Now, for my real post: I know I've mentioned Freecycle before (freecycle.org) it's a yahoo group they have in many different cities all around. It's like the free section of craigslist in email form. Anywho, I recieve a bazillion different emails each day with things that people either "Want" or are "Offering". I've found some great finds on there, but the other day I was very surprised to see "Breastmilk" in the "Want" section.
The woman who posted the ad had just adopted a baby (not sure of the age) and wanted her child to have the nutrients of breastmilk. She said that the baby so far had been drinking breast milk that other mothers were donating for him.
I had never heard of such a thing! As I have mentioned before three of my siblings are adopted. My mom tried to breast feed my first sister using a breast pump and herbs to start lactating but she stopped after a while because it wasn't working very well. My other two sisters were bottle fed. My "biological" (really hate using that term, but need to differentiate here) siblings and myself were breast fed. When Alex and I started talking more and more about adopting I brought up breastfeeding our adopted children and asked what his stance was on the topic. He and I both felt that we needed more information but were open to different options.
If you adopt you have several options. You can obviously do formula bottles. You can take herbs or other suppliments to help spur on the lactation, you can use a breast pump to imitate the sucking action of a baby (that will start lactation) or you can use a "lactation aide" (pictured here). A lactation aide like this one has a bottle filled with milk (be it donated breast milk, your own pumped breast milk, or formula) that is hung around your neck in a bottle that has a tube that comes out then wraps around to your breast so that it imitates how it would be if you were breastfeeding. This also can help stimulate lactation.
I have such mixed feelings, and really no opinion seeing as how I've only read online what this is like and never talked to anyone who has done it. Half of my siblings have been breastfed and half have not. How do I decide or be able to tell what differences a lack or abundance of breastmilk has had on them? One thought (yes, it is superficial) that I like about adoption (for myself) as opposed to birth children is avoiding what happens to your body when pregnant. One of the many benifits of adopting is that you don't have, how do I put this delicately, "changes" in your body or breasts. However, I have read that what causes the "changes" in a woman's breasts is actually being pregnant and those hormones that make them become larger, then "deflate" (sorry) after the baby is born. Apparently it is not breastfeeding that causes that. Second "pro" is that breastfeeding is supposed to help in bonding of the mother and child which could to help avoid R.A.D (Reactive attachment dissorder) which can occur in some adopted children, other factors are key in them being candidates for that as well though.
Nutrients, bonding, cost (no need for buying formula or many bottles) are all arguments for breastfeeding your adopted baby. There are other things that come to mind though, if you're adopting internationally you most likely won't be adopting a baby under six months and they will have (most likely) been bottle fed since they're been at the orphanage and can get "nipple confusion" if they change from bottles to breast. They may also be much older, which some adoptive parents still try to breast feed. One woman taught her three year old to breastfeed because she saw how it was helpful to her other five adopted children.
I still stand free of judgement on either stance being as that I just don't know. I've never been someone who really had an opinion or stance one way or the other about breastfeeding in general, and hadn't thought much about it at all because I've always known I would adopt and didn't think of it so much as an option. Seeing the post that the new mom made though made me think about this more and it is obviously one of the many things to consider when thinking of adopting. We have plenty of time to figure this one out, but I wonder, what are your opinions on this somewhat touchy subject?