Sunday, November 14, 2010

A New Journey

Now that we're home, we have so many firsts ahead of us. I feel like we have many new journeys to embark on, but there's one in particular I'm going to write about today.

Many of you don't know this, but since we received our referral, I have been preparing to breastfeed Ava. I know that this might seem crazy or even impossible to some. However, it is becoming more and more common. I will say, that usually it is tried with babies adopted domestically at birth. It is, of course, a lot easier to teach a baby to breastfeed if they start right away. It is also possible to start breastfeeding later, best chances for success are if you start before 3 months old. Although, not impossible later on, just harder.

You probably are wondering how you can produce milk if you've never been pregnant. It is possible with a lot of work to induce lactation, which I have been working on. I may never produce enough milk to completely supply Ava's needs, but any is benefical. To supplement what I don't make we use a supplemental nursing system called the Lactaid. It is a bag filled with formula or breast milk that has a small feeding tube that comes out by the nipple of the breast. When she latches on to the breast and sucks, formula comes out the tube. This keeps her breastfeeding, even if I never produce a drop of milk. It's not all about the milk though, it's about bonding. There is a tremendous benefit for the emotional bonding that takes place through breastfeeding, both for mom and baby. Because I may never have a biological child, this may be my only opportunity to breastfeed, but more importantly, I want that chance to bond with Ava. So we have been working on it.

The past 3 days, we have been successfully breastfeeding. Quite to my surprise, after only trying 2-3 times, she latched on and took an entire feeding! This is a huge success for us!!! It usually takes weeks if not months to accomplish this feat. So I'm super excited! So we breastfeed now unless we are in public. Then I use a special bottle called the Breastflow by First Years. This bottle actually helped me teach Ava to latch on. It is the only bottle that requires her to latch on just like the breast and suck just like at the breast--using both compression AND suction.

All that to say, we are celebrating our new journey and success at breastfeeding this week!


Jennifer said...

That's awesome! I'm so happy that it's working for you! Lindsey Greenawalt was doing that too. I hope it continues to work for you! And no, I don't find if strange at all :)

The Jesters said...

I just learned recently about the option to breastfeed when you've adopted from one of my friends who adopted a little girl. I'm thankful it's been going so well for you & Ava!