I’ve been thinking about breastfeeding our next child. It’s a decision that I haven’t fully made yet, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t do it. I didn’t decide to breastfeed Chloe until about a week or two before my due date. The only difference I can see between breastfeeding my biological child versus my adopted child is that my body isn’t getting ready to breastfeed. It was so easy for me to breastfeed Chloe. Is it crazy that I expect this to be harder? Is it mean that I’m not looking forward to the effort? I know without a doubt it would be worth it, but in all honesty, I didn’t have to try too hard with Chloe. And who knows, maybe I’m wrong and it’ll all be fine and I won’t have too many road blocks to a successful breastfeeding relationship.
I do imagine I would have to supplement, at least partly if not mostly (I’ve heard of many adoptive breastfeeding success stories, but not too many exclusively breastfeeding). I’m not really worried about it nutrition-wise. I didn’t breastfeed Chloe because of the health benefits – though that was a bonus. In the end, I did it for the bonding, for the emotional closeness. So if I did continue to breastfeed our next child for a long length of time I imagine the purpose for myself would be for bonding, with any related health benefits being the icing on the cake.
The problem with Chloe was that I have not one person that I know of in my family who breastfed. They all bottle-fed. So I originally intended to bottle-feed and I had no problem with the idea of bottle-feeding. I decided about a week or two before my due date that I would give breastfeeding a chance for two full weeks and then I would see if I wanted to either continue breastfeeding or start bottle-feeding. I would try my hardest for two full weeks to exclusively breastfeed. I didn’t even buy any “emergency” formula and all the ones that came in the mail I gave to my cousin. Two weeks passed and I gave myself another two weeks. That passed and I set my goal at one month, then one more month, then two months, then three and so on until we reached one full year of breastfeeding. Once we reached a year I gave it a lot of thought and decided that I wouldn’t set another goal, I would leave it up to Chloe and do child-led weaning. That was a tough decision and I based it mostly on my daughter and what she needed at the time. Looking back I know that I made the right decision and am glad that we had that extra time. I do think that she is more emotionally secure with herself because of it. That we did for another two+ years.
I’ve been trying to think of how I want to go about breastfeeding our next child (what can I say? I’m a planner.). And really, since breastfeeding Chloe wasn’t a popular decision when those in my life heard about it, I wonder how well received this will be. Although, I do have to say that my husband is all for it. He knows it is the best thing for our children and, hey, breastmilk is free and neither of us has a clue about how to make a formula bottle.
One of the things that did help was that when we did try the bottle at 3 months Chloe refused with almost a feeling like she was insulted that we would even try.
So I do know that a very large part of this puzzle will be what our child wants and listening to their cues. I kind of wish I knew already, but that will all be a part of discovering our child.
If anyone out there has done adoptive breastfeeding, how did you go about it?