Every August marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week, a movement to raise awareness, offer support and encourage protections for women choosing to breastfeed. This year, we’d like to share some facts about breastfeeding for adoptive moms who may be considering this as a way to bond with their newborn baby and for prospective birth moms who may be on the fence about breastfeeding after giving birth. Keep reading for more facts about breastfeeding in adoption.
Facts About Breastfeeding for Adoptive Moms
For an adoptive mom, breastfeeding is a special opportunity to bond with your baby. Although there are some challenges, it can be done, and many women are encouraged to try it. Here are just a few facts that adoptive moms should know about breastfeeding their baby after placement.
1. Breastfeeding is More than Possible for Adoptive Moms
Not only is breastfeeding still possible even if you’ve adopted your child, but it’s become of the most popular ways for new adoptive moms to bond with their babies. All it requires is some prior planning and some help from your doctor. The amount of milk that you’re able to produce depends on a number of factors, and you will likely need to supplement your own breastmilk with either formula or donated breastmilk. Remember not to get discouraged if the experience doesn’t go as you initially hoped.
2. Breastfeeding Helps Facilitate Bonding
Your newborn’s health and wellbeing will benefit tremendously from breastfeeding. Nursing also means skin‐to‐skin contact, along with other nutritional and psychological benefits. When you nurse your baby, it gives the two of you an opportunity to develop an even closer connection.
3. Nursing Can Be Emotionally Fulfilling
For an adoptive mother unable to give birth to a child, breastfeeding can be a healing, rewarding experience. The feeling of bonding with your child and the closeness you will experience is irreplaceable. While it may not be the best or most convenient option for some adoptive moms, it’s still a great option to consider.
What to Know About Breastfeeding as a Potential Birth Mother
Some women considering adoption want to have the chance to bond with their child before placement, while others believe that it will make placing a child for adoption harder emotionally. Whether or not you choose to breastfeed your baby prior to placement is completely up to you. Don’t forget to talk to your adoption professional about all of your options; they can provide more information about breastfeeding as a prospective birth mother if you’re on the fence. If you are strongly considering breastfeeding your baby at the hospital, here are a few benefits that you should know about:
1. The Benefits for Your Baby
Your breastmilk has everything your baby needs to grow up healthy and strong. Your first breastmilk is called colostrum, and many people have given it the nickname of “liquid gold” because it gives the right amount of nourishment to get your baby off to a good start. Even in a short amount of time, breastfeeding prior to placement also teaches your infant how to latch properly, making it even easier for your child’s adoptive mother to breastfeed, should she choose to. For women who choose to breastfeed prior to placement, it becomes a rewarding experience to treasure.
2. Time Spent Together Before Placement
Breastfeeding releases the “love hormone” oxytocin, so nursing your baby for even a little bit can help the two of you feel closer before placement. It may be difficult, emotionally, to breastfeed your baby when you’re placing for them adoption, but if possible, it’s just one more benefit for your baby and one more memory you will have together. You should have no regrets about the time you spend with your baby while you’re still together, so if you’re wavering between whether or not to breastfeed, don’t be afraid to reach out to your adoption specialist for more information about what it’s like to breastfeed while you’re in the hospital.
3. Health Benefits for You
Breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby; it can be great for you, too. Another function of oxytocin is that it has plenty of long‐term benefits. These benefits include decreased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancers. Not only that, but this hormone also helps reduce the size of the uterus after the birth of your baby. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding can lead to a faster return to pre‐pregnancy weight.
Is Breastfeeding Right for You?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to breastfeeding your baby. Whether you’re an adoptive mom who wants to experience the joy of bonding with your baby this way, or a woman considering breastfeeding before she places her baby for adoption, the decision is entirely up to you. Remember to talk to your doctor and your adoption specialist about how breastfeeding can impact your adoption.