Adoption: Breastfeeding & Attachment

My thoughts on adoption and breastfeeding are pretty simple:

We will feed our child with formula.

I am not going to try to induce lactation to breastfeed.

Here’s why:

  1. I always assumed I’d breastfeed (sort of like I just assumed I’d get pregnant and have living children, and we all know how that worked out). But, because none of our 5 pregnancies got that far, I did not start researching it too much so I have not developed passionate feelings about it. I figured if I could breastfeed, great. If not, I’ll just use formula – many a kids and most of my parents’ generation were raised on formula, and they seem just fine to me. Honestly, I’m thankful I seem to be holding onto this attitude, because for the most part it’s allowed me not to be too hung up on this issue. Yes, I will miss sharing that bond with our baby, but I will bond without baby in other ways and that’s okay.
  2. Ideally, I would have liked to breastfeed. I think it’s the ideal way to start a child’s life and I think it’s also a special bond that mothers and babies share. That said, many a healthy babies have been raised on formula so our child won’t be the first and won’t be the last. And, I know we can form a healthy bond in other ways.
  3. By choosing bottle feeding, Mr. MPB will be as critical to the first few months of our child’s life as me. I think this is one of the most exciting things – he will be an equal partner. Our child will be attached to both of us, providing him or I the ability to answer the I’m hungry cry. And as an added bonus, it also means that I will have a bit more flexibility as Mr. MPB can step up and feed the baby if I’m at the grocery story.  It means we are truly a parenting team in every single way.
  4. I find the whole idea of inducing lactation a bit odd. I’m not sure why, but it almost feels unnatural to me to force my body to try to feed a baby that didn’t come from it. I really don’t mean to be disrespectful to those who do, it’s just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s odd to me. And, I really don’t know why. I realize I’m not articulating this well at all, but I cannot really explain it. It might be right for others, but it’s not right for me. Maybe at some point I’ll be better able to articulate this, but for now it just doesn’t feel right – probably in part due to my fifth reason (below).
  5. I’m yet to meet an in-real-life adoptive mom who has successful been able to breastfeed. I know it can be done, but I also know its hard work and rarely successful. My body has already failed me, and our babies countless times. I do not need to try to induce lactation and potentially watch my body fail again. I don’t want to end up watching my body fail while knowing that my living child is unable to eat enough to survive. Honestly, I cannot bear the thought of letting down a living child that has been entrusted to us. I know emotionally I just cannot go there. I am wise enough to know that all of this means that an attempt at lactation is probably not a good mental health thing for me.

All this said, we will have some two pretty strict rules regarding feeding our baby:

  • Absolutely no-one, but Mr. MPB and I will be allowed to bottle feed our child in the first 3-6 months – basically, until we feel confident that we are bonding strongly as a family. It is absolutely critical that we build a healthy attachment relationship with our child, and one of the key ways to do this with an infant adoption is through basic care being done by only the parents. So, Mr. MPB and I will be responsible for all feedings and all diaper changes too. (Of course if we decide to go out for an evening date night the babysitter will feed our child, we will not let them starve). I’m told by others who have walked this path before us to expect others to be upset with us for this approach, particularly grandparents who just want to help. Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but if it does I’m optimistic they will understand when we explain why.
  • Anyone, particularly a stranger, who has the nerve to judge me for bottle feeding will be told politely that our child’s options are to be bottle fed with formula or starve to death. People may not like my response but if someone is judging me for caring for my child without knowing any details, I am not going to sugar coat it to spare their feelings. And I am most definitely not going to allow their judgement of me/us to be perceived as acceptable, and the only way to do that is to be honest and straightforward. I hope that this will help people to understand that judgement without facts is unnecessary and hurtful to parents who are doing everything they can to care and love their child.

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90 Comments on “Adoption: Breastfeeding & Attachment

  1. Thank you for writing this. You’ve actually outlined most of my own thoughts about this, and given me some encouragement. I have actually read about successful adoptive breastfeeding (Amanda at True Good & Beautiful, for example), but I don’t think that is for me. I feel weird about inducing lactation. I just do. And I was only breastfed for a few weeks, as my mother had problems with it and gave up. And I love your point about bottle feeding creating a more egalitarian parenting environment in the beginning. Thank you! You’ve put my own feelings into words when I couldn’t.

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    • Thank you so much for this Connieann. I loved reading that you too feel weird about it, because I feel the same way so it provides me with comfort that I’m not the only one.
      Wishing you the absolute best!

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  2. Ahhh, I find the breastapo really weird. We were pretty much all bottle fed (my mum had difficulty breastfeeding the bio ones and didn’t try with the adopted ones) and we turned out fine (ha!). Also my (bio) bro’s child was bottle fed through choice as his wife didn’t want to breastfeed. I think that is totally fine.

