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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Adoption and Breastfeeding

I am currently part of a breastfeeding study group organized by Velvet Escario-Roxas.  I was fortunate enough to have attended the One Asia Breastfeeding Partners Forum 9 and learned so much from it.  Meanwhile, Velvet has been in so many international conferences - which means that she has so much more information about breastfeeding issues to share.

Our study group actually focuses on the book of Dr. Jack Newman.  However, we discuss a lot of issues which crop up along the way.  One of the topics we recently discussed is adoptive breastfeeding.  Did you know that it is possible for adoptive moms to undergo induced lactation and breastfeed their adopted babies?
Your next question will probably be why do I want to do that?  Velvet shared a slide of the reasons why to do it:
Compiled by Velvet Escario-Roxas
from the studies of Dr. Goldfarb
I want to emphasize that infant formula can never be equated with breastmilk.  Because of the marketing strategies of milk companies, we have been made to believe that formula milk is an acceptable alternative. However, it is far from the truth.  I have a separate post about how deceitful the formula milk companies are not only in the ingredients but also in the preparation of formula milk.

While it is possible to breastfeed an adopted baby, it is difficult and will take a lot of perseverance and patience.  The important thing here is not to starve your baby and instead maximize skin to skin and follow the bottle to breast protocol.  To build up the mom's milk supply - follow the Goldfarb-Newman Protocol.

I don't have to tell you who Dr. Jack Newman is - just read my previous post about his recent visit to Manila. Goldfarb in this protocol refers to Lenore Goldfarb.  According to Velvet, she is the only one in the whole world with a doctorate in Human Lactation.  Lenore personally conducted the experiment on herself to provide breastmilk for her son who was born in 1999 by gestational surrogacy:
After Adam was conceived, Lenore was determined to breastfeed her baby and began searching for a doctor who could help her achieve that goal. She found Dr. Jack Newman, who worked with her to develop a protocol that enabled Lenore to provide breastmilk for her son from his second day of life. Adam was born prematurely, at 32 weeks’ gestation, and was initially tube-fed with Lenore’s breastmilk. He was able to feed on his own from the breast at 9 days and continued to receive breastmilk until he was 8 months old and a healthy 20 pounds. At her peak, Lenore was able to produce 32 ounces of breastmilk per day.
Based on her own experience as well as further research, Lenore developed the protocol and through it was able to help more than 4,000 adoptive moms to successfully breastfeed their children.  You can view the complete protocol in her SITE. Her website already provides comprehensive information and lists down options for a regular, accelerated or menopausal protocol.

So why do it?  Even if you are not able to provide the full milk needs of your baby, any amount of breastmilk is already a precious gift to your baby.  Further, it is not sustainable to rely on just donor milk.  Finally, the benefits of breastfeeding is not just from the milk itself but also from the act of cuddling and skin to skin contact with your baby.

Let me emphasize that you do not have to be pregnant to produce breastmilk.  Let me also share this slide from Velvet about the type of milk that moms who never got pregnant produce:
Information compiled by Velvet Escario-Roxas
from the studies of Dr. Goldfarb
Know someone who is adopting a baby? Inspire her and share the Goldfarb-Newman protocol with her!

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