After adoption

Congratulations on bringing home your newborn baby. We are very excited for you to start this new chapter in your life. We would like to share with you all the resources you need to establish a healthy home.

Establishing a healthy home

Our families have dedicated so much of their time to finding an expectant mother and bringing home the baby of their dreams that they may not have planned for life after adoption. Your Adoption Gateway wants you to be fully prepared for this new phase in your life so you will be able to successfully navigate through parenthood and establish a happy, healthy home.

As a new family, you are likely still learning how to care for your newborn and you may be experiencing a myriad of emotions, which is completely normal. Taking care of a baby 24 hours a day can be stressful and overwhelming at times. For this reason, it is important to support the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of your family, for a healthy and happy home. We hope you find these resources to be most beneficial for your family’s ages and stages.

Family bonding

As a new family, you are likely still learning how to take care of your newborn and taking the time to support his or her basic needs. Deciphering between the hungry cry and the over-tired cry may still be a challenge at this point, but don’t worry too much; you will begin to learn what your baby wants in no time. As new parents, it is important to take the time to bond with your newborn and build an attachment or sense of closeness with your child. Many doctors and psychologists acknowledge the importance of forming a strong bond between parent and child early on in development. Establishing a bond helps the baby to feel safe and loved, which also helps him learn to trust and develop positive self-esteem. For some adoptive parents, building a bond may be a slow process and for other families a strong bond may form instantly. Every family is different. There are many ways to bond with your young infant to bring your family closer together:

Bonding Techniques

1

Birth Bonding

The first few weeks and months of your baby’s life mark the beginning of the parent-child relationship. Start your lifelong bonding experience by placing your baby on your chest and cuddling with him or her skin to skin. Your child will love the sensation of your touch and hearing your soothing voice. Spend time with your infant by playing, making eye contact, singing, cuddling, and laughing. Your baby will love the constant attention and will feel safe and secure being with you.

2

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a profound bonding moment for mother and baby. You get to be close to your child while fulfilling his or her most basic need. Breastfeeding also teaches you to read your baby’s facial expressions and movements. If you chose to breastfeed by inducing lactation and are concerned about your milk supply, check out the Health & Development page. If breastfeeding does not work for your family, you can still share in this intimate moment while you bottle-feed your child and you will learn to communicate and read each other’s body language. Bottle-feeding also gives dad the opportunity to bond with baby in a loving and caring manner.

3

Baby Wearing

Baby wearing allows you to be close to your infant while your doing chores around the house and also helps you and your baby bond, building that physical connection as well as helping baby become in tune to his surroundings. Baby wearing is an excellent bonding moment that benefits both mom and dad.

4

Baby Massage

Baby massage promotes interaction between parent and baby, helps your baby feel calm and relaxed, promotes his sleep, reduces stress, and decreases your baby’s crying. If you decide to try baby massage make sure you wait at least 45 minutes after a feeding when your child is most comfortable and content. A few important factors to keep in mind when performing a baby massage are creating a peaceful environment, keep a gentle touch, gradually caress and massage each part of your child’s body, and speak to baby in a calm and soothing voice.

 

Health & Development

Welcoming home a newborn can bring a whirlwind of emotions and activity into your life to include feeling excited, overwhelmed, and even stressed. If this is your first child or third, there are many things you can do to control stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1

Take care of yourself

Caring for your infant 24 hours a day can be exhausting and may not leave you with much time to shower, eat, and clean the house, but it is important to take time for yourself each day. Try to do something you enjoy everyday whether that’s showering, getting your hair done, or simply leaving the house. Try to eat healthy, drink a lot of water and create a nighttime schedule that is favorable to both mom and dad. Establishing positive habits will help you keep your energy levels up to take care of your baby.

2

Create visitation rules

Your family and friends are most likely very excited for you and want to see the baby right away and often. It is perfectly okay to tell your family and friends which days work best for you and how long they can visit with you and your baby. It is also important for anyone stopping by to wash their hands before holding the baby, that way your child isn’t in contact with germs and will stay healthy.

3

Remain flexible

Try to limit scheduled activities, but when you need to run an errand make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to pack your child’s diaper bag and any additional supplies that way you wont feel rushed or stressed. Give yourself extra time everyday for feedings, naptime and crying fits. Remaining flexible will help you stay calm when your baby needs extra attention.

