I have to tell you — the first time I ever heard of an adoptive mother taking the required hormones to induce lactation, I was a little grossed out. I have no problem with breastfeeding, and honestly, I feel a little guilty that I’m not able to.
I am able to breastfeed, if I take the hormones. But after three years of fertility treatments, I don’t want to take one more hormone for the rest of my life. It may be selfish of me, but I need a break from all the medicine. Mentally and physically. Also, I’ve seen Mrs. Jacks say that often birth mothers are uncomfortable with the adoptive mom breastfeeding. I can see her point in this, and it helped strengthen my argument to not do it (but my own personal feeling was really a strong enough argument).
I had coffee with my friend Amber who is a doula a few months ago, and she suggested looking into donated breast milk for Isaiah. My first reaction was similar to my induced lactation response. But then I started to think about it, and I don’t really know why, but this didn’t bother me. It may have something to do with the milk being in a bottle, and not coming directly from the breast. This is the best conclusion I can come up with. So I brought it up to Mr. Polish, and he was less than enthused. He was leery of it, and I finally dropped it.
I decided to strictly formula feed, because lots of babies (me and the Mr. included) were exclusively formula fed, and we’ve turned out fine. There is nothing wrong with formula, but it is expensive.
I really never said anything else about it because I had moved on. But our friend’s wife had an enormous supply and their last child is almost done with breastfeeding. We know this couple well, and we trust them. She is an excellent mother and we actually say often that we hope that we parent like they do. They were more than willing to help us out, and Mr. Polish arranged everything on his own! Two days before Isaiah was born, they stocked us up. I even had to get rid of the turkey we had in the freezer. Serious stuff, because food does not go to waste in this house (it still didn’t. I gave it to my grandmother who will use every bit of that turkey, including the bits you didn’t know it had).
To be honest, I don’t know how long a supply like this lasts. I’ve read lots about how much and often newborns eat, but I’ve never actually experienced it, and I don’t really know how much is here. We’re still going to use formula, but this will provide Isaiah with the added boost we really wanted him to have. This makes us feel so much better about his nutrition, and the quality of nourishment we’re providing.
While we’re discussing donated milk, I want to address what I’ve heard about it. This is a controversial thing. People are weirded out by it. Heck, I was. What bothers me the most though, is that you are able to buy and sell breast milk on Craigslist. This I absolutely do not recommend. We feel confident giving Isaiah the breast milk because we know the source and we trust her. If you are planning to use donated milk, please take the necessary precautions to protect your child. Because honestly, nothing is more important.