by Kay Green
I have the wonderful
privilege of breastfeeding my adopted daughter Haley. We began this
journey when she was 18 hours old. It is a day I will always remember
looking into the eyes of this precious angel as her birth mom sat there
and watched us. She later told a social worker that it helped her so much
to see Haley and I bond at that moment.
When we began that day I was producing 3 or 4 ounces a day. By the time
she was 6 months old I had achieved a full supply of breastmilk for her.
Her doctor told me that even 2 ounces a day would greatly benefit her over
formula alone. She would receive my antibodies. Today she is a healthy
happy walking nursing 1 year old.
I have so many who wonder about the details of adoptive
breastfeeding/induced lactation I thought I would give you all a mini
course in it. It has been going on for many centuries. In Bible days it
was called wet nursing. In 3rd world countries women will induce lactate
to care for orphans. Here we do it for adopted children. WHY? Why not? It
is better for the babies. They receive antibodies, better nutrients and
enzymes, bonding and much more. It is a wonderful way to bond with a newly
adopted child. Many have successfully nursed an older adopted child too. I
know of several who have gotten 6-9 month olds to nurse after being
Pregnancy is not necessary for breastfeeding. Prolactin (a hormone) is.
Pregnancy does change the breast tissue so it helps but its not necessary.
Many adoptive moms who have never been pregnant have produced 30-100% of
the breastmilk their child needs. Pumping, sucking, herbs and drugs all
help raise the prolactin level.
I started by pumping every 3-4 hours with a Hospital grade breast pump (Medela
Lactina double pump). The light weight pumps available at most stores
will not do the job of Induced Lactation. The Lactina is $700-900 to buy
so I rented it for 3 months.
I also started taking herbs: 9 Fenugreek
(an Indian spice that makes your sweat smell like maple syrup), 6 Blessed
Thistle (NOT Milk Thistle),
6 Marshmallow Root (make the milk thicker and higher in calorie). I also
drank Mothers Milk Tea and lots of water. Eating oatmeal, pineapple, and
Henry Weinhart's Rootbeer will also help.
I got milk drops 10 days after starting the pumping/herbs routine. By 4
weeks I was getting enough to freeze an ounce a day. By the time she was
born I was freezing 2-3 ounces a day.
When she was born I nursed first, 10 minutes each side, switching sides 4
times (YES 45 minutes of nursing) then I would give her 1-2 oz of formula
or donated breastmilk in a Lactaid
supplementer. The Lactaid allows the formula to go thru a tiny tube at
my breast so she got my milk and formula at the same time. This also
stimulated me to produce more milk. I chose to nurse first without the
supplementer because I wanted her to nurse both with and without the
supplementer. She was always willing to nurse 45 minutes without the
supplementer so I would often times offer the extra 1-2 OZ in a bottle.
There are two drugs available that many choose to help with milk supply. DOMPERIDONE
is one. It is not available in the USA. It is available in Mexico $102 a
month, Canada $50 a month and New Zealand $25 a month. It is used for
stomach/digestion problems with a side effect of my milk production. You
need to take it the whole time you nurse or your supply will probably
RAGLAN is the other
drug. It is available very inexpensively from your local doctor. It is
also used for stomach issues. You take it for only 4 weeks. I chose not to
take either drug since I had nursed 3 bio children before (even if 12
I have many more adoptive nursing links and information on my web page at PreciousKids.org
I hope this answers your questions and you can tell a friend about the
wonders of adoptive breastfeeding! Spread the word! I would also be happy
to talk with others interested in adoption and adoptive breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding an adopted child is a great way to give them better
nutrition and antibodies but it is an even better way to bond with them. I
know I have a special connection with my nursing angel Haley. She loves
her mama's milk!
Kay Green lives in rural Oregon with her husband of 22 years and
4 kids ages 1-19 both homegrown and adopted. She runs 3 web
ID cards/fingerprint kits for kids
Adoption and Homeschool Resources
4-cents long distance
also runs several YahooGroups for support including
1christianwahm, 2lightenup4god, A1adoptionads, homeschool-anewbeginning
and others. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
2001 Kay Green New Beginning Publishing