4

Expect fluctuating emotions

You may be experiencing an endless fluctuation of emotions, from adoring your baby’s every movement and facial expression to worrying about your ability to care for your child. The roller coaster of emotions you are experiencing are completely normal and most likely your spouse is feeling just as overwhelmed and anxious as you are. To help you overcome your emotions, talk to your spouse about what your feeling and what you are struggling with. You will find that by doing so, you and your spouse will stay connected and affirm each other’s emotional needs. Many healthy families find pure essential oils to support emotional well being, long-lasting energy, and reinforcement of the body’s systemic defenses. For more information, visit Family Health Resources.

5

Establish a date night

After a few months, you may get cabin fever taking care of a newborn day after day. For this reason, it is important to set up a monthly date night with your spouse so you can reconnect and have some free time without baby. Let someone you trust such as a family member or close friend watch your child so you can go enjoy yourselves for a night.

6

Ask for help

Raising children can be a challenge. If you are struggling to care for your newborn or you are feeling depressed, make an appointment with your health care provider. The emotions you are feeling are completely normal, but you should always ask for help if you or your spouse need it.

 

Adoptive Breastfeeding

Adoptive breastfeeding is a personal choice and provides an opportunity for you to bond with your baby and provide the most basic needs for your child. Regardless if you are currently a nursing mother with an established milk supply, or if you are interested in induced lactation (for mothers who did not give birth to their baby), we hope you find these tips and resources to support your breastfeeding journey.

Regardless of where your journey is beginning, set up an appointment with your local lactation consultant to discuss what your goals are. You can source lactation professionals through your local hospitals, pediatric offices, La Leche League International, and other local support groups. If you are specifically looking to induce lactation, ask your lactation professional group if their is a consultant that has experience helping other mothers with induced lactation.

Developing your milk supply requires nipple stimulation and milk removal; a supply and demand process. This can be done through nursing at the breast, hand expression, pumping, or all three. If your baby is willing to nurse often, be sure to keep them at the breast as much as possible (every 2-3 hours at least, more if necessary). If you are trying to induce lactation, patience will be your greatest attribute, as the baby may not be getting milk at first; but remember, nipple stimulation will tell your body to make milk, so keep at it. If you find your baby having difficulty latching, a breast pump can allow you to try to establish your supply, while you attempt to teach your baby to latch. If your milk is not coming in and/or your baby is having a difficult time latching, work closely with your lactation professional to meet your circumstantial needs. If you are at all concerned that your baby is not getting sufficient calories or gaining proper weight, do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician and lactation professional for advisement on formula supplementation while you work on breastfeeding.

Many women use pure essential oils and herbal supplements to stimulate milk production, with success. Fennel and basil essential oil massaged onto to the breast tissue (avoiding the nipple region) has been successful for many women. We only recommend using Young Living essential oil because they are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. You can learn more about the essential oils we recommend by visiting the Family Health Resources page. Herbal supplements such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel seed, red raspberry leaf, and borage seed oil can also stimulate milk production for many mothers. These can be found at local health food stores or herb shops. Using essential oil and herbal aids, are best done in combination with active breastfeeding and pumping, for best results. If you take any prescription medications, please consult your health care practitioner for discussion of any potential contraindications*.

Your experience is sure to be unique, as breastfeeding and induced lactation are not always a predictable experience. Breastfeeding provides more than nourishment for your baby; but also safety and security. Many mothers take the opportunity to comfort nurse throughout a difficult breastfeeding journey. Rest, assured, we encourage you to celebrate whatever happens with you and your child!

For more great resources on understanding adoptive breastfeeding and induced lactation, check out our list of resources.

Resources:

  1. La Leche League, Int’l.http://www.llli.org/
  2. Kelly Mom www.kellymom.com
  3. Young Living Essential Oils
  4. Mother and Child Health http://www.motherandchildhealth.com/Breastfeeding/Becky/hindrances.html
  5. International Lactation Consultant Association http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3337

*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, illness, or injury. Consult your health care professional about any serious disease or injury. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances, such as essential oils or supplements, for serious health conditions that require professional attention.

 

Emotional support

Many parents decide to pursue adoption for a variety of different reasons. Some parents experience pregnancy complications or infertility and choose to grow their family through adoption. Other parents may choose adoption to give a child a meaningful life that may not have had already. Whatever the circumstances, adoptive parents will experience a roller coaster ride of emotions from the disappointments of fertility, and the birth mom changing her mind at delivery to the excitement and joy of finally experiencing a successful placement. For these reasons, it is important to arm yourself with information on support services for adoptive parents.

For some adoptive parents, the searching of a birth mom and being placed with a child means that the most difficult phase is behind them, which is not always the case. Research suggests that most adoptive parents and their adoptive children do well and thrive as a family. However, the post adoption phase can present its own challenges for some parents. For example, some adoptive parents may go through a period of sadness or depression after the finalization of the adoption also known as “postadoption depression syndrome.”