    I am friends with a bunch of militant mummies on fb and I regularly get into heated discussions about it if I ever make a comment about anything to do with motherhood. It’s like they have a monopoly on it. Which they don’t. (One particularly memorable one was a random musing of mine how strange I thought it was that a lady was breastfeeding her walking talking toddler on the train… Each to their own but I thought it was weird!)

    Nobody has the right to judge anyone else’s parenting – unless the parenting puts the child in jeopardy, in which case it’s people’s duty to intervene. I guess the breastapo think that they’re intervening in something that is causing harm to a child. But all the research says that whilst it is beneficial for a child to be breastfed, they don’t come to any harm by being bottle fed. So I think they should just shut up! 🙂

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    • Thank you Nara for sharing! I absolutely agree, no-one has the right to judge anyone else’s parenting regarding breastfeeding or bottle feeding. The decision is personal and either way so long as the child is being fed the necessary nutrients, then it’s all good! I wish more people were as considerate as you are!

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  3. Funnily enough, as someone who is set on inducing, I completely understand your thoughts on this. It is a difficult enough thing to do with the “certainty” of a surrogate pregnancy let alone the relative uncertainty of an adoption. With adoption you also have to consider the birth mother. In my breastfeeding without birthing book there are stories of women who have rather upset the birth mother by attempting breastfeeding before the adoption is finalised.
    For me, inducing was an extremely personal choice that I always knew I would attempt (if having a baby through surrogacy) however the logistics/realities of it are really very hard, already! Add the relative rollercoaster of an adoption into the mix and I believe it would be next to impossible. There are success stories, one of which is a woman who has chatted to me as I began my induction protocol and who has helped me a lot. I won’t post her blog here but she has adopted two babies and is still breastfeeding both as toddlers. But she is one of only a few I have found.
    I have already wavered a bit in my induction choices already, wondering whether I am really making the best decision in trying to attempt this. Who knows! I guess I will keep going for now and see….!

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    • P.S Formula is also bloody great and I meant to add I hate that people judge any woman for how she chooses to feed! They should all just butt the hell out of it.

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    • Hey Arwen, I really admire you for trying, because it must be difficult to do. I actually think I’d have to overcome my natural aversion to breastfeeding (I know, I’m a terrible earth mother) and would give it a shot if I managed to have a baby. But more through convenience (not having to mix up formula and not having a microwave in our flat) than any sort of ideological stance.

      I think my view is that breastfeeding is beneficial, but that not breastfeeding is not harmful… I don’t think people should feel guilty that they can’t or don’t want to do it. There is really little substantive and definitive data to support a huge benefit of breastfeeding versus harm of bottle feeding. (You would have to control for other factors, eg that in our country, well educated and middle class mothers are more likely to breastfeed than bottle feed – the babies might be getting the benefit of having better educated, more affluent homes rather than breast milk per se.)

      The WHO guidance promoting breastfeeding is more aimed at mothers in developing countries who don’t have good access to clean water, where making formula would put them at risk of waterborne diseases. Also after weaning age there is no need to breastfeed a child – there may be a psychological benefit but there isn’t a health benefit that can’t be addressed using foods other than breastmilk, ie formula, cows’ milk, soya milk, baby food.

      Plus if you don’t do extended breastfeeding (like the majority of people in the UK) then there’s very little chance that your child will remember it to feel good or bad about – plus as MPB said, bottlefeeding is really beneficial for the father’s bonding.

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      • Arwen, I thought of you as I wrote this! In fact, it was your posts on the subject that made me realize that it’s an important topic in the adoption/surrogacy/GC world, and thought I should add my voice to the conversation.
        First, I really do hope you didn’t take what i said negatively as I think it’s phenomenal that you are trying, and I so hope it works for you! I think you are making your decision for all the right reasons, and so am I, because at the end of the day we are both doing what’s best for our us and our families. And, as you say, no-one has the right to judge us for our decisions on the matter, because at the end of the day it’s a decision based in love and our children will be getting the nourishment that they need.
        Also, you make a good point about considering the birth mother in the adoption process – I honestly had not even thought about her perspective on me trying to breastfeed. I hadn’t gotten there yet in my thought process as I know I wont be trying to breastfeed, so her potential emotions are irrelevant because it’s a situation that just wont be happening.
        Thank you again for sharing and for always inspiring me!

