I did not think much about the concept of not being able to breastfeed my children who were adopted when we first brought them home. However, the reality quickly set in. I only breastfed my biological children for the first few weeks of their life, but the bonding it allowed was unmatched. Before bringing home my youngest son, I researched if there was a way I might be able to breastfeed him, as I did not realize with my daughter how much I would long for that time. In my research, I found that there are ways to breastfeed your child as an adoptive mother, though it may take a lot of work and may not come to fruition.

There are a few ways to stimulate breast milk before a baby arrives. If you have already given birth before, and even better, recently, it may be much easier to stimulate lactation without the aid of pharmaceuticals. If you have given birth within the last two years, it is good to invest in a pump to induce lactation. It likely won’t happen right away if you have already ceased breastfeeding with your biological child, but the pump should tell your body to start up milk production. It is also helpful to utilize natural supplements such as Mother’s Milk tea or fenugreek seed.

If you have not given birth before, you may likely need the use of pharmaceuticals to induce lactation. It is best to consult with your physician about what might work for you. According to Adoption.com author Darrillyn Starr, “Drugs In brief, the two drugs which have been shown to be the most effective at increasing milk production are metoclopramide, AKA Reglan, and domperidone.” Both drugs come with their own set of side effects but have been shown to help adoptive mothers achieve lactation and successfully breastfeed their child. However, it is vital that you do your due diligence in researching any lactation inducing method before starting a course.

For more information, please check out the informational page on adoption and breastfeeding on Adoption.com.

Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five, she has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on Facebook.