By Naomi B. Duane

How to enhance your adoptive nursing experience:

Invest in a VERY comfortable chair. Whether this be a giant recliner, glider chair with foot stool, futon or couch. Make sure that it’s comfortable to YOU. When your child first starts nursing you will be needing to build up your milk supply, hence, you will be nursing very frequently. A comfortable chair is a must. Some people practically live in “their chair” for the first few months. It’s especially good in case you have difficulty nursing while laying down (due to a bad back). Make sure your feet can be elevated as well.

Buy or make a nursing pillow. I believe there are patterns out there if needed. It will help you to cradle your little one and reduce the strain on your arms and wrists.

If you can, invest in a coffee pot that has a hot water tank built in (like Bunn) so that when cold water is poured in, hot water comes out immediately. One spends a considerable amount of time warming the milk (or formula) for the infant. The more one streamlines these routine processes, the easier it is on you. If the first method isn’t feasible, I would recommend heating water in the microwave and then placing the milk/formula in the heated water for warming. Note: NEVER heat milk/formula in the microwave directly as this can seriously injure your child (in addition to removing beneficial antibodies from breastmilk)

The Supplemental Nursing SystemTM  has an uncomfortable, plain cord. Feel free to brighten things up a bit by substituting some soft cloth eye glass holders (croakies) or a homemade cord made out of thick yarn, macramé, thin cut cloth etc.

Purchase at least two nursing systems when using Medela’s SNSTM or Lact-Aid’s supplementer.  If you forget to wash one set, you’ll have a little more leeway.  With both systems the more you have the easier it is on you. 

Join your local La Leche League or find a Lactation Consultant. Both are quite capable of helping you with stumbling blocks you may encounter along the way. They can also offer you tips to make things easier. As with all humans, there are different varieties, so if you find that you can’t relate to the people in a particular LLL group, try another one. Each group has it’s own flavor and you will most certainly find one you like with relative ease. The same goes for Lactation Consultants. The most important thing is that you find a group or consultant that YOU are comfortable with.

Try to consciously relax while nursing. Your little one picks up on your tension and stress. Take a few deep breaths. This will not only help your milk let down but it will make your child much calmer and content.

Utilize the ABRW’s message board and contact others who can share their knowledge with you. It will reduce your stress to know that there are people out there who can help you get through the “bumps” on this wonderful journey!”