One of the many decisions on your surrogacy journey is how you will feed your newborn. While you may not be physically carrying your child, there are still many options to provide breast milk to your baby - one of those that includes you nursing your baby. Yes, it is possible!
Outlined below are several options to consider:
- Surrogate Pumping
- Inducing Lactation
- Milk Bank
- Donor Milk
- Formula Feeding
Surrogate Pumping Breast Milk:
Many surrogates pump breast milk for their surrogate babies. This is a commitment that both parties should discuss during the contract phase. Things to consider when asking your surrogate to pump would be:
- Availability for her to pump and for how long (6 weeks, 3 months, etc)
- Reimbursement for each ounce of breast milk
- Providing her the resources to be able to pump (equipment, storage bags, shipping boxes, dry ice)
- Coordination of the storage and shipment of the breast milk (Will you overnight the delivery OR meet to exchange the goods!)
Even though both parties may have agreed that the surrogate will pump breast milk, there are times when pumping doesn’t work out as expected, so it’s always good to have a plan B in place.
Part of your Plan B or maybe even your Plan A may be to self-induce lactation. Inducing lactation can be done without the use of medication simply using a breast pump. If you begin the process early enough in the pregnancy, chances are that you will be producing milk by time baby is born! This takes a lot of dedication and self discipline to pump every few hours to stimulate the production of breast milk.
If you don’t have enough milk production by the time baby arrives, there are also Supplemental Nursing Systems that can help to provide additional nutrition.
If that doesn't sounds like your cup of milk, then discuss your desire to breastfeed with your medical provider. Your medical provider may be able to prescribe medications to help you begin to produce milk.
Another option to consider researching would be local Milk Banks. A milk bank is not always guaranteed to have a supply, as it is based on medical need first, however this may be an option if the other items don’t work out. Milk Banks do charge a fee for this service and sometimes offer discounts based on financial needs.
In addition to a Milk Bank, there are Facebook Groups where women donate extra breast milk that they have produced for no extra cost. Most times these groups are state specific so you are more likely to find a donor within close proximity to your home. If you go this route, you will want to consider testing for the donor.
Formula feeding may be the best option to ensure your baby is receiving optimal nutrition. There are many different baby formulas out there today, so do your research on what is important to you. The Baby Brezza is a great tool that helps provide warm bottles on demand with just the press of a button!