Pregnant & Considering Adoption Topics

Adoption & breastfeeding: Three things to consider

The physical process of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a supply and demand activity.  Once you start breastfeeding your baby, the production of milk will be stimulated.  Your milk will come in as your body anticipates providing for a baby.  When the process starts, it doesn’t stop immediately.  You will need to consult with your doctor on how to stop the milk flow and what to do when your breasts become engorged.  For some women this is a painful process.  It’s important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of breastfeeding your newborn.

Choosing to pump

Pumping milk is a way to reduce engorgement after having a baby. Engorgement happens when your breasts produce more milk than is required for your baby. If you are not breastfeeding, you could be uncomfortable during this time and need to pump or hand-express milk to relieve the soreness. You can pump simply to relieve some of the pressure on your breasts, although it is good to taper off so that your breasts gradually reduce the amount of milk you are making.

How do you decide?  Talk with the adoptive parents

My goal for you is a close and trusting relationship with the adoptive parents.  You should be able to discuss breastfeeding with them openly and comfortably.  The adoptive parents will support your decision to breastfeed or not.  They will want you to be comfortable and to make a plan that feels right for you.   You will never be pressured to breastfeed.  In my practice, most adoptive parents would prefer that a birth mother not breastfeed for fear that she would become too attached to the baby.  In fact, it is very unusual for a birth mother to breastfeed.

If breastfeeding is important to you, think about whether this may be an indicator that you really want to parent your baby.  And talk with the adoptive parents.

Do you have questions about adoption?