When I first shared her story with the mamas at Earth Mama®, they were extremely supportive. Now, one year later, they wanted to interview Bethany and help share her story with all of you.
To top it all off, you'll see that, at the end of the interview, Earth Mama® is hosting a giveaway -- 5 lucky ladies will each win a Milk-to-Go Pumping Companion Essentials set. Why? Because the mamas at Earth Mama® are simply awesome and they want to help you ladies along on your own breastfeeding journeys. You can read more about the prize at the end of the interview. But for now, I want to get on with the interview. It's one you don't want to miss!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for posting this interview. It also includes affiliate links.
Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby
|Photo by Frames of Infiniity|
Earth Mama®: You wanted to breastfeed your baby, but didn’t have breast milk at the time. It’s miraculous that it was even possible. Why was breast milk the best choice for you and your baby and how did you make that happen?
Bethany: From the time my husband Tom and I decided to adopt, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed and I had Tom’s full support. After I was matched for the adoption, I started researching induced lactation (or re-lactation). I stumbled upon the Newman-Goldfarb protocols and discovered online support groups for induced lactation, which gave me the encouragement I needed to move forward. Prior to finding a lactation consultant who was familiar with the process, I found there to be no help from my OB-GYN or PCP.
|It all started with a pump...|
My first step was to rent a hospital-grade breast pump. Initially, I started pumping a couple of minutes every few hours, gradually increasing that to 15 – 20 minutes every 3 hours around the clock. This included setting my alarm to pump in the middle of the night. Within a week to 10 days, the first drops of milk appeared.
It's important to note that I nursed my biological son for 20 months starting in 2010. It’s been said that your body “remembers” producing milk, thus increasing one’s chances of successfully breastfeeding an adopted baby. However, there are many cases of first time breastfeeding success with adoptees.
Additional steps I took to establish my production of milk include:
• taking an herbal lactation booster pill
• drinking Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea
• breastfeeding my niece (milk sharing, wet nursing)
Within a few weeks, I was pumping enough to start freezing a few ounces of breast milk a day, in preparation for Luna’s expected due date six weeks later.
|Photo by Joelle Cowden|
Earth Mama®: Had you even considered not breastfeeding?
Bethany: I’ve always believed breast milk is best and had planned to purchase from a milk bank if I was unable to produce milk of my own. This became more of a priority after we discovered Luna would be an NAS baby. I discovered a research article on PubMed outlining the particular benefits of breast milk for NAS infants. The benefits included:
• reduced neonatal abstinence syndrome severity
• delayed onset of neonatal abstinence syndrome
• decreased need for pharmacologic treatment, regardless of the gestation and the type of drug exposure.
After reading this, I knew this would be the only option for me.
|Photo by Joelle Cowden|
Earth Mama®: What would you tell other adoptive mothers who want to breastfeed?
Bethany: Throughout history, others have breastfed babies they did not give birth to. Now we have the option to use formula, but we need to realize it’s not the only option. An adoptive mother can start preparing to breastfeed as soon as she decides to adopt. Even after a baby has been placed, it’s not too late to begin the process.
The amount of milk a mother will produce may vary. Some mothers will make no milk despite their best efforts while others will make all the milk their baby will need. While I did not have enough time to start a hormone therapy regimen, many mothers have found success by doing so.
At breast supplementers are another option for moms who want the bond of breastfeeding without actually producing milk. These supplementers enable moms to “breastfeed” with formula or milk from a donor.
Tenacity is of utmost importance throughout the entire process. If an adoptive mom really wants to breastfeed, chances are good it will happen. Getting your baby to switch from bottle to breast can be one of the most challenging obstacles to overcome. Had I given up in those early months, Luna and I would have missed out on the incredible experience and bond we now have. My advice is to keep trying.
Earth Mama®: What Earth Mama Angel Baby products helped you on your breastfeeding journey?
Bethany: As I mentioned before, I relied on the Milkmaid Tea as I was establishing my milk supply. Since I started breastfeeding Luna, I’ve had mastitis once and clogged ducts twice. The Booby Tubes were invaluable. As is the Natural Nipple Butter (which I also use on my lips every night).
Earth Mama®: I want to thank you, Bethany, for sharing this intimate glimpse into your life as the breastfeeding mom of an NAS adopted baby. You have inspired all of us.
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I don't know about you, but I'm incredibly inspired by my daughter, Bethany, and her whole family. Her husband, Tom, has been an amazing helpmate, and her 6 YO son, Lincoln, is a terrific big brother. I'm one proud mama/grandma. And I'm head-over-heels in love with Luna! Click here to read Part One of the interview where Bethany talks about adopting an NAS baby.
|Milk-to-Go Pumping Companion Essentials|
Let's celebrate Luna's life with this giveaway. Each winner will receive:
- Booby Tubes (1 pair)
- Organic Milkmaid Tea (16 tea bags)
- Natural Nipple Butter (1 fl. oz.)
- Happy Mama Body Wash (1.67 fl. oz.)
- Eco-friendly, Reusable Insulated Bag
- Recipe for Organic Milkmaid French Vanilla Chai
Giveaway runs until midnight EST on November 16th. Winners will have 48 hours to reply to an email before alternate winners will be chosen. Open to U.S. only. 18+
a Rafflecopter giveaway