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  4. Good for you — no guilt, and no taking crap from judgey people! Formula is one of the amazing inventions of modern science. While there are some documented benefits to breastfeeding they’re modest and entirely unlikely to have any real long-term impact. As you say, our parents’ generation was raised almost entirely on formula and they’re totally fine! Your baby will get MUCH more important benefits from the love and care that you and Mr. MPB are going to be lavishing on him and her — and you’ll be providing a safe, wholesome, and nutritious food supply as well! I love your thoughts about the equality that formula feeding will bring to the mother/father relationships that you and Mr. MPB will have. This is going to be one lucky, well-loved, and well-fed baby. 🙂

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    • Awe, thank you so much for your kind words, I do hope our child will feel well-loved and healthy from the very start, because I promise you we will nearly suffocate that child with love, heck we already are!! 🙂
      And you are right, about everything else you said here. Thank you!

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  5. Yet another thing I’ve never really though through. I do know one story where an adoptive Mom successfully breastfed, but up until that point, I didn’t even know that lactation without giving birth was possible. I had just started coming around to the idea of wanting to breastfeed, so for me, it’s not a big deal at all to go with formula instead since for that was my plan for the longest time. I think you’re making great choices for your family and that’s all that matters!

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    • It sounds like we are kind of on the same page – I wasn’t too invested in the idea of breastfeeding, so not being able to do it is something I’ve rather easily let go it. I think our babies will be just fine on formula because formula will get them the nutrients they need. 🙂

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  6. whatever works best for you, hubby, and baby is the best option. i personally want you to know that a happy, well fed baby is all i care about when it comes to what babies eat 🙂 i will give one recommendation. on two occasions i have seen two separate babies refuse nestle good start formula. like gag and vomit refuse it. we had no problems with enfamil when we had to supplement a little bit with my bm when maeve was a few days old. i know there are lots of brands out there now and you will find the best one for you but i’m on team ‘no way” when it comes to nestle hahaha. p.s. – this is very exciting watching (reading) your story unfold. i know you have very strong feelings about how the adoption process is viewed and discussed so i am worried about how you may take this but i’ll risk it. after having maeve and finally fully understanding a mother’s love for her baby, i have such a huge amount of respect for women that decide to give their babies the best life they can and the families that decide to provide that life. i believe that adoption is one of the most loving processes we as humans can go through.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing and for being so supportive!! I will absolutely be doing my homework on the various formula brands – until you posted this I hadn’t thought too much about the specific brands and all the options available. I do like knowing the nestle hasn’t been good in your experience – thank you.
      You are right, there are about a million different feelings surrounding adoption. Honestly, we are doing it and I still have about a million different feelings about it – I struggle with a lot of it, I hold onto the good parts (i.e. building families based in love) and try not to focus on the less then good parts (i.e. adoption is almost all about income and social class/privilege). Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they are beautiful. I too believe the in the case of open adoption, that the birth mother’s selfless act to place their babies with families like Mr. MPB and I, is made purely out of love and the absolute kindest gift a parent can give a child. I really struggle when people have said to me that we will be adopting an “unwated/unloved” child, because I truly believe an open-adoption birth mother loves their child more then anything in the world and is giving them a life that they could not offer. It’s truly a beautiful gift.

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  7. Bottle feeding is just fine. I was bottle fed and I can’t marine turning out any differently just because I was fed from a bottle instead of a boob. I have a friend who knew from the moment she conceived that she would bottle feed, and it turned out to be a good thing she’s already become comfortable with the idea because her son was born with digestive issues and had to be bottle fed anyhow. I can’t imagine going to all the trouble to induce lactation only to find out that you can’t breastfeed due to something with the baby.
    Maybe because I wasn’t breastfed, I feel no desire to breastfeed. I’m planning to pump from the time of the first feeding. I love the idea of hubby having equal responsibility in caring for our child. I’m only planning to use breastmilk for the cost savings 😀

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this! I am with you 100% – bottle feeding is just fine! And the idea of sharing the role of caregiver equally with your husband is such a beautiful thing. I am wishing you the absolute best!!

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  8. I breastfed my adopted daughter exactly twice. I was still sorta lactating from my previous daughter and figured I’d give it a go. But after those few times I really thought about it and knew that it just didn’t matter. I had tons of other things going on and I knew that no one in their right mind would judge me for bottle feeding an adopted child and that it was more important to feed her from a bottle than to push myself to breastfeed at that point.

    No regrets.

    And really, if anyone actually is stupid enough to comment on your bottle feeding a child, they really are ignorant. You have permission to tell them to educate themselves.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing! Honestly, it’s nice to hear from other families who have adopted what their experience with breastfeeding (or not). I really do appreciate learning from you.

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  9. My Mom formula fed my siblings and I. I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is that even if I try to breastfeed, I need to know my limit. Baby’s health is first and foremost. If he isn’t thriving, I will need to consider other options. It’s just like a birth plan, or adoption plan, you need to be open!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing! I believe you are right, it really is about the baby’s healthy first and foremost – at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Wishing you the best!!

