Breast Feeding Help Breastfeeding Your Adopted Baby or Baby Born by Surrogate

Embarking on the adventure of breastfeeding an adopted or surrogate baby? That's terrific! This journey, while distinct from breastfeeding a post-pregnancy baby, is not only feasible but can also be quite rewarding. With determination and patience, you'll discover the profound bond breastfeeding fosters, benefiting both you and your little one.

Embarking on Breastfeeding an Adopted or Surrogate Baby

When it comes to breastfeeding your adopted or surrogate child, the challenges are twofold: initiating breastfeeding and milk production. Setting realistic goals is key. The act of breastfeeding, even without full milk production, offers significant emotional and physical bonding. As one adoptive mom shared, "Breastfeeding is my goal; any breastmilk is a bonus!"

The Art of Getting Your Baby to Latch

Avoiding early artificial nipples can make a big difference. Strive to introduce your baby to breastfeeding as soon as possible. If immediate latching isn't feasible, consider alternatives like cup or finger feeding, suggested by hospital staff and lactation consultants. Skin-to-skin contact is crucial for sensory exchange, bonding, and stimulating milk production.

In some instances, surrogate or biological mothers may offer initial breastfeeding, providing colostrum and avoiding early artificial feeding. A proper latch is vital for maximizing milk extraction, regardless of your milk supply level.

If supplementation becomes necessary, using a lactation aid can keep your baby in the breastfeeding rhythm, utilizing expressed milk or banked breastmilk.

Initiating Milk Production

Begin milk production preparation early, focusing on stimulation rather than accumulation. Hormonal treatments, such as estrogen and progesterone combined with domperidone, can help mimic pregnancy conditions and boost milk production. Discuss these options with a clinic or refer to established protocols.

Renting a double-setup electric pump can be effective, especially post-birth control pill cessation. Additionally, domperidone might be considered to enhance your milk supply.

Will I Produce Enough Milk?

The amount of milk you'll produce varies. Embrace breastfeeding for the connection it fosters, without overly focusing on the quantity. Any breastmilk is advantageous.

Important Medical Considerations

If opting for medications like hormones or domperidone, ensure your family doctor is informed for proper monitoring. Regular physical examinations and follow-ups are essential for both your and your baby's health.

Questions? Email Jack Newman at, or Edith Kernerman at or consult: Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding (called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers in the USA) or our DVD, Dr. Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding; or The Latch Book and Other Keys to Breastfeeding Success; or L-eat Latch & Transfer Tool, or the GamePlan for Protecting and Supporting Breastfeeding in the First 24 Hours of Life and Beyond.  See our website at  To make an appointment email and respond to the auto reply or call 416-498-0002.


Handout. Breastfeeding Your Adopted Baby or Baby Born by Surrogate, Revised May 2008 Written and Revised by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC 1995-2005
Revised by Edith Kernerman, IBCLC, and Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC © 2008


This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission, on the condition that it is not used in any context that violates the International WHO Code on The Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

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