Friday, July 25, 2014

Guest Post: "Adoptive Breastfeeding is Possible!!!"

From a very young age I knew that my heart, my home, and my family were in Africa. Two years ago I found my heart and home in Uganda and shortly after that I found my family in my (at that time) 12 year old daughter Eva and at the beginning of this year my second daughter Lilly who was just 10 days old. Lilly was abandoned by her birth mother and fed milk straight from a cow for the first 10 (we are guessing) days of her life, this caused her to be severely lactose intolerant and give her severe GI issues. So I began giving her lactose free formula, this helps but she has major tummy issues. I began researching and asking questions and found out the coolest thing ever, adoptive breastfeeding is possible!!!

 So I crazy researched and talked to some awesome moms and decided that Dr. Jack Newman's protocol would be the best for us. I started really tightening up my diet to eat mostly foods that help make milk!

At first baby girl was not interested in trying the breast and got super frustrated every time I tried to nurse her. I would put her to the breast and and she would fuss and cry. This was a hard hit for me, I was feeling rejected and discouraged and some one shared with me something beautiful that honestly may be the only reason I continued trying she said "that is where a baby belongs and is supposed to feel safest, I think it is just where she feels most at peace to let her frustration out" and I thought how true that is and it gave me the strength to keep trying! 

I was told eating garlic encourages babies to latch so I thought why not give it a shot and so I made some super garlic hummus ate it for a snack that afternoon and that night she latched!!!
About 8 days after I started the protocol me and baby girl were getting in the shower I looked down and realized I had milk!!! It was more of a clear milky looking stuff but I knew this was a great sign that this is working!

We still have issues with her latching, my milk is very small but we are learning and loving it and the bond and getting to give my baby amazing nutrition is worth not having my coffee in the morning (I am and addict) and worth every hard moment and every feeling of rejection and every weird look! Mamas you can do this, mamas with low milk supply and mamas of babies that came to them in ways other than from their belly, you have got this! I am in your corner and your biggest cheerleader! Love your babies well!!!

Now here is the logistics of making this work!
 *I am in no way endorsing these particular brands or products they are just what is working for us! Also I am by no means a professional this is just all from personal research and trial and error. 

As previously stated we live in Uganda so we are waiting on our Medela pump and SNS to get here. I highly recommend these two products if you have low milk supply or are re-lactating or inducing lactation. The SNS is a bottle with a small tube that attaches to your breast you fill bottle with formula/donated milk so baby is getting everything she needs right at your breast even if you can not provide it your self, and you are stimulating your body to tell it to make more milk all at the same time!

I would recommend renting a hospital grade pump, that was not an option for us but will be your best bet! Pump at least every 3 hours and once during 1-5 am as that is when your milk production is at its highest, and power pump at least once a day. 

How to power pump:
Pump 20 min
Rest 10 min
Pump 10 
Rest 10
Pump 10

I am also going to be doing the following supplements
Blessed Thistle 
Motherslove More Milk Special Blend
Mothers Milk Tea

The following diet is my personal one and excludes a lot of good things because we don't have access to them here. But you can search Pinterest "breastfeeding food" and find some awesome stuff!

What I try to include in my daily diet: 
~Non-instant oatmeal with either honey, banana, or apples and cinnamon. Keep it interesting as oatmeal is your best friend right now and you don't want to get sick of it! 
~We have a very strong ginger ale here so I try to drink a few a week as ginger is great for supply!
~LOTS of water!!!! Hydration is you bestest best friend! Love the water!!
~Half of a dark beer (I hate it but they say it helps...)
~Lots of carrots as they are one of the few milk helpers available here and I love them! 
~Hummus with LOTS of garlic and cumin as chick peas and cumin are good for milk and garlic encourages her to latch! 
~Green Papaya
~I add garlic to everything! Cause we are all about the latch!
~Rice (we live in Africa so this is a given!)

-Strong herbs or seasonings
-Antihistamines as they are meant to dry you up and this can also effect your 

Like I said I am no professional this is just one mommy to another. Good luck! Ask questions, don't be ashamed, love your babies! Know that at least one person is out there supporting you and cheering you on! 
Much much love, Emily

Emily is the 22 year old mama of 2 beautiful daughters through the blessing of adoption and foster mommy to two more. She is originally from South Carolina but now lives in Uganda, East Africa where she is the founder and executive director of Salvation Ministries and Kwagala Baby Home. She also serves in the local hospital as a midwife and is in the process of opening a birthing center and maternity home. You can read more about Emily, her daughters and their ministry at and find out more about the ministry at

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