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  10. I was formula fed, and my two sisters were breastfed. As a kid, I was the healthiest of the bunch! It doesn’t matter HOW you feed your baby, it just matters that you DO. I think it makes good sense that only you and Mr. MPB will be the ones feeding baby in the beginning. People accept that when a mother breastfeeds, so why not accept it when the baby is bottle fed, too!

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    • Haha, it just matters that you DO feed them – you made me laugh! Yes, I agree, the most important thing is that we do provide food to our child as an absolute basic human need (and right in my opinion, but that’s probably a different discussion).
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your knowledge. 🙂

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  11. I had no idea that it was even an option to breastfeed as an adoptive parent. I completely understand your feelings in regards to that. It sounds odd to me. My mother choose not to breastfeed my sister and I because she had to return to work within 3 weeks of giving birth. Her explanation for this was that she was the breadwinner and she wanted to provide more than breast milk for my sister and I. Everyone has a reason for how they choose to feed and raise their child and they are entitled to that without judgement from anyone else. It’s awesome that you are thinking about every ahead of time. You will be a wonderful parent.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words and your thoughts. 🙂
      Truthfully, I also had no idea this was even an option until another perspective adoptive parent told me about it. I think your mom had a great approach, thank you for sharing. And I think you make a great point that everyone does what they believe is best for them in all aspects of raising their child – none of us should judge.

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  12. I think that there is nothing wrong with using formula. People think that breastfeeding is natural and easy but some women really struggle with breastfeeding. Your nipples get sore and cracked and sometimes your milk dries up. And then if you are a working mother and have to go to work after a few weeks it is impractical to breastfeed. I think the nutritional value and antibodies are only good for a few weeks anyway. I don’t think that you are automatically a better mother because you breast feed.

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    • Thanks so much Alicia for your ongoing words of wisdom. You are right, there is nothing wrong with formula and there are a lot of reasons why parents may choose formula over breast milk. And being a good parent is more then just your decision on how to feed an infant.

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  13. As a mom who formula fed the first and is breastfeeding the second, I truly think there is absolutely no difference in the bond. And let’s face it, formula feeding won’t make your nipples bleed. I continue to breast feed at this point because of the cost of formula, nothing more. I’m so glad you seem very guilt-free about this decision. People elevating breastfeeding to some sort of spiritual experience between mother and child that cannot be obtained with formula turns me into The Hulk (my own issues, obviously) because really you can bond perfectly fine in other ways and while formula feeding and it makes me wanna scream “Quit shaming women!”.

    Wow. Rant over. I suggest signing up for Similac Strong moms and Enfamil’s membership too…both you and Mr. MPB. Gerber has one as well. You get lots of free formula in the mail and checks that can be used as coupons. It takes a couple of months to start receiving things, and formula doesn’t expire for a couple of years, so you could do this whenever you feel ready. Saves lots of $$. If your baby doesn’t have any sensitivities to milk, you may not even have to buy formula for the first month because of freebies.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing! Honestly, I really do appreciate your perspective with each of your kids. i also love the heads up about signing up for memberships! I am all about a good cost savings, so I’m going to do that right away! Thank you!

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  14. I think those are all excellent reasons for your decision and I think you have an excellent plan for the first few months of your child’s life to develop a special bond with your baby. As for everyone else, they can get over it if they have a problem!

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    • Thank you so much! I’m interested to see how our plans for the first few months actually unfold! I am well aware that just because we expect one thing doesn’t mean it will actually happen. 🙂

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  15. This all sounds totally reasonable. You know what’s best for your family and anyone that has a problem with it can go take a long walk.

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  16. Funny, you nailed it for me with #3. As I’ve gotten my head wrapped around using a surrogate I’ve become very happy that M and I will be having an almost identical experience. That’s huge. I’m going to have her read this post. 🙂

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    • Thanks Elizabeth! Honestly, I think Mr. MPB is also excited about being an equal – I think it’s a pretty cool experience for the other half of the couple who maybe wasn’t anticipating it. (That said, I don’t think he appreciates this when when I tell him that he can do all the night shifts so I can sleep). 🙂

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  17. Good for you – NO ONE should judge any mom’s decision to breast/bottle feed – adoption or not. However, just throwing this out there as an option you may not have heard of / considered: breast milk fed via bottle. When I lost my son, I donated my milk directly from the NICU freezer to a mom who had adopted a premature newborn. It was a win/win situation for both of us. I felt so grateful that my milk was not going to “waste,” and she was able to feed her baby breast milk (which was important to her). Not trying to say formula isn’t a perfectly good option – just wanted you to know this was out there!

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    • First, thank you. I agree, no-one hast he right to judge another mother (or father) so long as they are feeding their child.
      Also, I have looked into this, and locally the priority is NICU babies and then typical traditional babies whose mother’s are unable to produce enough milk. Adopted children are considered the lowest priority, meaning it’s almost impossible to get donated breast milk. So, I’ve decided not to even go there.

