Feeding Abigail - Why I'm Not Breastfeeding

One of the questions I'm asked most about this adoption is "Are you breastfeeding this baby also?"

And it can't surprise anyone more than it does me that my answer is........"no."

I breastfed Gabriel until he was 17 months old (and only weaned him then because we were trying to figure out exactly what foods were causing him trouble).

I am a proponent of real food.  Whole Food.  Traditional Food.  Food the way the good Lord intended it.  Food like my great-great-grandmother made.  Unadulterated.  Unprocessed.  And I believe that we can and should..."let food be thy medicine." (Hippocrates)

Given my feelings about real food, I worked hard to induce lactation so that I could breastfeed Gabriel. (You can read all the posts about this topic by clicking on the "Adoptive Breastfeeding" label on the right sidebar.)

I took two medicines in order to induce lactation.  The girl-who-avoids-medicines-as-much-as-possible took two medicines in order to provide G with the best start possible.

But I had to take those two medicines for months to get my body ready to breastfeed.  It is recommended that you follow the protocol for 6-9 months.  I started the medicines when our paperwork was done and we began "actively waiting" for Gabriel...and it ended up being 8.5 months until he was born.  Perfect!

But this adoption?  From the time our paperwork was done and we were "actively waiting"until we got "the call" that our birthmom had chosen us was about 2.5 weeks.  And then Abigail was born less than two weeks after that.  So we had less than 5 weeks from actively waiting until "she's home!"  Not enough time for a body to get ready to lactate.

But besides this whole timing issue (which was no small thing), there was an even bigger barrier to me breastfeeding this time.....

Those two medicines I took to induce lactation?  They took a toll on me (besides causing me to gain 25 pounds practically overnight - the point was to trick my body into thinking I was pregnant in order to induce lactation...it worked so good that I gained pregnancy weight also!).

I already had an autoimmune hypothyroid issue, and as I now know (hindsight is always so 20/20), those two medicines didn't do my body (and more specifically my gut) any favors.

Besides the wonderful stuff that gets passed to a baby in breastmilk, guess what else gets passed in breastmilk?  Mom's bacteria.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  And I had plenty of pathogenic (meaning "bad") bacteria to pass...and pass I did.

Babies are born with a degree of intestinal permeability anyway.  Add in the bad bugs that I passed to Gabriel through my breastmilk...and you've got a recipe for my sweet baby developing food intolerances that made themselves evident through eczema.

We finally figured out that dairy and eggs were causing him problems, and you saw the pictures of what happened with G's skin.  G has been on the GAPS protocol for almost 11 months now...and he has made HUGE strides...but still isn't having dairy and eggs right now.  (But we are prayerful and hopeful that this won't be the case for much longer.)

Basically what I worked so hard to do to help our baby...ended up hurting him also.  I don't (I can't) sit around beating myself up about it...but I hate that it happened.  The Ever-Faithful Lord has used this for good and has taught us so much through all of this.

I've been on the GAPS protocol for almost 11 months now to "heal & seal" my gut, but without my healing being complete, and knowing what I had passed to G...I wouldn't have wanted to take the chance of passing problems along to Abigail anyway, even if the timing had worked out.  

Now...because I'm me...the one who just said this at the beginning of this post:

I am a proponent of real food.  Whole Food.  Traditional Food.  Food the way the good Lord intended it.  Food like my great-great-grandmother made.  Unadulterated.  Unprocessed.  And I believe that we can and should "let food be they medicine." (Hippocrates)

....I'll post soon (tomorrow?) what we ARE feeding Miss Abigail....stay tuned....

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