How 'strange' is adoptive breastfeeding?

An area to discuss relactation and adoptive breastfeeding.
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Penguin
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How 'strange' is adoptive breastfeeding?

Post by Penguin » Thu May 10, 2012 10:22 pm

I was wondering what other people's opinions are about how 'weird' adoptive breastfeeding is considered by the general public (whatever 'general public' means)

I don't find anything weird about it at all, to me is seems like a really positive and normal thing to do if the circumstances allow, but I'm not sure how other people view it?

I remember seeing on Oprah one day (when lying on the couch with HG lol) a lady who was transgender (originally a man) who had a child (her female partner carried the child I think?) and she took hormones and was able to bf the baby.

A friend of mine is an IVF nurse (so spends all day looking at hormone levels etc) and knows two friends, one who carried the other's baby as a surrogate. She was telling me about what happened when the baby was born/ hospital policy etc and said that she wasn't sure if the mother (not the surrogate) was inducing lactation or if she was formula feeding. She spoke about her bfing as if it was a normal option to consider.

I guess I thought that 'everyone knew' that bfing a baby who you hadn't been pregnant with was 1) possible and 2) as normal as bfing a baby who you gave birth to.

However, I was talking to a good friend the other day about it and she didn't even know that it was possible. I was also telling my mum about someone who breastfed adopted babies and she was very suprise that it was possible. I had to explain that it was possible to induce lactation through hormone medication, pumping etc. I likened it to taking the pill to mimic pregnancy for birth control.

(A 20yo I know saw something on the news about bfing an adopted baby and she said how gross it was to bfed a 'different' baby, but I think she finds the whole concept of bfing 'gross' in general. )

I know that some people view adoptive breastfeeding as strange/ wierd/ gross or whatever, but a lot of people see breastfeeding in general as those things. I guess my question is do you think people in general view adoptive bfing as strange-er than breastfeeding in general?
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Little Tiggermum
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Post by Little Tiggermum » Thu May 10, 2012 10:48 pm

I never knew it could happen... but when I found out it was a case of "wow our bodies are really amazing!!!"
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mooki
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Post by mooki » Thu May 10, 2012 11:45 pm

I dont think its all that strange TBH but maybe because BF is so normalised to me. I guess for the general public though, like anything thats not seen/heard/talked about very much, it may be strange for some people.

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Post by ~WildChild~ » Thu May 10, 2012 11:51 pm

mooki wrote:I dont think its all that strange TBH but maybe because BF is so normalised to me. I guess for the general public though, like anything thats not seen/heard/talked about very much, it may be strange for some people.
Totally agree with mooki. Adoptive Breastfeeding would, I think, be seen as even stranger than extended feeding. And tandem feeding.
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Post by TheSlayer » Fri May 11, 2012 12:01 am

A friend of mine is having her baby via surrogate means and is currently trying to induce lactation (baby is due in about 10 weeks or so).

Most people who find out about this are just blown away that a) this is possible and b) that she'd even try to breastfeed.

I think she's completely awesome... :D
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Post by Feather » Fri May 11, 2012 1:04 am

I remember reading a book that included an adoptive mother 'spontaneously lactating' and thinking 'wow, I never knew that was possible'. It really intrigued me at the time but not in a negative way. I never understood how it really worked until I breastfed and became more educated in the area myself. Of course I think it's awesome 8)
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Post by Capricious » Fri May 11, 2012 1:14 am

Not strange to me. If I were to adopt an infant I would more than likely relactate.

Actually, (in a funny awkward story) a friend of mine (a girl) was telling me a bit about her new girlfriend and how she wants kids and my first reaction was to say "Ohhhh, you'll be so lucky! Both of you to feed the babies....!" Luckily, she appreciated my very frank reaction! :lol:
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Post by s squirrel » Fri May 11, 2012 1:33 am

Little Tiggermum wrote:I never knew it could happen... but when I found out it was a case of "wow our bodies are really amazing!!!"
Basically this^^^
:wink:
Sometimes people see things as strange, just because to them it is an unknown, not something that they have seen or experienced to then consider it normal IYKWIM??
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Post by Andypandy » Fri May 11, 2012 6:09 am

I think people view it as strange because "you may as well fed them formula"
And don't see the non nutritional aspects of it.

