Liquid Gold: Nursing and Nourishing the Adopted Baby Through Breast Milk

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Written by Amie Vetscher, this is the second in a series of articles about CPO’s recent Waiting Families Workshop. Click here for the first installment, here for the third installment, and here for the fourth installment.

When it comes to cooking up the best nutrition for the adopted infant, CPO adoptive moms Melissa Sprangle and Madison Vining are culinary extraordinaires. For adoptive parents, getting their hands on this liquid gold, human breastmilk that is, takes quite a bit more resourcefulness and creativity. But where there is a mother’s great love for her precious little one, there is also great determination. To these moms, there is a vast difference between feeding and nourishing; babies who grow and the ones who thrive. Human milk is that difference. From inducing lactation and supplementing milk from the breast with a Lact-Aid system, Melissa shared helpful advice with waiting moms at the Waiting Family Workshop last month.  Madison, who also presented at WFW, is an expert at navigating social media platforms, such as “Eats on Feets” or “Human Milk 4 Human Babies,” which connect women who are pumping extra milk with babies in need. At the WFW, Madison shared her story and spoke of the relationships she has built with these women whose generous spirit makes it possible for another infant in their community to get a great nutritional start in life.

According to Milkshare, an informational resource that helps parents learn about milk donation when mother nature is uncooperative, artificial formula may be better than it used to be, but it doesn’t quite measure up to what a mother’s body makes. A live substance containing live white blood cells and packed with whey-based proteins, immunity boosters, omega 3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, human milk helps a baby’s growth and development in so many ways. (To read more about the health benefits of breast milk see It comes as little surprise, then, that Dr. James Ross, who passionately provides prenatal care to many CPO birthmoms through their pregnancy, plainly says, “breast is best.”

So what options are there for the sub-lactating mother or the mother who didn’t give birth to her baby? There is always the option of using donated breast milk, which can be bottle-fed or used with the Lact-Aid system. The Lact-Aid bag can be hung from the nursing mother’s neck using a strap. Then, a thin tube carries the milk from the bag to the baby’s mouth along with the nipple. There are also prescription and homeopathic solutions to help induce lactation for moms who plan to breastfeed without giving birth. Visit to learn more about lactation induction protocols; there are regular induction protocols (suitable for mothers with a long lead time) as well as accelerated protocols. There are several prescription drugs that have been used to increase milk supply: Metoclopramide (Reglan), Domperidone (Motilium), and sulpiride (Eglonyl, Dolmatil, Sulpitil, Sulparex, Equemote). Fenugreek and Mother’s Milk tea are herbs that can help. You should consult with your doctor about all of these options. Breast-feeding your baby, with self-produced or donated milk, is a rewarding experience that will be the gift of a lifetime.

Readers who want to reach out to Melissa or Madison for advice should contact CPO and request their information. They are available to answer questions and provide assistance to adoptive or waiting moms who want to started with breastfeeding or locating donor milk in their community.