If you are pregnant and you are not in a good position to raise a child, then you may consider giving your child up for adoption. Your child is likely to find a permanent home very quickly, especially since only about 1% of all babies born in the United States are given up for adoption. Prospective parents are usually placed on long waiting lists as well. If you think that giving up your child is best for your baby's future, then make sure to solidify the health of your newborn by breastfeeding while in the hospital. Keep reading to learn why this is important and also find out what you will need to do.
The Importance of Breastfeeding
Many mothers will breastfeed their newborns very soon after giving birth. In fact, some people suggest breastfeeding right after the delivery. If you decide to hold your child for a short period of time after the birth, or if you decide to spend a day or two with your baby in the hospital, then consider breastfeeding. Mothers produce a special kind of milk right around the time their children are born. The milk is called colostrum, and it will protect your baby from infections and viruses. Specifically, the milk contains antibodies from your own immune system that will help your child stay healthy. Also, the milk will help to loosen the stool so your baby can pass feces soon after birth.
Your body is not likely to produce a lot of the colostrum milk right away, but even a little provided to your child will offer immune assistance. Your newborn will likely have some trouble breastfeeding at first. You can help him or her receive your milk by first lifting your child to your chest and allowing your right or left nipple to gently touch the mouth. The mouth will open instinctively, and you should pull your baby close so the mouth covers the nipple. Support both your breast and the baby's head.
Consider Milk Pumping
Breastfeeding is often considered an intimate practice, and you may not feel comfortable with it if you decide to give your child away. If this is the case, consider pumping breast milk instead that can be provided to your baby with a bottle. The hospital where you give birth should have a breast pump for you to use, since these devices are often necessary if a baby is premature and unable to nurse from the breast right away.
A lactation specialist can work with you as well to use the breast pump. Most breast pumps will work in a similar manner. A funnel device made from a flexible plastic material will be placed over the nipple and areola. The funnel should be pressed against the breast to create a tight seal. A hose coming out of the funnel will fill a small bottle at the end. Suction will be forced through the tube and this will help to pull the milk out of the breast. The suction motions are similar to the way a baby naturally sucks on the breast, so the pumping should not hurt or feel uncomfortable in any way.
Milk pumping will likely produce only a small amount of milk, so you may want to think about pumping around every two hours during the first 24 hours after you give birth to provide your child with a good amount of milk to consume.
If you breastfeed or pump milk several times in the hospital, then your breasts will continue to produce milk after the adoption papers are signed. This is often called breast engorgement, and it is painful. Make sure to wear a bra with an underwire and thick shoulder straps so your breasts are supported properly. Also, wet two washcloths with cold water and set them on your breasts for 10 or 15 minutes. You can do this several times a day. Pain should go away within five days. If it does not, then you may have a breast infection within the mammary glands that must be treated with antibiotics. See your doctor if this occurs.
For more information about breastfeeding before adoption, visit sites like http://www.achildsdream.org.