Everyone, give Sophia a warm welcome!
Here is another great adoptive breastfeeding story!
Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your children
I have two sons, one through adoption, Daniel and one through birth, Ben. I have been with Daniel since his birth. Since he had joined our family through adoption, breastfeeding was not something I considered. While caring and raising Daniel as an infant I never once felt like I missed out on being pregnant or giving birth, but the feeling of your child nuzzling up to your breast and not being able to feed him brought on a sadness and emptiness in me that I was not expecting. When I found out that I was expecting a baby biologically I knew right away that breast feeding was going to be the way I would feed and nurture my new baby, and I wanted to breast feed Daniel as well when my milk came in.
Ben and I had a great delivery and he latched on immediately after birth. He nursed for about a half hour on each breast during the one-hour after he was born. Although this was magical for me my right nipple paid for it for about 5 weeks. I fed him on demand and the pain was intense. I would look at the clock and watch the minutes tick by sweating and almost in tears at some points because of the pain. Everyday I would wake up and hope that today would be the day that the pain would stop and eventually 5 weeks later it did. His latch was usually perfect and strong, I feel that I let him go too long right after birth and maybe at that time he did not have the best latch but I was too mesmerized by his beauty and the experience of giving birth to notice. Now he is almost 7 months and I love breast-feeding him and I now realize that it is so much more than just nutrition.
What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
I think breastfeeding in public is great. I feel that it should be viewed in the same way you would look at a mom bottle-feeding in public, no big deal. When my son was a newborn I would cover myself because I thought that is what people did, now since he is almost 7 months he will not allow himself to be covered and I have since come to feel that I should not cover because I want to help nursing in public to become viewed as normal. I breastfed this month at a Labor Day Parade, the beach, an amusement park and a restaurant to name a few. I have never had anyone say anything rude to me about bf in public. One thing that is still a bit awkward is that I am more comfortable nursing in front of strangers than friend’s husbands and male family members.
What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
For myself, I don’t know how long I will go. My first goal was 6 weeks, my second goal was 6 months and now my goal is one year and beyond. I am more comfortable feeding my children human milk rather than cow’s milk so I think I probably will go past one year. I feel that if a mom wants to breastfeed her child as long as she wants, more power to her. I feel that as a society we need to relax our opinions about women bfing, we live in our tiny bubble of America where most women do not exclusively bf their babies for 6 months. In other parts of the world it is normal to bf as long as you have milk to give, which makes a lot of sense to me.
What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why?
I feed my son expressed breast milk a few times a week, probably around 8 -12 oz a week. Daniel was 14 months old when my second son was born. Although I wanted to nurse him at first, when he had ALL those teeth and I had ALL that pain there was no way I was letting him go near my breasts. Since then he has watched me breast feed Ben and would poke at my nipples every now and then. Sometimes he lays his head on my chest when I am nursing his brother and my heart melts. I have offered him my nipple twice; both times he started laughing hysterically with my nipple between his lips. Personally I did not want to take hormones to make myself lactate with Daniel and when he was an infant I did not understand or was even aware of the soothing powers of the breast. There are many, many different ways to bond with our children. We bonded thoroughly and fully through play, holding, rocking, laughing, singing… and now I am very happy that I can give him nutrition through my breast milk. If an adoptive mom can and or wants to breast-feed her child I think that is wonderful and fantastic.
Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding story with your children?
I am breastfeeding my bio son and giving expressed milk to my adopted son.
Is there anything you wish you did differently?
I wish I asked my labor attendant if my latch was correct post birth and I would not have nursed him for one hour after birth. I actually probably would have taken more pictures instead of having him go to town on my nipple
Is there anything you would like to add?
It is amazing to be able to sustain life from one’s own body. It can be hard at first but the benefits for the baby and the mom are so amazing. Seek out support if you need it and if bf is just not for you, that’s okay too.