Breastfeeding Without Birthing

Can you breast feed a child you did not give birth to? Should you? How do you breastfeed as an adoptive mother, or mother through surrogacy? Listen to Dawn’s interview with Alyssa Schnell, international board certified lactation consultant, and author of Breastfeeding Without Birthing: A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances.

Hit the Highlights
  • What are the four keys to successful breastfeeding without giving birth?
  • Where to find support for adoptive breastfeeding?
  • Babies under about 8 weeks are likely to be able to latch without much problem. What about a baby over that age that is accustomed to being bottle fed. How to help them latch?
  • Is there an upper limit on age that you would recommend trying to initiate breast feeding?
  • How do you know if you have an adequate supply of breast milk for your child?
  • How much breast milk should you be able to produce each day before you consider breastfeeding a child through adoption or surrogacy?
  • How soon prior to adopting should you initiate the preparation to induce lactation?
  • What “tools” would you recommend to prepare an adopted child to breastfeed?
  • How to make bottle feeding more like breast feeding in preparation for training your bottle fed baby to transition to breastfeeding?
  • How to make breast feeding more like bottle feeding to encourage bottle fed babies to nurse?
  • What type of bottle nipple is best training for switching to the breast?
  • How often should you offer the breast and breastfeed when trying to breastfeed an adopted child or child through surrogacy?
  • Why do moms who have not given birth have a lower breast storage capacity?
  • Let’s talk medications. What medications are recommended to induce lactation?
  • How do the lactation inducing drugs work?
  • How to you get these medications?
  • Are these medications safe for moms and for babies?
  • What research has been done on their safety?
  • Why are they not allowed in the US for lactation inducing purposes?
  • What protocol does Schnell recommend for successful breastfeeding by adoptive moms and moms via surrogacy?
  • How do you get them? What doctor prescribes them?
  • Any research specific to their safety to induce lactation for breastfeeding?
  • How to find a lactation consultant that knows about inducing lactation in women who have not given birth? has a list here.