This post is for every woman out there who would love to breastfeed her adopted baby but doesn’t know about the possibilities and protocols to follow.
Every woman’s body is different and will respond in different ways, but what I’m sharing with you is what I’m learning as I journey along. Two of my greatest resources have been the Newman-Goldfarb Protocols for Induced Lactation, found at http://www.asklenore.com, and the Adoptive Breastfeeding support group on Facebook.
As I said in a previous post, when I first went to my doctor to ask about the possibility of breastfeeding (having never been pregnant), I felt like a crazy woman. Thankfully, my doctor was very supportive, excited even, and pointed me in just the right direction.
I started out planning to follow the Newman-Goldfarb Protocols to the letter, but our timeframe has been reduced since we got our Match, so I’ve had to progress from one stage to the next more quickly than what the protocols call for. Here is a quick rundown of what following the protocols have looked like for me…
NORTREL (active pills only) – 4 weeks
NORTREL & Domperidone (20mg 4x/day) – 1 week
Stopped the NORTREL. Two days later started pumping, using a Medela Symphony double electric pump. Also started taking Motherlove More Milk Special Blend & started drinking 2-3 cups of Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea every day.
The key to production is frequent stimulation, so I’m doing my best to pump every 2-3 hours around the clock. At work, I sometimes stretch that to 4-5 hours, but do my best to go no longer than 3 hours.
Within 24 hours I was getting a drop from the left side. Within 36 hours I was getting about a teaspoon from the left and a drop from the right. That was over the weekend. My first day of pumping at work produced nothing. When I got home I had my husband lay beside me with his shirt off as I pumped, to get the benefit of skin contact. He also told me silly stories and had me relaxed and laughing. Production picked up after that. The next day at work I wrapped up in one of my favorite colorful scarves & set Pandora to my playing my favorite Celtic Fiddle Festival station, and production picked up even more! After work I picked up some storage bags to begin saving what I produce. The picture above is what I collected over the course of 4 sessions through the evening and night.
Now, I was totally prepared to not see any production until I had my baby in my arms – I had read, many times, not to be discouraged by a lack of production; the baby is much more efficient at getting the milk than the pump. So, I am pleasantly surprised, maybe even a little shocked. Definitely excited!
If this is a route you are considering pursuing, I would highly recommend the above resources, and I would suggest you be a stickler for maintaining a high-frequency pumping schedule, AND do everything you can to create a relaxing environment during pumping. Music, textiles, lighting (if possible), clothing, photos (I’m thankful to have AMAZING 4D sonogram photos), thought-patterns, and visualization are all things to take into consideration when setting the right mood for a productive environment to pump in. It’s really not that hard to create, either – all I need (pump, pump kit, wipes, cloth, scarf, Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter, photos, iPhone, water bottle) fits into my carry-on luggage bag on wheels, with room to spare. The telescoping handle makes for a nice rack to hang items, as well.
And remember, be tenacious! Don’t allow discouraging thoughts to creep in! The times that I produce nothing, I simply remind myself – FREQUENCY IS KEY! MAINTAIN FREQUENCY!! It seems I’m most productive in the middle of the night when I’m half asleep, so relaxation is obviously important, too, but without frequency you will lose everything you’ve worked so hard for.
Being just a few weeks away from from our sweet baby girl, I’m driven to do all I can to give her the best start in life I possibly can. And it is my hope that by sharing my journey I can encourage someone else to give their baby the best start in life, too!