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Breastfeeding Facts - Breastmilk IS the perfect food for your baby. Get the facts here!
Maintaining Your Milk Supply - How can you tell if your baby is getting enough milk? Here are some helpful breastfeeding tips.
Breastfeeding An Adopted Baby - How one woman induced lactation to nurse her adopted baby.
Breastfeeding My NICU Baby - A story of hope from a difficult experience.
If you need help with breastfeeding or want information to help you get prepared and/or started then the websites at this link
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Affordable health care begins with breastfeeding!
Your Milk Supply
Newborn babies nurse ALOT! It is perfectly normal the first couple of months to feel like all you do is nurse! These frequent, sometimes hourly, nursing sessions are important to increasing and keeping your milk supply sufficient. Avoid the temptation to give baby a bottle. It is not necessary and can do more harm than good.
During the first 3-5 days after your baby's birth, before your milk comes in, your baby will be getting your nutrient and antibody rich colostrum, sometimes called first milk. Many tests and studies have proven the importance for your child to get this essential colostrum. The colostrum also helps your baby to effectively eliminate all the meconium (baby's first poop which is black and tarry looking) and helps to create a favorable intestinal flora.
Avoid using a supplement during this time. Not only does it delay your milk coming in but it also interrupts the intestinal flora and could stimulate allergies in your baby. Formula, whether cow's milk or soy, is harder for your baby to digest than breastmilk and can be constipating.
If you are concerned that you have a low milk supply then the following suggestions are sure to help.
Some possible causes of a low milk supply:
For a complete list of tips on
increasing your milk supply including nutritional and pumping info
that has been compiled by many different nursing mothers, check here:
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 old's to nurse after being adopted.
Pregnancy is not necessary for breastfeeding. Prolactin (a hormone) is. Pregnancy does change the breast tissue so helps but is not necessary. Many adoptive moms who have never been pregnant have produced 30-100% of the breastmilk their child needs. Pumping, sucking, herbs http://www.geocities.com/kellysb/herbal-rem.html 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). http://www.medela.com/products/lactina.html 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), http://users.erols.com/cindyrn/feungr.htm 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 Lact-aid supplementer. http://www.lact-aid.com/ 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. http://users.erols.com/cindyrn/19.htm 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 drop.
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 years earlier).
I have many more adoptive nursing links and information on my web page at http://www.preciouskids.org/adopt/adoptnursing.html
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!
to main Birth, Babies and Breastfeeding page
I would never have imagined that my baby would be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) shortly after his birth. While he was born a little early, 37 weeks and 3 days to be exact, we had a perfect pregnancy - no problems at all. I went into labor on November 24, 2000, and at 9:44pm, I gave birth to Matthew William through a cesarean section. My husband and I were just overjoyed at finally being able to meet our newest little blessing!
Shortly after Matthew's birth, he had to be taken to the NICU because of difficulty breathing. It was around 1am that the neonatologist, explained to me what was wrong with my baby, and asked me to sign several consent forms for procedures such as a blood transfusion and a chest tube. At this point, I still thought that Matthew might be able to room in with me -- and that I would be able to breastfeed him soon. The next morning, I was told that this would not be happening, and that Matthew would have to be in the NICU for approximately 3 - 7 days.
I had always planned on breastfeeding Matthew, so when I heard that he would be in the NICU for several days, I felt that I would miss out on that early bonding with my newborn. I wanted to hold my baby, I wanted to feed my baby, I just wanted to do all those things that a new mother does for her baby. As Matthew was on a ventilator and IV's, and receiving nourishment through his IV's, I was becoming more and more depressed.
The day after his birth, I reminded
several nurses that I wanted to
In the beginning, I was pumping very small amounts, but as I continued to pump every two to three hours, I was soon expressing more and more breastmilk. The hospital provided me with small plastic bottles to store and freeze the breast milk in, and explained to me to label each bottle with my name and the date and time of the pumping session. These bottles were then stored in a freezer located in the NICU.
When I was released from the hospital,
and Matthew was not able to come home with me, I just cried and cried.
It was an awful feeling leaving the hospital empty handed. I wanted
so badly for my baby boy to be well, so that our family could begin
our life with him. I almost felt like I hadn't given birth, that I
wasn't a mother of a newborn. But the one thing that gave me a constant
connection to Matthew, was the pumping of my breastmilk. Each time
I sat down to pump, or each time I leaked onto my bra and blouse,
I was reminded that I had a baby who was counting on me for not just
love and care, but for the nourishment that only a mother can give.
This made me really enjoy the pumping sessions, just as a mother enjoys
feeding her newborn
On December 1, 2000, after Matthew
was in the NICU for one week, he was taken off of the ventilator.
This was an incredibly happy moment for my husband and I, because
we knew our baby was not far from coming home. I asked the NICU nurse
about when Matthew would be able to nurse. It was explained to me
that he would need to take my breastmilk with a bottle at first, because
they wanted to monitor the number of ounces he was drinking. I was
upset by this,
Less than 48 hours after the ventilator was removed, Matthew was given his first bottle of breastmilk. How well he drank the milk would play a part in how soon he would come home, so you can imagine my happiness when he had done extremely well. All the nurses were quite impressed at how much breastmilk Matthew would drink in a sitting.
Then finally the day came. We
knew that Matthew would be coming home to us within the next day or
so, but on the night of December 4th, 2000, I asked the doctor if
I could try to nurse my now 10-day-old Matthew. She thought that was
a great idea, and asked the nurse to help me find a more private area
to nurse him. I followed the nurse to a quiet room, got comfortable
in the recliner, and she handed me my precious baby. She asked if
I needed any help getting him to latch on and I told her that I think
I could do it (I had
As I sat there feeding Matthew for the first time, tears rolled down my cheeks. At that moment, I know I was the happiest mother in the entire world. I had my baby, snuggled against me, and I was breastfeeding him.
I am pleased to say that the next morning, our healthy Matthew was released from the hospital and we were able to take him home. Matthew has continued to nurse very well, and is becoming what we all love: an adorable, chubby, breastfed baby!
©2001 Brandie Valenzuela
Compleat Mother Magazine
Radical breastfeeding help, support and stories. An excellent read!