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      • For milk banks that is likely true, but for other donation organizations, such as Milkshare.org, the donating mother gets to choose who gets the milk. BUT you are right that I don’t know how prevalent this may be locally for you, and of course there are many factors to consider when choosing to accept donated breast milk – I know you will do what is best for YOUR family (which is as it should be!)

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  18. I must be honest, I posted about breastfeeding myself earlier, because it baffles me it is still a debated topic.

    People have no right to tell you how to fee your child. People don’t have a right to tell you you’re a bad mum for formula feeding. People also don’t have a right to ask a nursing mum to cover. No one has a right to comment.

    You are going to be a wonderful mother. And that will never ever have anything to do with WHAT your baby is fed, but a bit more to do with the fact that your baby has been fed.

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    • I so agree with you, no-one has the right to tell you how to feed your child, so long as you are feeding them! It’s a personal decision and there are countless reasons why each family makes the decision they do. If only more people shared your perspective….imagine how great the world would be! 🙂
      And, thank you so much for your kind words. You too are a going to be an amazing mother! 🙂

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  19. My initial response to your statement about not inducing Lactation was, “of course you don’t want to do that!”. I’ve read just one person who was able to do this, and it was a lot of work. No fun. And you want to have fun with that baby!

    I want to caution you on your prepared speech in regards to judgement about you not breast feeding. That’s a bit harsh. A simple, “not every family has that option” is enough. 😁

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    • You are so right about being a bit more lenient in my prepared speech. I’m not typically too abrupt with people, particularly strangers, so I’m sure I will be a lot more polite about it then I said here. I hope on good days I’ll educate people. And on bad days, well, that person will either just be ignored or get to meet my wrath. 🙂

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  20. Thank you for sharing. I’ve heard some talk about this but haven’t really discussed it. But we already made the decision to bottle feed as well. It’s great that you guys made the decision to make such a great connection during the begging to get off on a great note and being able to share the caring needs with your child with do that : )

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  21. I think this is a very informed and sensible decision. I never really speak of it, but I attempted re-lactation after bottle feeding my son (i couldn’t breastfeed and had to stop, but suffered awful depression and guilt afterwards). Getting your milk supply going is no easy job. I failed, despite trying everything and just felt even worse. You are sparing yourself a world of pain by not going down that route. I faced comments and criticism over bottle feeding in public and it nearly killed me I wanted to breastfeed so much. But – we’ve never had any ear-infections/asthma/allergies or anything like that. Today’s formula is excellent. Never, ever let anyone doubt that you are making the best choice. When your child is 18 and a happy, loved, confident adult, breast or bottle will be insignificant compared to the rest of the parenting you have done xxx

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    • Thank you so much for sharing. It saddens (and angers) me to hear that you actually faced criticism for bottle feeding in public – i just do not understand why people think they have the right to many any comment, especially when they don’t understand the circumstances. It baffles me.
      Also, I think you are right, in the scheme of life, the choice to use formal or bottle feed will not determine the child’s path in life. There is just so much more to life then this one decision.

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  22. This can be such a hot topic, but I’m glad that you’ve got a plan for you and Mr. MPB. I agree, that the hormones and the intense amount of pumping involved to try to get your milk coming is really difficult on you and your motivation to induce lactation… With no guarantee that it will work. Sammy and Chronicles of a NGP tried it, and I think she managed to get some milk, but not enough to sustain an average feed. She found other ways to bond though. So many people in our generation were brought up on formula, and turned out just fine. It’ll be more expensive of course, but it’s one less thing to worry about!

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    • Thanks so much for understanding, it really can be such a hot topic with many opinions. And at the end of the day I really just think all that matters is that the child is FED, not how they are fed.
      As for the expense – at this point, just paying for formula will seem cheap in comparison to paying for an adoption! 🙂

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  23. You’re going to be a great mom. I am of the thought that so long as you feed your baby, breast or bottle, you’re doing it right. *hugs* Ignore the people who question your ways negatively.

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  24. This post enlightened me to two things. #1- I had NO IDEA you could induce lactation if you haven’t been pregnant. No. Idea. Personally, I find that a bit strange as well. Not saying that it’s wrong for others to do it, I just feel like I wouldn’t feel right about it. #2- I guess I didn’t realize that people could be so judgmental about how someone feeds their baby. I mean I honestly feel like it’s nobody else’s business how you choose to get nutrition into your baby’s body, as long as you are doing the best thing for them. Honestly, some people need to butt out and get a grip!!

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    • Until we started down the adoption road, I too had no idea you can induce lactation without being pregnant first – I just assumed they went hand in hand. But, thanks to modern medicine, I guess almost anything is possible. 🙂
      And I completely agree with you about the judgement stuff – so long as the child is getting fed, then why say anything? I will never understand people!

