Is adoptive breastfeeding so wrong?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Is adoptive breastfeeding so wrong?
114
Mon, 03-07-2011 - 11:28am

I ran across a question from a women on Yahoo! answers asking about whether she can BF an adoptive child but what caught my sttention most was the answers she recieved. The question read:
Adopt can I still breastfeed?
I have three children. My husband and I decided to have him get a vasectomy. We just brought our little girl home from the hospital couple months ago and shes been in there for 4 months since birth (she had lots of complications) and we don't want any surprises (another baby) just yet. We both talked about adopting after hearing that it is hard to reverse it. But the only thing that has me down is I would like to be able to breastfeed. This is one of the most things I enjoyed about having a baby bonding with it also being able to feel the baby move inside. Anyways my question is " Is there anyway I can naturally get my body to be able to breastfeed with a adopted baby?"
Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100610110731AAa7w3Z

A fairly basic question, to which the correct answer is generally yes. Unfortunately many people were either weirded out by the thought adoptive BF or had severe misconnection about the safety and healthiness of adopted BF'ing. Here are the negative response she recieved:

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This subject has been on this board before and on many others. Scientifically and medically it is not a good idea. The woman's body gets pumped full of unnecessary hormones and the baby does not get the antibodies from the mother's colostrum and milk produced especially for her baby. Nature knows the difference. I agree that this is something a woman would want in order to simulate what she cannot do..have a natural, biological connection with an adopted child.

Was there no way that you could have found another way to prevent conception other than a vasectomy? It seems that you make unusual decisions based on present circumstances which can always change. You have natural children. Be grateful and leave breast-feeding AND their babies to the natural mothers.

The idea of a stranger/adopter placing her alien breast in my natural child's mouth makes me sick.
Source(s):
Science and research

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It sounds like child abuse to me. You are not doing it for the sake of the child, to feed them chemically-induced breastmilk of questionable value.

You are doing it for your own self-gratification.

Adoption is FAR different from having a child of your own. Don't kid yourself, you will be raising another woman's child. THAT woman will be lactating naturally for her child, who was once a part of her body. I think that breastfeeding an adopted child is sick.

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Can you, I'm sure. Stimuli to the breast and nipple can/will eventually produce milk, that's what they're for. I however would highly advise against it. That baby's biological mother has a genetic link to her baby and the milk was made JUST for that baby. Your milk was not made FOR your adopted child. If you want the baby to be given a steady diet of breast milk I'd advise asking the natural mother to pump it for the baby, which would be easiest in an open adoption.... which I also advocate.

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ugh! Yuck! Im so glad that my adoptive mother had more sense than to feed me artificially stimulated, hormone laden breast milk.......its such a revolting idea. No you cant naturally get your body to produce breast milk for a baby that you didnt give birth to. Fact is, youre not even pretending to do this for the babys sake, but for your own. Adopting a child isnt the same as having one yourself, there is no point pretending otherwise, thousands and thousands of babies have been sucessfully reared on formula with no ill effect.

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I think if you look at your answers close enough you will see the honest truth...even the people that say go for it...look at their wording.

"It's NATURAL" natural. Breastfeeding your child is natural.

But breastfeeding another woman's baby, or chemically inducing breast milk is NOT natural. In fact it goes against nature and the designed plan. In a time where formula is so readily available there is no need to go to such lengths (in situations where its breastfeed another woman's child or let the child starve to death then that is another story)

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"Naturally" - probably not. Most who breastfeed adopted babies have to take hormones. So they are forcing feeding their babies hormone-laced milk. Yuk. Anyone who does that has no regard for the health of the child and is only thinking of her selfish wants. I feel sorry for a poor little babe who has such a horrible start in life.

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The thought of some woman breastfeeding my infant makes me sick. Creepy is what it is.

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I am going to try to be really nice about this! You do not, I repeat, You do not breast feed a child you didn't give birth to! That is disgusting and just wrong! You don't live in a remote village deep in the jungle, There is no reason good enough for you to do this ! If you think you need to do this in order to bond with the child, Then you do not need to be considering adoption.....
Adoptees have enough issues as it is, The last thing they need is to know that their adopted mom stuck her boob in their mouth! I was getting ready to eat breakfast, But after reading your question I had to throw it in the garbage....

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How about you people with the idiotic answers HUSH. Breastfeeding your OWN BIOLOGICAL child is the correct & natural thing to do. Taking home someone else's infant and trying to 'induce lactation' <----(which should happen after you give birth which is why infants are meant to STAY with thier mothers) its not natural. Its NOT what is best for the baby. Almost all Induced Lactation requires chemicals.

