Listen to Becca's interview here:
When bringing an older baby back to the breast, or to the breast for the first time, where should you start?
Step 1: Understand and address the reason(s) why baby wasn't breastfeeding in the past. For Becca, her baby was born with a tongue-tie, some restrictions in her muscles or connective tissues, and some emotional barriers to breastfeeding. Becca obviously had a lot of detective work to do to figure out what was making it so difficult for her baby to latch effectively and comfortably. For other parents, it is more obvious: maybe baby wasn't offered the breast as a newborn, or mother discontinued breastfeeding due to an illness or medication incompatible with breastfeeding.
Step 2: Consider the reason(s) why you want to bring baby to the breast. Understanding your motivations - while they certainly can help you persevere - they may also drive your approach to bringing your baby to the breast or investigating alternatives if needed. (Remember when we talked with Bridget and Shawn a few months ago who found finger-feeding their baby met their goals and their baby's needs.)
Step 3: Find your resources and support. We certainly hope you will find Breastfeeding Outside the Box to be a wonderful resource for you. Also, check out the book Breastfeeding Without Birthing, local breastfeeding support groups such as La Leche League, see a local lactation consultant (see Breastfeeding Without Birthing's directory), and Facebook groups such as Back to Breast/Relactation 2016 or Adoptive Breastfeeding.
Step 4: Gradually and lovingly, with patience and practice, frequently offer the breast. Use bottle-feeding techniques that support breastfeeding. Practice lots of skin-to-skin, while bottle-feeding and at other times. Wear your baby. Bathe with your baby. Try a nipple shield. Maybe an at-breast supplementer if milk production is a concern. Treat every step closer to a latch as success!
We are proud to present a series of podcasts for parents Breastfeeding Outside the Box, where we aim to support the nourishing and nurturing of babies in exceptional families - families who historically have not received the help and support they need and deserve. Our exceptional families include adoptive, intended, and foster families; gender, sexual, and racial minorities; families with special needs babies; parents who have had breast surgery; mothers with IGT or low milk production for other reasons; exclusively pumping mothers; and more.
Feel free to leave a voice message in the Breastfeeding Outside the Box mailbox with your questions or comments for the podcast -including your medication and herb questions for Dr.Nice. We can't wait to hear from you!
Thank you to our sponsors!
I'm done with all 3 podcasts and I love them! I can't wait to hear the next one. Thanks for providing such a wonderful service. For someone who doesn't know anybody who has breastfed an adopted baby, it is empowering to know that it can and has been done, and that I'm not alone. - Liz M.
I am just extremely excited there are resources available! Thank you so much for the podcasts and information. You have no idea how much hope this has given me. - Manette B.
This is insanely good, do listen! - Stef G.
Thanks for all the support. Everyone in my life is amazed at what he and I are doing together and I can honestly say I wouldn't have the knowledge without your book and podcasts. - Liz M.
Breastfeeding Outside the Box aims to be as inclusive as possible. We are aware that the term "breastfeeding" has limitations: not all of our listeners have breasts and not all of our listeners are feeding at the breast. We are also aware that not all of our listeners identify as mothers. Therefore, we will regularly use the term "nursing" rather than "breastfeeding", and "parent" rather than "mother." While we cannot identify directly with every listener, as adoptive mothers who nursed their babies, Hope and I do understand what it is like to parent outside the box and will make every effort possible to embrace anyone interested in being a part of Breastfeeding Outside the Box. We also know that we are human with our own limitations and biases, and look forward to learning and growing with you. Please let us know how we can make you feel more welcome and supported.
Breastfeeding Outside The Box exists to provide education and information about breastfeeding options for people everywhere. Every effort has been made to provide up to date and accurate information, but this information should never be used to diagnose or treat problems you may be experiencing. Information shared in this episode is not intended to replace medical advice or care from your health care provider, and we encourage you to consult with your personal physician, pediatrician or local IBCLC before making decisions about your care or the care of your baby.