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  25. I’m sure you will meet some opposition and hurt feelings when you don’t let others feed your baby, and it’s good that you know that and are already preparing for it. I was really surprised at how upset my mom got that I don’t let her feed Bub because he is breastfed–she wanted me to pump, then put it in a bottle and bring it when we visited so she could feed him, which just seemed silly and counterintuitive to me. Plus, he won’t eat from a bottle if I’m there; boy likes his milk straight from the tap. Anyway, I’m sure it’s even harder when your child already eats from a bottle, but I do think that’s is really important for you and Mr. MPB for bonding.

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    • Thanks for sharing your experience – it really does reinforce what we re told at our adoption classes about being prepared for family to be upset with our decision to only have us feed our baby, but you know what, I don’t care because ll the research says that this is the best way to have an adopted infant bond with their parents (an vice versa too). So, that’s the approach we are taking. And I really hope when we explain that to any upset family members that they will respect our decision.

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  26. Friend, the struggle to induce lactation is REAL! Real bullshit! It’s exhausting, and frustrating, and emotionally draining. But there were a lot of things that came from it that I learned too. I learned that Callie did not have it easy trying to nurse both the boys. I understood her frustration of not getting enough milk. I understood the waking up at all hours of the night, leaving my desk for the privacy of the nursing bathroom at work (that you have to sign up for and pick a time slot!) I had a completely different understanding of it after the 8 months I spent trying to induce with the outcome being a series of drops here and there.

    I completely respect your decision to NOT induce lactation. It’s a lot! All of the reasons you listed make complete sense to me. And honestly, breastfeeding just isn’t for everyone. I was formula fed and I think i’m funnier and smarter than the average, so there ya go! LOL! Our pediatrician said it from the beginning when Callie was so upset about not having a good enough supply, ” If formula were inferior to breastmilk, they would have taken it off the market. And there is no direct correlation between breastfed babies or formula babies and being underweight. So don’t stress yourself out. Formula is available in an unlimited supply!” Parent shaming is the worst! So anyone who makes you feel crappy about your decision, well, I trust you’ll tell them where they can go!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I remember your struggle, and actually thought of you when i was writing this and thinking about if we should try. I will admit, the thought process around if I should try lasted all of about 3.2 seconds – it just isn’t something I’m prepared to do given everything in our lives.
      As you say, formula feeding is just fine. And I’d love to have the funniest and smartest kid, so clearly this is the right decision. 🙂

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  27. My brother and I were completely cow milk fed from day 2 of birth. My mom could nevet produce milk and that in no way has ever impacted how healthy I am or the bond I share with my mom/dad.
    I think as long as the baby is well fed and healthy, it is no one’s business whose udders fed the baby.
    Breast feeding to me personally was very important because I wanted my body to do at least one thing right!!

    Regarding the 3 months of no one else nurturing the baby to form a bond, trust me, the minute you hold your baby, the bond is formed. There is some magic these bubba’s know, how to wrap us in their little fingers. I personally couldnt handle the diaper changes and feedigng and soothingb and everything 24/7. I gladly let my mom do a bit daily so I could rest. These newborns can eat and poop nonstop.

    Like

    • Thanks you so much for sharing – I completely agree with you that as long as the baby is well fed and healthy then no-one else’s opinions matter at all.
      As for the attachment after birth stuff – according to the adoption agencies and the research, this is one of the most important things with adopting an infant, and apparently the bond doesn’t always happen right away. So, while i understand what you are saying, until we are comfortable with the bonds forming we will be a little crazy about it. It may not be an issue at all, but we feel the need to be prepared for it to be and this is the best way to overcome it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Totally! You need to bond. One thing, adopting an infant means not a newborn?? Out of curiousity whats the difference? Sorry if the question is hurtful, am just naive about adoption.

        Like

      • Infant open adoption means newborn in North America. In almost all cases the adoptive parents will leave the hospital with the baby, and often the adoptive parents will actually be at the birth. For us, we will leave with the baby and a social worker who has to be with the baby at all times until the adoption is approved by the Canadian and the US courts – usually about 7-10 days.
        (No worries, your question is not hurtful at all, ask questions, I’m happy to answer them).

        Liked by 1 person

  28. First of all I am still frustrated by the fact that word press ate my long comment this morning. Second, this is such a personal decision even for Mother’s Day to birth her own children and intend to raise them. There is no right or wrong answer in my opinion. The breast-feeding police piss me off even though I I am personally deeply committed to breast-feeding. Before I had the MT and while I was pregnant with him I did not feel that way. I associated breast-feeding as a trigger for the child sexual abuse I endured and was terrified to do it. I was afraid I would feel like I did as a child that I had no control and my body was not my own. No one has the right or should be fostered in any opportunity to judge someone else’s decisions in this area. Period. I wish you and Mr. MPB all the best with all of your coparenting adventures.

