To “B”-Feed Or Not To B-“Feed”

That is truly the question! Callie and I were talking about getting our kids on a schedule and how important it is, not just for us but for them as well. We both work less that favorable schedules, what with my 2 overnights, a school aged kiddo who is being shuttled back and forth, and Callie’s demanding job as the Director of a childcare learning center that is the Ivy league of daycare, scheduling and routine are our life! The subject of breastfeeding came up.

(DISCLAIMER: This will probably get a little too descriptive for some people, especially if you don’t get the whole breastfeeding thing, but even more so if you are my little brother or my male best friend Marco reading this.)

Callie has never really been into the whole nursing thing. It’s just not for her, and to each their own. It’s her body and her prerogative so whatever decision she makes, I support her but we both agree that it is important for the babies and their well-being. I, on the other hand, think it’s awesome, beautiful, bonding, and starting your kids lives off by giving them their breast (I mean best) chance. So after much conversation and a whole lot more research, we decided that “adoptive breastfeeding” was the course that we were going to take and a decision that was perfect for our family. I’m home 3 days out of the week and since the the babies would be with me, it was the perfect solution.

I didn’t think it was possible to not give birth and breastfeed. I thought that it was all based on hormones and that the milk came in once your baby was delivered. NOPE! Not true. It’s all based on your pituitary gland and how it produces Oxycontin. To put it simply, if you can trick your body into thinking that a baby needs milk to eat, it will produce milk. How do you trick your body you ask? Weeeellllll, let me tell you! It’s a process!

I have been using manual expression for about 3 weeks now to get the milk out, even though there technically is no milk being produced yet. After about 15 minutes of that, I use a breast pump for about 5-7 minutes. All of this is supposed to be done about every 2-3 hours for a minimum of 3 months JUST TO SEE A DROP because breast milk works mainly on supply and demand. I also do breast massage as often as I can, and take 2 different herbal supplements (3 pills 3x’s a day OF EACH) to help increase the amount of milk I make. I’m trying to do it as natural as possible without taking any hormones and things like that. I love the hell out of my babies already to be doing all of this, primarily because I know that they are really going to benefit from it.

I have some issues not being the belly-mama. I always feel like my bond with my tykes won’t be as strong or as prevalent as it is with Callie, who carried them. I know that is probably ludicrous, but it’s a legitimate fear. It’s almost the same fear as them growing up and being the annoyingly obnoxious teenagers that we were, saying things like, “I don’t have to listen to you! You’re not my REAL mother!”. Even the thought of that boils and freezes my blood all at the same time!
I also have some issues that I need to get over. Stereotype issues. Everyone has always known me to be the sporty type, always overweight, not ever feminine, more like the dad than the mom. I have pretty horrible PCOS which makes body hair my ultimate curse (especially in places that they shouldn’t be on a female and highly noticeable). I don’t think that anyone in a million years would think that I would want to carry (when I tell people this their usual reaction is “Really?!?! You?!?!), and the people that I told I was inducing lactation give me this face like, “Isn’t that gonna be weird for you? or “seriously?” Why? Because I prefer to wear jeans, polo’s and boat shoes over skirts and heels? Is it because of my outward appearance? I’M STILL A WOMAN PEOPLE! I still have very feminine qualities that I embrace and I definitely don’t have penis envy like some of the other butches I know. But how comfortable will I really feel when I’m at a public park and my 3 month old starts wailing cause he’s hungry, and it’s time to whip my boob out and nurse him? Will I hide my head in shame even though I know I’m doing the right thing? Will I all of a sudden rush home so that I can nurse in private? Will my face flush with the ultimate sign of embarrassment, or will it be a complete non-issue?

I don’t know the answer to those questions yet. I’m pretty sure I won’t know until my 2 little nuggets are here. But until then, I’ll keep pushing (or pumping) on. Gotta get things right as there are 2 little ones to make sure are well fed and plump. The only thing better than a little chubby baby is 2 little chubby babies. Callie may be going through the actual labor, but this adoptive breastfeeding thing is a true labor of love.

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18 thoughts on “To “B”-Feed Or Not To B-“Feed”

  1. I read a story about a couple women who both breastfed their kid on offbeat mama once. I remember they said it took a long time to get the non-pregnant mom to lactate and it involved pills or something (my memory is bad).

