21 March 2013

Adoptive Breastfeeding Update

I don't really like calling it "adoptive" breastfeeding, as though the breastfeeding I plan to do isn't REAL breastfeeding. At the same time I feel like I need to distinguish between regular old "I made a person and now I'm leaking milk" type of breastfeeding and "I took months of medication and herbal supplements then pumped my guts out to trick my body into making milk" type of breastfeeding. So until I feel otherwise I'll be calling what I'm doing "adoptive breastfeeding".

First, I think it's working! Actually, I think it's working much faster than I anticipated. On the second day of the domperidone (the one that is supposed to induce lactation) I felt like I needed to pump a bit. Yeah, I'm a little nervous because I thought this would take a few months and I'm really not ready to hand my body over to milk production just yet. From what I understand, as long as I continue the birth control then I shouldn't actually release milk. Here's to hoping. The longer I stay on this regimen (six months is the recommended time) then the better the chance is that I'll be able to fully, exclusively and successfully breastfeed if/when we adopt.

So, a quick little update. Today I switched from an estrogen based birth control (generic Yaz) to some kind of progesterone based birth control instead (Provera maybe?). The day after I started taking the birth control I developed a headache that felt just under a migraine and it hasn't stopped. This can happen with estrogen based birth control so I called our doctor and they got me switched to our other option. From everything I've read it should be essentially the same for our purposes and this shouldn't change effectiveness or anything like that.

It was really strange getting birth control :) All these years staying away from anything at all that might decrease our chances of conceiving and here I am clarifying with the pharmacist to make sure "okay, this new one IS birth control, right?" After I asked that I kind of giggled to myself. Making certain I'm being given something completely opposite of what we'd spent so much of ourselves trying to do. It was amusing :) The reason I asked though is this new prescription is in a bottle. Have you ever seen birth control just loosey goosey in a bottle? I haven't. It's always been in a pack with specific days so you know you don't miss. Anyway, that's why I wanted to make sure there wasn't a mix up. 

I'm giving a dull amount of random detail...oh well. I figure if you're reading about this, knowing what it's about then you'll want the details :)

Tomorrow I increase the domperidone dose from 10mg, four times a day to 20mg four times a day. I don't know that I've really had any side effects from the domperidone so I don't know if increasing it will have any noticeable effect.

Changes I've noticed:
- Like I said, on the second day I felt like I needed to pump. If I hadn't breastfed before I don't think I would have known that was what I was feeling though. It's kind of a heavy, little bit full, little bit uncomfortable feeling but I wasn't anywhere near engorged or anything like that.
- I've definitely noticed the "breast changes" mentioned in the preparatory reading. Whoa mama.
- There is the headache but hopefully that'll subside here pretty quickly.

If you have any questions at all about this process then feel free to leave them in the comments or message me.


  1. You say while you're waiting to adopt, you're gonna do foster care? Are you guys licensed already? You know, for some reason it never occurred to me that you could breast-feed foster children. I don't know, there are so many rules. I would've thought it wasn't allowed, but I'm not sure why I would've thought that...?

  2. I have to wonder if the reason that it is going so quickly is BECAUSE your body has breastfed before, and as opposed to someone who has never breastfed, your body at least has some idea of what it is supposed to be doing. So re-starting lactation instead of inducing the very beginning of it. Anyway, woohoo for you!