    Like

    • I agree with you, adoption or not, breastfeeding is a very personal decision! The breastfeeding police are ridiculous at best. As long as the child is being fed then absolutely no-one’s opinion matters.
      P.S. I think you are an amazing women who is a survivor of so many horrible things that should never have happened to you. You inspire me on a daily basis. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Let me tell you from someone who breastfed for six months then switched to formula– I felt no difference in bond or saw any difference in health. Just feeding your little baby is all that matters. The bonding comes from so many other places. I love that you and your husband can both share the duties! If anyone judges you send them my way 🙂

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  30. I was wondering what you were going to do on the feeding front, and I had also been wondering what I would do if we adopt. Thanks for sharing. I think the emphasis people put on the breastfeeding bond is kind of BS. Like, sure, you can bond with your baby during breastfeeding, absolutely, but there are plenty of other ways to bond with your baby as well. It’s not this end-all-be-all situation that some people make it out to be. I breastfed for a while with Lettie and it was honestly an awful experience — for many reasons, but the main one being that I pretty much legit went insane from trying so hard to make it work. I don’t know if I would attempt it again even if I ended up carrying and delivering another baby. I think it’s wonderful that you are making the right decision for you, and also that that decision will allow Mr. MPB to play as much of a role as you in the caregiving!

    Like

    • I am so sorry that you struggled so much to breastfeed with Lettie, and that it was so hard on you. It’s exactly that situation that I am trying to avoid – honestly, I’m not a quitter and I know it will kill me if I feel like I fail at breastfeeding, so I know i shouldn’t even go there. The possible benefits of breastfeeding vs my mental health collapsing and the negative impacts that will have on our entire family just aren’t worth the gamble.
      I trust whatever you decide, however child #2 comes into your life, will also be the right decision for your family too!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Literally the number one complaint I hear from breastfeeding mommy friends is how hard it is to be the only one who can get up to feed the baby. Having both mommy and daddy able to feed is a definite pro to formula. Breastfeeding is difficult in the best of situations, so I don’t blame you at all for making a choice to formula feed. I know I am absolutely terrified of breastfeeding, as I had a breast reduction in college and have no idea what’s going on in there. I also think about one of my best friends, whose middle child absolutely would not take a bottle for anything, and my friend’s breast milk always dries up naturally within the first 6-8 weeks. She was desperate, depressed, absolutely miserable, syringe-feeding a screaming, starving infant who was rapidly losing weight and just would not eat if it was not from the breast. Her doctor actually recommended with her last baby, born in April, that she exclusively feed from the bottle to try to avoid a similar situation, just in case.

    I also really like your rule about family doing things like feeding, diaper changing, etc. I think I might consider doing the same. When my niece was born I was surprised that I didn’t feel jealous of my brother and SIL because they beat me to having the first grandbaby — their house was swarming with “helpers” 24/7 and everyone wanted to have their grubby paws on the baby all the time. They couldn’t even walk into Sunday dinner without family literally fighting over who picked the baby up first and then they wouldn’t get her back the rest of the night. As I watched that, I knew that I would have to be very strict with people when we had kids, because I do not want that for my child or for me and my husband. You know what’s best for you and your family, and if anyone doesn’t like it then disable the doorbell! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I think your friend’s experience illustrates that there are so many different reasons why people may not breastfeed, and each and every one of the reasons is just fine! I just wish people would stop judging and realize that someones formula is just the best option.
      I hope you are also able to develop rules that work well for you, your husband and your baby. And more then anything I hope both our families respect the rules we put in place! 🙂

      Like

  32. My thoughts… Do what’s right for you and your family. People can keep their stupid, uneducated, petty opinions to themselves. If they want to feel hurt over your decisions, that’s their problem. It amazes me how others (especially those who have not walked in your shoes) form such strong opinions on something and impose them on other people as if there is ONLY one way of doing something. Your decisions are fully supported by me, simply because that’s what you two have decided what’s best for you and your family. It may or may not be what I personally would do, but that’s the beauty of individuality and choices 🙂 OK, rant over… What I mean to say is: You are so calculated and thoughtful in your decision making, so I’m confident your decision was made properly and thoughtfully. Way to be a great momma! 🙂 XO

    Like

    • Honestly, if more people could think like this “Your decisions are fully supported by me, simply because that’s what you two have decided what’s best for you and your family. It may or may not be what I personally would do, but that’s the beauty of individuality and choices” then the world would be such a better place! Can we clone you, and your approach to life? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. With my history of depression inducing lactation was not even an option because my medications are not compatible with breast feeding. I am not sure if I would have tried or not had this not been the case. After our son was born I actually started lactating some on my own. Certainly, not anything close to enough to sustain a baby, but it was interesting to have that happen. It made me a bit sad because it gave me hope that it would have been possible had I been able to try.

