Following a successful surrogate pregnancy, the surrogate may pump and provide the Intended Parents with breast milk for the baby. Breast milk can be used to supplement baby formula or may as the baby’s primary diet. Many families wonder if breast milk is necessary or if formula is sufficient. Whether you choose formula, breast milk, a combination of the two, or induced lactation – the answer is whatever is ‘fed is best,’ and what is right for your surrogate, your baby, and your family may not be right for everyone.
The surrogate pumps the breast milk and either delivers or ships the milk to the family. For those choosing to ship, the breast milk is placed in a Styrofoam cooler and placed inside a shipping box with ice packs or dry ice. The package is then sent via overnight or 2-day expedited shipping to ensure that the contents arrive within 48 hours of being shipped. Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored in a freezer for about six months and in a refrigerator for up to 4 days.
The intended parents and surrogate should discuss whether the surrogate will provide breast milk before the baby’s birth. Many intended parents discuss this during initial meetings when interviewing surrogate mothers. However, the length of time that the surrogate pumps for the baby can vary and can be decided closer to the baby’s birth or even after the birth. Sometimes the surrogate plans on pumping for an extended period of time, but her milk supply is low, or circumstances change. Remember, deciding to pump breastmilk or not is a very personal decision — and one that’s entirely up to the surrogate.
How Does the Surrogate Benefit By Providing Breast Milk?
When a surrogate provides breast milk, there are additional benefits for her, including her uterus returning to its pre-pregnancy size quicker, decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, increased calorie burn, and extra financial compensation.
How do the Intended Parents Use Donated Breast Milk?
They will use the milk to either feed their baby through bottles or in combination with their own breast milk through a supplemental nursing system.
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