Experts recommend that adoptive mothers who are hoping to breastfeed rent or purchase a dual electric pump that allows both breasts to be pumped simultaneously (this halves the time required but, more importantly, increases production). Ideally, the adoptive mother will begin pumping milk four months before the child is born to give their bodies ample time to ramp up production.
It is important not to be discouraged if the amount produced is limited at first or even remains so right up until the time of birth. A mother’s body can recognize the difference between a pump and a child and, though the pump will help jumpstart production, the full suite of hormones involved in milk production will not be released until the mother first holds her child in her arms.
Even then, it may never be possible to produce the full amount of milk the child needs. This is fine, and it is a difficulty that natural mothers frequently face as well. The emotional and biological benefits of breastfeeding are conveyed even if the breast milk is supplemented with formula. For more information about breastfeeding, please peruse the resources made available at the Ontario Breastfeeding Committee’s website.