I would definitely try it, particularly if I knew I was getting a baby well in advance and could commence relactation.

There are a sizeable amount of mums on my craft forum who adoptive breastfeed. It is an American forum and often they know they are getting a newborn well in advance. Some of them are still breastfeeding their older child which would make the process a bit easier.

The woman on the cover of Time said she good criticism on her blog for feeding her adopted black child :(
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Post by Kathryn » Fri May 11, 2012 12:19 pm

Well, I think it's fair to say you won't find much 'general public' opinion on here!

I don't think it's weird, but I do think it's pretty cool and amazing :-D
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Post by Mummy woo! » Fri May 11, 2012 1:57 pm

Cool and amazing too. Funnily, my mum knows someone who adopeted a baby from overseas and borrowed the neighbour's baby to induce lactation back in the 70s when I was a baby. So cross-nursing, induced lactation and adoptive breastfeeding were all pretty ho hum to my mum :lol:

I guess since there are not that many babies adopted in Australia these days many people wouldn't know a family with an adopted child, let alone a breastfed adopted child.
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Capricious
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Post by Capricious » Fri May 11, 2012 2:07 pm

Mummy woo! wrote:Cool and amazing too. Funnily, my mum knows someone who adopeted a baby from overseas and borrowed the neighbour's baby to induce lactation back in the 70s when I was a baby. So cross-nursing, induced lactation and adoptive breastfeeding were all pretty ho hum to my mum :lol:

I guess since there are not that many babies adopted in Australia these days many people wouldn't know a family with an adopted child, let alone a breastfed adopted child.
^Yep!

I would put it into the catagory of getting a cot, putting a car seat in the car- just another part of preparing to have a baby in your home. It would probably be more challenging for me to wrap my head around caring for a baby without having that 'trick' up my sleeve.
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Post by DellaWellaWoman » Fri May 11, 2012 10:09 pm

Before kids I would have been "what??????"

Now, it's par for the course (but then I've been on the forum for 6 years, so I wouldn't consider myself 'general public' anymore!)
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Post by Gwen's Mum » Fri May 11, 2012 11:47 pm

Capricious wrote:Not strange to me. If I were to adopt an infant I would more than likely relactate.

Actually, (in a funny awkward story) a friend of mine (a girl) was telling me a bit about her new girlfriend and how she wants kids and my first reaction was to say "Ohhhh, you'll be so lucky! Both of you to feed the babies....!" Luckily, she appreciated my very frank reaction! :lol:
Totally thought this about friends of mine - they've just had a baby, and all I could think (other than CLUCK!!) was "Oooh, you could both breastfeed - how awesome would *that* be?!". But, hey, at least one of them is bfing, so that's a start! :lol:

And, yeah, I'd heard about induced lactation before I had a baby, so knew it was possible and didn't really think it was odd at all. I'm fascinated by how 'robust' the lactation process is, really (to borrow a term I've seen used by the esteemed Karleen!). :)
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Post by jessiemay » Fri May 11, 2012 11:59 pm

I don't find I weird. When I was growing up we got an old mare to learn to ride, she was 18 ish never had a baby. We had her in a paddock with a shed. For some reason or another we had found 2 orphan calves so we put them in with her and started to feed them milk powder. One of the calves stopped feeding from us we couldn't work out why till we went to ride the mare, she had started to lactate for the calf and cared for it like her own.
It's not just humans that came do it. I would probably have different ideas if I hadn't seen it for myself.
I say if your lucky enough to be able to do it good on you. I take my hat off to them :D
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