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Breast Feeding

Breast Feeding Adopted Babies

Not only is breast feeding an adopted baby easy, the chances are that you will produce a large amount of milk. It isn't complicated to do, although it is different than breast feeding a baby you have been pregnant with for 9 months.

Breast feeding and milk

There are two objectives involved in breast feeding an adopted baby. The first is getting your baby to breast feed, and the other is producing enough breast milk.

There is more to breast feeding than just milk, which is why many mothers are happy to feed without expecting to produce milk in the way the baby needs. It's the closeness and the bond breast feeding provides that many mothers desire.

Taking the breast

Even though many feel the early introduction of bottles may interfere with breast feeding, the early introduction of artificial nipples can interfere a great deal. The sooner you can get the baby to the breast after birth, the better things will be.

Babies will however, require the flow from the breast in order to stay attached and continue to suck, especially if they are used to getting flow from a bottle or other method of feeding.

Producing breast milk

As soon as you have confirmation that your an adoption will be approved, contact a lactation clinic and start getting taking steps to get your milk supply ready. Keep in mind, you may never produce a full milk supply for your baby, although it is possible. You should never feel discouraged by the amount you pump before the baby arrives. A pump is never quite as good at extracting milk as a baby who is well latched and sucking.

Breast Feeding and Jaundice

Jaundice is a result of buildup in the blood of bilirubin, a yellow pigment that comes from the breakdown of older red blood cells. It's normal for the red blood cells to break down, although the bilirubin formed doesn't normally cause jaundice because the liver will metabolize it and then get rid of it in the gut.

However, the newborn babies often become jaundiced during the first few days because the liver enzyme that metabolizes the bilirubin is relatively immature. Therefore, newborn babies will have more red blood cells than adults, and thus more will break down at any given time.

Breast milk jaundice

There is a condition that's commonly referred to as breast milk jaundice, although no one knows what actually causes it. In order to diagnose it, the baby should be at least a week old. The baby should also be gaining well with breast feeding alone, having lots of bowel movements with the passing of clean urine.

If this is the situation, the baby probably has what is referred to as breast milk jaundice. On occasion, infections of the urine or an under functioning of the baby's thyroid gland, as well as other rare illnesses may cause the same types of problems.

Breast milk jaundice will peak at 10 - 21 days, although it can last for 2 - 3 months. Contrary to what you may think, breast milk jaundice is normal. Rarely, if ever, does breast feeding need to be stopped for even a brief period of time.

If the baby is doing well on breast milk, there is no reason at all to stop or supplement with a lactation aid.

More on breast feeding

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Derek Barrington Essex UK

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