Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Breastfeeding Walk

There was a fun family event in the park a couple weekends ago that supported breastfeeding. By now, it's well-known that breastmilk is best for babies, with a few very rare exceptions. However, it's not always easy to nurse so there is a community of support in lactation consultants, doulas, midwives and other mothers. I was able to meet like-minded mothers at this event and make some friends, one of who gave me all those luscious diapers!

I wonder how many mothers of adopted babies would have loved to breastfeed them. I even know some that are. Yes, it's possible to lactate without pregnancy! It's also possible to nurse a baby with an SNS, or supplemental nursing system and formula. I am doing this with Apple for her milk bottles. Besides the closeness and bonding, the muscles used to nurse are much different than those used to draw on a bottle nipple. With all the craniofacial issues facing Apple, it's important for her to develop these muscles. The side benefit in our home is that my older girls get to learn how a mother nurtures a baby. They've seen nursing mothers and babies before from afar and we've talked about how it's best for babies to get their mother's milk, but now they can ask questions about it and see their baby sister doing it. They think it's really neat. When they are grown with babies of their own, they will have had this example of nurturing to guide them since they didn't get this as babies. Studies of large zoo animals have shown that when baby animals have been separated from their mothers at a young age, they themselves don't know how to be mothers and often kill their young with their mistakes. This is particularly true with great apes and elephants. In humans, it can lead to child abuse/neglect and bonding issues. Having a baby in the house is a great benefit to my girls and I'm loving every minute of having a baby myself!


Sterner Stitches said...

It's so awesome that you have chosen to breast feed Apple. It's so great that you have already found a supportive community in this. It's such a beautiful thing for you to share with all of your daughters.


nicole said...

I love it that you are BF Apple! I did with my first adoption. hats off to you great mama. those are 4 very lucky girls!

bella said...

YOU are an amazing woman, and I am in awe of you and your family.This is not frivolous praise but a pat on the back and encouraging support for your decisions.
How wonderful that you now have Your Apple; she is beautiful and perfect. I am thrilled that you are BF her. (I BF last child (#5 )till age5 so I am pro BF) It is so fitting that Your Apple arrived at this time, now your girls will truly get the whole picture of Family life and love. Thank you for sharing your life with us, and now I get to remember you all in my prayers. Bella