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Can I breastfeed my adopted baby?

Maybe. Many mothers who adopt can breastfeed their babies successfully with some help. You may need to supplement your breastmilk with donated breastmilk from a milk bank or with infant formula. But some adoptive mothers can breastfeed exclusively, especially if they have been pregnant.

If you plan to adopt and want to breastfeed, talk with your doctor and a lactation consultant. They can help you decide the best way to try to establish a milk supply for your new baby. Options include:

  • Pumping every three hours around the clock for two to three weeks before your baby arrives
  • Waiting until the baby arrives and starting to breastfeed
  • Using devices such as a supplemental nursing system or a lactation aid. This can help ensure that your baby gets enough nutrition and that your breasts are stimulated to make milk at the same time.


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