As an adoptee, I would be absolutely disgusted to think My Mom (adoptive) forced herself to unnaturally make milk just so we could 'bond'. Thank god she didn't.

Having a Wet Nurse is a different thing. If someone had a baby, wasn't producing enough milk, and someone else who was NATURALLY lactating wanted to step in and feed the starving baby (seeing as how we live in a world where perfectly suitable formula doesn't exsist. You know post-apocolyptic) then more power to them.

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I think that breastfeeding an adopted child is NOT about what is best for the child, but, what the mother wants to do. The milk a mother produces is best for her child. It isn't the milk that does the most, it is the colostrum that is produced before the milk flows and that cannot be induced.

I agree with Cleopatra, and if anyone thinks that there is not a sexual component, they have never breastfed. Of course there is! That is the way that Nature created it, and the way that it should be. To deny it is absurd and one would have to be lying to themselves.

Mothers are not interchangeable parts. We cannot be moved around like peas in a shell game. The milk that is best for an adopted child is the milk that comes from that babies natural mother. Any milk that has to be chemically induced, or manipulated is not natural, not healthy and not best for the child.
Source(s):
ETA: 7 years in La Leche, and I breast fed 3 children, each for over a year, and they had nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months. I know what I am talking about. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean that there are no feelings attached. Sex is natural, and the feelings from breast feeding are natural, too. Childbirth is natural, too, and there are sexual feelings attached to that, too.

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" Is there anyway I can naturally get my body to be able to breastfeed with a adopted baby?"

Nope.

You'd have to take medication in order to lactate. That means you'd be filling that baby with chemicals for YOUR selfish reasons. Milk that wasn't produced specifically for a certain baby isn't all that great for him/her anyway. There will be no colostrum in your chemically-induced milk, so what's the point of breastfeeding? You don't need to breastfeed in order to attach to your child...or for him/her to attach to you. I adopted a 2-1/2 year old boy from foster care and we are attached just fine, thanks. No boob or milk necessary.

If YOU want to induce lactation so that YOU can breastfeed, it's all about YOU. The baby doesn't want or need it.

And to the poster who mentioned milk donation: no, I don't have a problem with that. You know why? Because the women who donate their milk aren't forcing chemicals into themselves in order to lactate and they're not forcing their nipples into infants' mouths to make them eat! How can you even compare the two things? You're seriously demented.

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As an adoptive parent, there are 2 major things I've changed my mind on through lots of education about adoption, experience, talking to adoptees, first parents, and other adoptive parents: one is name changing, and the other is adoptive breastfeeding.

I believe that adoptive breastfeeding is really, really more about YOUR wants and not so much about what is best for an adoptive child.. "wet nursing", milk donation, etc., yes those have existed out of necessity. But, it isn't necessary, nor is it the best thing for your adoptive child to breast feed. Nutritionally, you can't meet your child's needs fully that way (you won't produce enough). And, I really would certainly not go nearly as far as calling it rape, but I think it IS disturbing to a newly adopted baby. I know when I adopted my daughter, she would have been freaked out if I put her face up to my breast. (She was 9 months old). Attaching to a baby to whom you are a stranger is a dance of careful observing of your child's reactions and needs. There are lots of other things to facilitate attachment without breastfeeding. Bottle feeding was very enjoyable for my daughter and me. She would look in my eyes, I would stroke her cheek, she would grasp onto my finger. It was something that definitely facilitated feeling close to each other, and I was providing a comforting, nurturing thing for her and meeting a need. Have the experience of bottle feeding if you adopt.

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What's with all the negative responses? Why are some people so put off by the thought of adoptive BF'ing?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Mon, 03-07-2011 - 1:00pm

Most of these people seem to be pretty anti-adoption in general:

"You have natural children. Be grateful and leave breast-feeding AND their babies to the natural mothers."

"The idea of a stranger/adopter placing her alien breast in my natural child's mouth makes me sick."

"Adoption is FAR different from having a child of your own. Don't kid yourself, you will be raising another woman's child."

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Mon, 03-07-2011 - 1:19pm

So here's what I love about these comments.

2010 Siggy
Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Mon, 03-07-2011 - 2:29pm

They are awfully negative against adoption and adoptive BFing? It almost sounded like they were afraid of someone ripping babies from their own mother's arms and forcing the babies to BF on a stranger!

And again, why is it OK to talk so negatively about breastfeeding and breast milk? If I were to say those things about formula and formula feeding, there would be an uproar!

-- Scientifically and medically it is not a good idea. The cow's body gets pumped full of unnecessary hormones and the baby does not get the antibodies from the mother's colostrum and milk produced especially for her baby. Nature knows the difference.

