matches, and so I didn’t have time for the full duration of the protocol either time, but I was still able to produce at least 90% of each baby’s needs for the first 9 months or so.  Never used formula before 10 months with either - I used donor milk.  (For details about my experience you can see my thread in the archives here somewhere entitled “You can do it!”)

Feel free to PM me if you like.  Best of luck to you!!!

Posted by zambarano on Dec 11, 2013 at 12:34pm

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