Looking Back: Sisters (An Adoptive Nursing Story)

Carol Marino, Waterbury, Connecticut

Originally published in the November-December 1974 issue of La Leche League News.

Editor’s Note: The first issue of La Leche League News, the bimonthly publication for members, was published in 1958. The name changed to New Beginnings in 1985. New Beginnings continued to be published by La Leche League International until it was transferred to LLL USA in 2010. In 2014, it transitioned to its current blog format at www.lllusa.org/blog/.

Mother nursing, view from aboveKorea is a long way away, and when Carol Ann Ree Ja, just four months old, arrived to join her sister Judea Vera, she was tired and hungry. I put her to the breast in the car, and she nursed beautifully.

It was surprising to me that she took to nursing so readily, since she had been bottle fed from the time she was born until she came home to us.

Sister Judea, seventeen months when Carol Ann Ree Ja arrived, had been gradually weaning herself and was only nursing occasionally – maybe once every week or so. I realized before her new sister arrived that I’d have to build up my milk supply, and I started pumping a month ahead of time – five minutes on each breast four times a day the first week, eight times a day the second week, and from then on each hour during the day, until the last three days, when I pumped five minutes on each breast every two hours around the clock. So there was plenty of milk when Carol Ann Ree Ja arrived.

Judea stepped up her nursing when the baby came home, and during the first month I often nursed two children at the same time, one on each breast. Finally one day Judea pointed to my breast and announced, “Babies!” She never nursed again.

Carol Ann Ree Ja is a contented bundle of mischief. She and Judea became great pals during the time they were both nursing, and enjoy each other very much.

Editor’s Note: La Leche League offers a variety of resources about induced lactation and relactation. The following links include a few highlights from various LLL websites:

Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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