The Adoptive Breastfeeding Resource Website



Boot Camp Regimen:


Announce your plan for success and try to get everyone on board. Keep doubters at a distance. Tell your baby too!

Day 1, 6:00 am

Feed baby as usual. They use all senses when feeding and may associate the sight of bottle, smell and taste of formula with food. You need to reprogram them to associate feeding with your breast (and your scent) so offer to comfort nurse at the end of their usual feed. Rest until 7:00 am.

7:00am - 9:00 am

Set up pumping area and get a glass of water. Wash hands. Massage breasts to help foster the let-down reflex. Drink 4 oz of water. Pump 5 minutes on each breast. Drink 4 oz water and repeat pumping. Breakfast to include a generous serving of oatmeal fixed anyway you like; juice and a warm drink (decaf tea, coffee, lemon and water). Take prenatal vitamins. Clean up kitchen. Rest until 9:00 am.

9:00am - 11:00 am

Repeat pumping and water as before. Bathe self and baby - together if possible. Feed baby using supplementer if needed or bottle, then comfort nurse. Stand up and walk while offering your breast. If baby refuses, gently ease into rocking chair and rock to sleep (or sing and talk).

Gently, stroke your baby's head. Put wash in machine. Have a snack of muffin or toast, fruit and milk or other healthy drink.

11:00am - 1:00pm

Repeat pumping and drinking water. Go outside and take a walk or go to a store. If not, open a window and get some fresh air. Breathe deep, do gentle exercise (like bending and stretching). Feed baby and offer nursing as before. Eat lunch (fruit and cottage salad, tuna sandwich or peanut butter and jelly, apple, 2 cookies tea, milk or other drink)

1:00pm - 3:00pm

Pump and drink water as before. Nap with baby with skin to skin contact. Offer breast in sleep if willing. Massage baby or stroke arms, head and legs.

3:00pm - 5:00pm

Pump and drink water. Feed baby and have a tea or lemonade break (carrot cake or peanut butter cookies). Put some clothes in dryer and do one other chore or phone callTry to get outside for 1/2 hour. If you have questions - use the computer to briefly check in.

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Pump and drink water. Fix dinner of choice;

1) meat loaf, baked potato, gingerbread and salad

2) pasta and meat sauce with garlic bread, salad

3) macaroni salad with tuna, eggs, celery, sliced olives and carrots on lettuce

Add a drink (and vitamins if you forgot them in the morning).

6:00pm (ish)

Feed baby and offer nursing.

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Pump and drink water. Feed baby and have Dad take over for bonding time while you relax with a glass of wine/ imported beer or sparkling cider and dessert. You may use nonalcoholic beer or wine if you like. Use a fancy glass as you relax and unwind. Visit with Dad and or friends. Computer time ok.

9:00pm - 11:00pm

Pump and drink water. Feed baby, nurse. Get ready for bed (people expect less of you when you’re in a nightgown! This is why you do not dress until after 9:00am). Rest with baby. Drink milk, juice, decaf tea or ?


Pump and drink water. Sleep until baby wakes or 4 hours ( set clock).


Feed baby and offer to nurse. Use pump and drink water.


Repeat yesterday.............. Set timer or alarm to remind yourself of pumping. Let all else go for 10 days. If you get distracted, maintain pumping routine within each 2 hour segment. Do this even if they are close to equaling 10 times a day. If you have other children, try to find a place for them to visit for days 1 and 3. Ask them to be your helpers and do one job daily for each year old they are.

Have them;

1) help fix meals

2) bring you drinks

3) pick outfits to wear (for you, baby and themselves)

4) help with bath

5) plan trips

6) draw pictures

7) cut up scrap paper to make confetti for the party you'll have when milk returns

8) read you stories as you pump

9) sing to you etc.

Reward with having helpers or Dad take them out for a run, trip to store or a treat. Ask for help, relax and have confidence in yourself.

Think abut;

1) the song Moon River and imagine milk flowing "wider than a mile"

2) sing the Beatles song "Hey Jude" ( make it better, better, better)

3) the Little Train That Could- I think I can, I think I can.....

You'll find lots of encouragement and support in the bootcamp support area on our message boards.

Check in on day 3 (minimum). Use half of your morning chore time or

half of your evening "Daddy bonding" time to check in. Note: Baby’s siblings should be in charge of baby's happiness as part of their everyday routine. It is amazing to see what that means to them. From keeping a pacifier plugged in or a chewy toy in reach to advice on going to school (girls are there to help with zippers and shoe tying said one brother to another).

Questions to Ponder

1) Any signs of milk production?

2) How is baby responding to your offers to nurse?

3) How are you feeling?

4) Do you have any requests, questions or insights to share?

Check in again on days 5,7 and 10.


Ann Sutherland