In the wee hours of the next morning, while fighting jet lag and getting acclimated to his strange new world, Joshua got really fussy. I walked him, fed him, jiggled him and gave him the pacifier. But he still cried. Finally around 4am, I tried what had always calmed the other kids. I put him to my bare breast. And he sucked! A minute or two at the first attempt, longer at the next try. I was so thrilled that I forgot how jet-lagged I was.
And so it began. I didn't have much milk at first, and Joshua resisted changing breasts in the middle of feedings -- he'd cry and the feeding would be abruptly cut short. But once he settled in and got used to taking both sides at a feeding (after about two or three weeks), my milk supply really increased. I also took some herbs that seemed to help increase my supply.
By September, I was producing about half of Joshua's total daily requirement. Many adoptive moms who are thinking of breastfeeding expect to be able to supply their baby with all the nourishment the baby needs via the breast. But about 90 percent of adoptive moms will need to supplement; some a little, some a lot -- especially with an older baby who arrives already needing a large quantity of milk.
There are a lot of ways to bond with a newly arrived baby, but settling into a rocking chair to cuddle and nurse has got to be one of the nicest ways -- relaxing for mom and reassuring for baby. When Joshua reaches up to touch my face, or gives me a smile without even letting go of my breast, our connection is unmistakable. I am Joshua's mommy, and he is my baby, and this we know in the depths of our souls.
--by Mary Ostyn
Mary Ostyn is a registered nurse, a freelance writer, and the mother of six beautiful children, including two from Korea. For more information, visit her Website.