The stressors of parenthood such as the sleepless nights, caring for a fussy newborn and the overall parental responsibilities can be exhausting and overwhelming at times. Furthermore, parents may have trouble developing an attachment to the child and may experience identity and attachment issues. If you or your spouse are feeling depressed, sad or are facing identity and attachment related issues as adoptive parents you should seek professional help with your health care provider or consult an adoption therapist. Getting the proper emotional support is very important to maintain a healthy and happy home.

Tips For New Adoptive Parents

1

Parent support groups

Interact with parents who have gone through a similar adoption experience. It can be reassuring to hear from other adoptive parents and learn about their adoption journey. You can also join parent support groups that are designed to support parents who are struggling. Information Gateway’s National Foster Care and Adoption Directory lists regional groups: www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad.

2

Start family traditions

New families may gain comfort from establishing family traditions or weekly routine schedules to help normalize family life. Celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, anniversary’s, and the day the adoption was finalized.

3

Create a family album

A family photo album or storybook can help the adopted children feel a sense of belonging to their new family as they discover their past.

4

Talk with family and friends

Try to make your family and friends feel comfortable with the adoption placement. Talk to them and help them understand why you chose adoption and gradually introduce your child. Visit Information Gateway’s web section on Parenting After Adoption, www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/ adopt_parenting/)

5

Consult an adoption therapist

After the adoption placement, whether it has been a year or five years after placement, adoptive parents may have to consult a therapist for the first time. If you need to consult a therapist, it is important that the therapist have the appropriate experience with adoption and adoption related issues.

Adoption Fact sheets

“Information Gateway publishes a series of factsheets to help adoptive parents learn about parenting their adopted children and dealing with developmental adoption issues.” Feel free to read through the following:

*Parenting Your Adopted Preschooler (www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/ factsheets/preschool.cfm)
*Parenting Your Adopted School-Age Child (www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/ factsheets/parent_school_age)
*Parenting Your Adopted Teenager (www. childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/ parent_teenager)
*Selecting and Working With an Adoption Therapist (www.childwelfare.gov/ pubs/f_therapist.cfm)
*Postadoption Services: www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_ postadoption.cfm

Benefits of open adoption

Many families are choosing adoption as an alternative to conceiving children naturally, either because of infertility or they truly believe in helping children find a loving home. Adoption has dramatically changed since its formal conception in the 1850s and continues to evolve into the 21st century. Over the past thirty years, adoption practices shifted toward a more open and direct approach when navigating through the placement of a child, specifically between the birthmother and adoptive parents. Open adoptions have become commonplace and more acceptable in today’s society.

1

Open Adoption: Defined

As adoptive families and birthparents navigate through their adoption journey, they must decide what type of adoption they want for their family, open, semi-open or a closed adoption plan. The term open adoption can vary widely between each adoption placement and the degree of openness that is acceptable to both parties involved. According to Marianne Berry, P.H.D. (1993), open adoption is defined by the sharing of information and level of contact between the birthparents and the adoptive family before and after placement of the adopted child. As mentioned, the degree of openness can vary from talking once a month to every 6 months or simply the sending and receiving of pictures and letters once a year of the adopted child. It is important for both parties to be in agreement on the degree of openness from the beginning of the adoption relationship.

2

Birthparents & adoptive families feel more in control

It is reported that adoptive parents benefit from learning the adoptees heritage, biological and genetic background and are better prepared to take care of the child when these facts are known. In a closed adoption, where little information is shared, adoptive parents tend to feel marginalized by the secrecy of such vital information regarding the adoptee’s background. When this information is shared, adoptive families also feel more in control and are more trusting in the adoption process. Open adoption helps adoptive families build rapport and a profound relationship with the birth parents and the adoption agency. They are able to better understand the situation and empathize with the birthparents circumstances and decision to choose adoption.

Furthermore, according to Marianne Berry, P.H.D. (1993), open adoption has significantly helped birthmothers cope and move forward with their lives once their child is placed for adoption. Research suggests that birthmothers experience prolonged periods of grief and loss after the placement of their child. Open adoptions can help birthmothers feel more in control during the adoption process because they were able to play a major role in choosing the adoptive family and the sharing of information can allow them to envision their child’s future with the selected parents. Open adoptions can help relieve some of the guilt of putting their child up for adoption.

There is an ongoing debate with regards to the advantages and disadvantages of open adoption versus closed adoption. Further research needs to be conducted so families and birthparents can make the best decisions for their family. It is important that each party learn about their options while pursuing adoption and understand the adoption process as well as the long term effects for each party involved.