    I never received any criticism regarding feeding our children formula nor do I think it had any impact on my ability to bond with our children. I did quite a bit of skin-to-skin and baby wearing to help make up for anything lost in not being able to breastfeed them.

    We did allow our to help with feedings. Given that from birth we did the vast majority of hands on care ourselves (I am fortunate enough to get to be a stay at home mom), I felt like it was important for our parents to be able be care givers as well. Our families are quite involved in our children’s lives which we knew would be the case so we wanted to make sure that bond was strong as well.

    At the end of the day only you know what is right for your family. Every family is different so no one has the right to interject their opinion. You do what works for you!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing and for being so supportive of individual choice! I think if bonding is going well, we will let our families help out if they want to. The reality for us though is that we live in a few hours away from our family, so visits will likely be short and intense, and in that time it might just not be worth shaking up the routines we’ve developed. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that if things are going well we will be flexible – nothing is written in stone. 🙂

      Like

      • Our kids have three sets of adoptive grandparents, the furthest of which lives 15 min away. They see them all at least weekly so it is a much different scenario than what you are facing. I think I would have been more conservative about others helping had it have not been the fact that the grandparents were going to be so active in their lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. I love that Tina Fey calls them “teat nazis” (LOL!) Plenty of women carry naturally and still can’t nurse, like my friend, who, incidentally, was upset for a long time that she had ‘failed’ at it. Like she needs a reminder from busybodies that BFing is better! Same for adoptive moms. Some ppl need to stfu.

    Like

    • I love Tina Fey! And I agree with everything you’ve said here – it’s not always a choice to breastfeed or not, and quite frankly it doesn’t matter if it is a choice not to. All that matters is that we are feeding our children the nutrients they need to grow and to be healthy!

      Like

  35. I love that you wrote about this. And think your thoughts and reasoning is so sound. You are right re: family thinking that because you are bottle feeding they will feed the baby. No. Just no. Feeding is for mom and dad unless they ask you to feed their baby. End rant 🙂

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    • Thanks so much for getting it. You are right, feeding is not a shared activity, and most definitely not something anyone should be trying to force on the parents/baby.

      Like

  36. Jesus H. Christ–it took me 5 minutes to scroll down the comments just so I could leave a comment–I didn’t even read them!
    That said…I’m glad you have a *choice*. Infertility & RPL take away so many of our choices and I’m glad that breastfeeding is an option for you & other adoptive/surrogate moms.
    But I’d like to express my feelings with a quote by Dr. Seuss (maybe not verbatim but you get the gist):
    Do what you say and say what you feel, because the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind.
    F*ck the haters.
    XOXO

    Like

    • Dr. Suess really is an amazing author! His words are so often perfect for so many different situation! You are right, anyone who may judge our decision to formula feed simply do not have an opinion that matters to our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. I formula feed after being unable to breastfeed. I can tell you, the bond still happens during a feed! Cuddle your baby close, give kisses, and whisper to them when they’re younger. But by month three? Your kid will pause feeding, eyes will widen, and you’ll get the sweetest, goofiest grins ever. I’ve had her pull away from the bottle to laugh and gurgle up at me, then reach for my face. Heart. Melts.

    As long as baby is happy and fed and loved, you’re doing it right. On this alone, no one can tell you otherwise.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing this – I always love reassurance that bonding happens through feeding, regardless if it’s breastfeeding or formula feeding. As you say, so long as a child is receiving food and love, then everything will be okay!

      Like

  38. Pingback: I’m Not Hoping, Not This Time | My Perfect Breakdown

  39. I was trying to find a way to just e-mail you but couldn’t figure that out. ha! Since you’re in Canada as well, I just wanted you to be aware of a type of formula that’s available to us that’s from Germany. I did a lot of research re: organic formulas and was disappointed with the options available in the US and Canada. We are very pleased with Holle Infant Formula from Germany. Even with the shipping its not much more expensive than regular formula here..and I’m so happy with what’s in it. Anyways, just let me know if you’d like more info on how you can order it from Canada. I don’t work for Holle – hahaha….just passing this along in case you’d be interested.

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  40. I completely see where you are coming from, and if Chris and I decide to go down this path, I will likely have to same approach. I hadn’t heard of the 3 months of basic care being performed solely by the parents to form a strong attachment, but that makes so much sense!

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  41. Pingback: How Not to Host An Adoption Baby Care Class | My Perfect Breakdown

  42. Pingback: I Think It’s Time To Do Something Just For Me | My Perfect Breakdown

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