-- The idea of placing cow breast milk or formula in my natural child's mouth makes me sick.

-- It sounds like child abuse to me. You are not doing it for the sake of the child, to feed them chemically-laden formula of questionable value. You are doing it for your own self-gratification.

-- I'm so glad that my adoptive mother had more sense than to feed me artificially stimulated, hormone laden cow's breast milk.......it's such a revolting idea.

-- But formula-feeding ... chemically-laden, hormonally-ridden cow's breast milk is NOT natural. In fact it goes against nature and the designed plan.

-- So they are forcing feeding their babies hormone-laced cow's milk or formula. Yuk. Anyone who does that has no regard for the health of the child and is only thinking of her selfish wants. I feel sorry for a poor little babe who has such a horrible start in life.

-- The thought of some cow feeding my infant makes me sick. Creepy is what it is.

-- I would be absolutely disgusted to think my Mom forced herself to unnaturally stop making milk just so dad and I could 'bond'. Thank god she didn't.

-- Any formula that has to be chemically induced, or manipulated is not natural, not healthy and not best for the child.

-- That means you'd be filling that baby with chemicals for YOUR selfish reasons. Cow's milk that wasn't produced specifically for a certain baby isn't all that great for him/her anyway. There will be no colostrum in formula, so what's the point of formula-feeding?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 10:14am
I think the hugest issue that a lot of people have with breastfeeding is the whole Breastmilk vs. Nursing thing. One of my sisters started laughing when I said that my son nursed x amount of times per day, but I didn't think he was getting much milk. She was like, "What's the point, then?" I somewhat object even to the name of this board. Breastfeeding is not just about breastmilk. Nursing is what is important to me, and even if I could not establish a full milk supply, I would want to nurse all of my children, even if I end up adopting some. Furthermore, domperidone, the drug most often suggested to induce lactation in adoptive mothers, is relatively safe and also often prescribed for naturally lactating mothers with low milk supply. So many women pump their bodies full of various chemicals and don't seem to have a problem with it. I don't see what's so much worse about domperidone or fennel. In my opinion, they're a lot better than birth control pills, or for instance, soy formula, which contains the equivalent of four birth control pills of estrogen per day. It just drives me crazy that all of those people kept reiterating that inducing lactation somehow "ruined" the milk-domperidone is a category B! That's the same category as tylenol! Are they saying that they would pump and dump for tylenol? There were also a lot of mothers trying to fit breastfeeding into their experience and failing because the child in question was older. Um, duh! It would be very difficult to induce lactation and teach a 2 1/2 yo to BF. The original poster is probably adopting a newborn. If she wants to breastfeed, then I think that is admirable, if only to avoid formula. But I really approve of nursing in general and think it would be wonderful if she is able to nurse for an extended period of time and enjoy all of the emotional benefits. Babies are born to breastfeed, and this one deserves a chance.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 10:44am
Wow, Catherine, turning it around like that really shows the double standard.

The people responding are unfortunately ignorant as well as biased.

Charleen, did anyone respond in a positive manner?

The interesting part of this all to me is my own response. I think inducing lactation for an adopted child would be a great gift, and I would try to do so for my own adopted child were I to have one. BUT imagining myself being BF by my (adoptive) mother *does* weird me out a bit. But it has a lot to do w/ my relationship to my mom. She wasn't, in a lot of ways, a "natural" mother. Our relationship was very awkward at times. I don't think it's b/c I was adopted, I think it has more to do w/ her own relationship w/ her mother (poor role model). I wonder, though, how our relationship might have changed if she had BF me (and my older brothers [her bio children]. BFing may have changed her parenting style, and we may have had a very different relationship, one in which thinking of her BFing me wouldn't feel so weird.

I "get" the ick factor, I just think we should be able to see past it.

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 1:04pm

I think they are because simply it is the concept of pretending that the baby is yours. I understand that many people will say well it is my child and that is a nice thought really it is. I agree that baby is yours to love and cherish and nuture all its life. I have a sister who my mother gave up. I hope she had a great life I hope she had great parents and i know how hard it had to be for my mother.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 1:08pm
genniemom wrote:
I somewhat object even to the name of this board. Breastfeeding is not just about breastmilk. Nursing is what is important to me, and even if I could not establish a full milk supply, I would want to nurse all of my children, even if I end up adopting some.

Going a little off topic here but this board actually used to have a different name (don't know if you were around back then).

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 1:12pm

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 2:12pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2005
Tue, 03-08-2011 - 3:09pm

I am completely baffled.







Lilypie




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