Nursing an Adopted Infant

With a large investment of time and effort, some women can produce some breast milk for an adopted infant, a process called "induced lactation." This involves using a hospital-grade electric pump to pump the breasts every few hours for weeks before the baby arrives. It may also involve taking hormone-stimulating drugs.

Even women who have breast-fed in the past generally do not produce enough milk from these methods to meet a baby's nutritional needs, so supplementing is necessary. Many women produce little or no milk under these circumstances. In such cases, some advocates say nursing with a supplemental system and formula still helps build closeness. ("The production of milk, if it happens, is a pleasant side effect of the goal of a happy nursing relationship," according to La Leche League International.)

Others may feel that going to such lengths to breast-feed gives too much weight to the biological aspects of parenthood and adds tension to the adoption process. Parents who are adopting, especially after a difficult period of infertility, need to remember that millions of people revel in parent-child love, closeness, and bonding without breast-feeding. It doesn't take breast-feeding to make a "real" mother.

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Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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