3

Prevents Identity Confusion

In a closed adoption setting adoptees can face greater identity confusion than in an open adoption. Studies show that many adoptees can suffer from lower self-esteem and experience a higher rate of mental and emotional disturbances as well as experience more confusion about their past and their current identity. Adoption professionals theorize that the confidentiality of the adoption placement contributes the adoptees curiosity, confusion, and negative feelings towards their birthparents. Open adoption can provide immediate answers for the adoptee and eliminate the curiosity and confusion about who they are and where they came from. Research suggests that most adoptive parents and birthparents chose open adoption because they thought it was in the best interest of the child.

If families and birthparents choose open adoption, it is important to build the foundation of their relationship on mutual trust and understanding. It is also important to find a balance of openness that is the best interest of the child and both sets of parents. Finding that balance is a crucial part of moving forward and building a happy and fulfilling life for everyone involved.

Adoption practices have come a long a way since its conception in the early 1850s. The modernizing of the world and the 21st century have brought about significant change to the adoption process. Over the last 30 years, open adoption placements have become the emerging trend for women and families considering adoption. Open adoption can provide a better sense of control for the birthparents and adoptive families as well as prevent identity confusion for the adopted child. As mentioned, if families choose open adoption, it is important to find a balance of openness between each party and what level of openness is agreed upon.

Support your family with essential oils

Our family uses Young Living essential oils because they produce the most authentic and highest quality essential oils on the marketplace. Young Living essential oils support the systems of our body at the cellular level. They are 100% therapeutic grade and they support these body systems: muscular and skeletal, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, immune, nervous system and emotions, excretory and integumentary.

2015 Premium Starter Kit with Dew Drop Diffuser

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The Starter Kit includes:

  • Dew drop Diffuser
  • Premium Essential Oils Collection. 5-ml bottles of the following oils:
    • Lavender (for skin, hair, emotions, nervous system)
    • Peppermint (respiratory support, occasional body aches and digestive health)
    • Lemon (respiratory support, digestive health, skin, emotions, and nervous system)
    • Copaiba (digestive support, supports body’s natural response to injury or irritation)
    • Frankincense (for skin, hair, immune support, emotional and spiritual health)
    • Thieves® (for immunity and well-being)
    • Purification® (for cleansing and immunity)
    • R.C.™ (respiratory support)
    • DiGize™ (digestive support)
    • PanAway® (for occasional muscle and skeletal discomfort)
    • Stress Away™ (for emotions and nervous system and supports body’s natural response to aches, injury, irritation)

You also get:

  • AromaGlide™ Roller Fitment
  • 10 Sample Packets
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Business Cards
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Oil Bottles
  • 2 NingXia Red® 2-oz. samples (Young Living’s powerful wolfberry antioxidant supplement),
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
  • Essential Oil Magazine
  • Essential Edge
  • Member Resources

Support

Welcome to our team! We are here to support you along the way. After enrolling, you will receive an email from our team, and if you have a Facebook account, we will personally invite you to join our largely informative community, to share in your journey with Young Living essential oils. Don’t have a Facebook account? That’s Ok! We will be sure to connect with you by email and/or phone. We are grateful to have you!

For The Family

Young Living essential oils are incredibly versatile and like many families say, they will become an integral part of your day-to-day life. If natural health solutions are important to you, you will feel empowered using Young Living essential oils for your family. They can be used for physical wellness, household cleaning, pet care, and more! As an adoptive family, you will find them to greatly support the emotional states and stages your family will go through. By enrolling through our team, you will be connected to our community of families who use Young Living products, for support.

A great guide for you to explore essential oil use for the whole family, is “Essential Oils Desk Reference,” by Life Science Publishing.

 

For infants (6+ months)

Usage of essential oils is highly individualized by family; however, most babies under six months generally do not need essential oils. They need breast milk or formula, the love of their mother and father, and lots of snuggles! Many essential oils are appropriate for use with infants 6+ months and children, and they should be diluted prior to use. It is recommended by Young Living to use a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc). A carrier oil simply means that the essential oil is diluted and carried into the body by the fruit based oils. One drop of essential oil per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil is a good place to start. Apply to the bottom of feet and apply socks or apply on their back. Just to name a few, moms love Young Living’s Lavender, DiGize, SleepyIze, RutaVala, Gentle Baby and Peace & Calming oils for their little ones.

A great resource for your essential oil use during pregnancy, infancy, and beyond, is the book, “Gentle Babies,” by Debra Raybern.

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*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, illness, or injury. Consult your health care professional about any serious disease or injury. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances, such as essential oils or supplements, for serious health conditions that require professional attention.