Numerous studies have shown that breast milk is best for babies.
But if you’re an intended mother using a surrogate you may be wondering if your baby will be able to benefit from “mother’s milk.”
The answer is yes.
Moms, who had trouble conceiving, may have experienced a hormonal problem that could potentially limit their milk-making ability. The good news is that even if you struggled with infertility, most intended mothers can make some milk and enjoy this bonding moment.
There are a couple of ways your baby can benefit from breast milk and enjoy this special bond.
Put the baby to breast as soon as possible. Women in traditional cultures have been able to lactate simply by putting the baby to the breast frequently. A baby’s sucking does stimulate milk production but the “psychological effect of a baby’s smell, sight and sounds triggers additional oxytocin releases that a pump cannot.”
Use breast pumps and manual nipple massage to stimulate lactation. A month or so before your baby’s arrival, manually massage your nipples and breasts for ten minutes eight-to-ten times per day for two weeks. After two weeks of manual massage, begin double pumping with a hospital grade pump for 10-to-15 minutes, eight-to-ten times a day. You may find you need to apply a bit of breastfeeding-grade lanolin to your nipples or even apply olive oil to the funnel before pumping.
Build milk supply through the use of hormones. Your doctor can prescribe birth control pills that contain estrogen and progesterone “for a specific amount of time in order to stimulate the growth of more milk-making breast tissue.” Intended mothers who have a history of blood clotting, or have heart or severe blood pressure issues aren’t good candidates for hormone use.
If you’re unable to breast feed but still want your baby to benefit from mother’s milk, ask your surrogate if she’s willing to pump milk for a specified time or even search out human milk donations. Sometimes you can do all of the above and still not produce breast milk and that’s okay.
No matter which route you choose, it’s a win-win for your baby.