There are many ways for a surro babe to receive breastmilk. You can look at our blog if an intended mother is interested in inducing lactation. This requires some preparation before your gestational carrier delivers, including hormone therapy, breast massage and nipple stimulation. You can also ask your surrogate if they are interested in pumping. There are many advantages to pumping for both baby and surrogate post-partum. Below are some tips if you are a surrogate interested in pumping for your intended parents and new baby, or if you are an intended parent wanting breast milk for your lovely new addition!
1. Speak with the staff at the hospital where the baby will be born and let your nurse and the hospital’s lactation consultant know of your plan to pump for baby. The goal is usually to be able to begin pumping within the first 30 minutes after birth. This may not be possible, depending on the circumstances, but the earlier you begin, the better for both surrogate and baby.
2. Carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of formula feeding vs. breast milk at the very beginning of your journey to establish good digestion for the newborn and to allow the baby to get the proper nutrients they require. Talk to your surrogate to find out if she is willing to pump breast milk for the child after they leave the hospital.
3. Surrogates can start early to establish a milk supply. Some experts recommend starting as soon as six weeks in advance of the baby’s arrival and others recommend a couple of months in advance.
4. Use a high quality, electric, hospital grade breast pump with dual attachments so you can pump both breasts at once. Your health insurance may even cover the cost! Start gradually with a gentle massage, nipple stimulation, and pumping a couple of times a day for 3 to 5 minutes. Work up to pumping for 10 minutes 6 to 8 times per day. Follow a lactation induction protocol. You can also contact your local La Leche League for more information.
5. Don’t be discouraged by how much breast milk you are able to pump. Pumping even without large milk production helps change the breast and increases the likelihood of success regardless how much milk you are producing in the beginning.
6. If the infant needs supplemental milk, that’s okay. If you do not have enough breast milk at the beginning, it is not uncommon to supplement with formula mixed with breast milk.
8. Have a board-certified lactation specialist available to work with you when you are first trying to pump. All hospitals have one on staff. It is very helpful if this person is knowledgeable about the specific issues the surrogate or intended mother may face with pumping. You can also check with the International Lactation Consultant Association or your local La Leche League for someone near you.
9. Remember to relax, enjoy the benefits of pumping if you are a surrogate, or the benefits of breastmilk for your baby as an intended parent.
10. You can always contact us at Shared Conception for more information on this subject.