By now you probably feel like you have missed out on certain things by not having biological children. You have missed out on the kicking babies, the heartbeats, the growing bellies, the traditional baby showers, the delivery, etc. But the one thing I wish I would not have missed out on? Breastfeeding our adoptive son. Because like many of you, I felt I missed out on the “traditional” way of having children, but I didn’t have to miss out on this opportunity, I just was not educated about it.
It is very possible to breastfeed your adopted child.
Now, with adoptions, you may never know when you will receive your referral, so it may become more challenging to breastfeed, but it’s not impossible. In our case, we had immediate placement of our adoptive child and were there with him the moment he was born. We also knew in advance of his coming. So I could have spent the five months we knew about him preparing myself to breastfeed. But, again, I was uneducated about it.
Do plenty of your own research.
Contact your primary physician. Contact your local hospital. They may be able to provide you with the tools necessary, and a lot of hospitals can connect you with a lactation specialist. This process is going to take time and a lot of patience, which will help you in the whole parenting thing! But it is most definitely worth it. Also, give yourself a lot of credit for even trying to do it. It is no simple task. That also means, it is not for everyone. Just because I wish I would have done it does not make anyone who chooses not to breastfeed any less of a person. It is all personal preference and what you feel is best for your family.
So, why do I wish I would have done it? For starters it would have saved a lot of money. This would not be my primary reason for doing it, but it definitely would have helped on the pocket book. But I wish I would have done it for the health benefits. The nutrients a mother gives her child are irreplaceable. The fact that I could have provided what my son needed from my own body is simply a miracle to me. And the bond we could have had by the endless amounts of skin to skin contact would have been just what this mom needed. It may be that I wanted it simply because I would have had more one on one attention with my son (hey, I waited almost seven years for him), but the many benefits of breastfeeding, including lower risk of allergies, stronger bones, less risk of developing childhood cancer, reducing the risk of the child becoming obese, and the bond between mother and child, would all have been a great too!