    • A lot of the stuff we read says that it could take anywhere from 2-6 months to lactate if you’re doing it naturally without any medications, but you can totally take birth control ( without the sugar pill and continue for about 3 months worth) which makes ur body mimic pregnancy, then stop it suddenly so there are a drop in hormones and pump as normal. Within a weeks time u should have a milk supply built up, but we didn’t want to go that route because my body has NEVER responded well to the pill, but you’re absolutely right…you can totally go that route…

  2. That’s a great alternative! I love the idea of having “adoptive breastfeeding” – if we had thought about it or knew more about it, we may have done that. Breastfeeding just wasn’t for me, and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it – I sooooo tried – but it was a discouraging event for me, so I wish we had known about this option when Punky was smaller! Good luck!!

  3. Hi, thanks for this great post. I am also trying to induce lactation to feed my baby that is growing in her other mummy’s tummy. I am going the hormone route and using Domperidone as well. Bit it would be great to know more about what herbs you are using?
    Best of luck with it! Amy

    • Hey Amy,

      Right now I am taking Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and Goats Rue…i just also order Alfalfa. As of right now, with almost a month of pretty consistent pumping ( I do kinda screw up on the weekends, only pumping about 4-6 times a day, not gonna lie) I’ve only gotten 1 drop of clear white liquid…ONE FREAKING DROP!!! But hey! Trying to do this the natural way with no hormones is no joke! I knew it was gonna be a tough road. All that being said, if it doesn’t work within the next 2 months, i have to go the hormone route and give myself the better part of 3 months to get everything going. Have you started yet? Results?

      • Phew that sounds really hard going. Well done you for keeping at it. Thanks for the herb info. I have now added goats rue. I haven’t started pumping yet. Going to stop the BC and start pumping in about two weeks. But despite the birth control and dom. I have not seen much breast changes, so not sure if there its likely my body is going to respond well. Anyway, I will try. Good luck to you!
        Amy

  4. Where did you get domperidone??? I want to take it, but it’s hard to get it without Rx and most doctors wont give it for breastfeeding. How long have you been on BC? I only got a drop or 2 about 3 weeks ago, but since then, i haven’t seen anything else. My nipples do feel cold and damp after pumping which I’ve read is a good sign, and my breasts are definitely changing (heavier, fuller, veinier, nipples are bigger and longer, and areolas are darker). Keep me posted on the progress. When is the baby due?

  5. So we did induced lactation with lots of success and I would highly recommend domperidone-and birth control. stick with the pumping for now but if you have a gyn ask about a prescription ASAP! It takes a couple of weeks to get going and you also have to fight your period hormones-also know that you won’t get colostrum or the thick yellow milk your partner will get but that’s ok.

    • I love hearing this success story! I was at OB with Callie te other day, and I asked him about it and he told me it’s not possible. That u can’t “trick” your body but to talk to an endocrinologist. So I did some research today and I made an appt with an OB who is also and endocrinologist, and a lactation consultant who’s an MD! Excited to get this started, because those babies will be here before we know it! Hope it’s okay to ask u questions later on!

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  9. I’m just reading this for the first time, from the link on your most recent post, and I’m really curious what your take is on the various things you touched on in this b-f post. When you have time!

    • Welllll, after months and months and then some more moths of trying to induce lactation, with little success, I’ve come to realize that all the things I THOUGHT a would happen if I DIDNT breastfeed (lack of bonding, sustenance) were all in my head. I DID nurse for a while with a supplemental nursing system, but it was pretty annoying having to wash the tubes after every feed, was still using formula, and the tape was irritating my skin. Ultimately, I was just nursing for comfort for a while, but I think they got tired of me not having milk and Callie did, so if they saw her, that’s where they wanted to be. I still found plenty of ways to bond with them. Actually, I think all of our favorite time of the night is when I sit with them in the rocker, one on each side, Mary sits on the nursing stool while she reads them a book, Callie tucks her in while I sing a few lullabies to them. It’s just as wonderful as nursing is. Would I do it again?! Probably! Would I recommend it?! Naaaah!

      • That’s interesting. DW has never been interested in nursing or carrying a baby, and has felt at times that she’s not as close to DD as I am but I think that’s more a normal thing that happens where the child gravitates more towards one than the other, even in bio mom+dad families. The bonding happens through every day activities. There’s no way that DD thinks of DW as any less her parent than of me. DW is they only one who can soothe DD by singing. I’m the more cuddly maternal one, but DW has things I’ll never have too.

      • Callie thinks I’m the “fun one” so our three kids like me more. But like you, she’s the more “maternal” one so Mary especially, gravitated towards her with any ailment. Our kids love us the same, we know it, but we know it’s like that with all parents, Herero, gay, or trans!

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