woman pumping breast milkThere are various methods for a surrogate mother to provide breast milk for the baby. If the intended mother wishes to induce lactation, this is also an option. This process involves pre-delivery preparations such as hormone therapy, breast massage, and nipple stimulation.

Additionally, you can discuss with your surrogate the possibility of her pumping breast milk, which offers numerous benefits for both the baby and the surrogate after birth. Here are some guidelines for surrogates interested in pumping for the intended parents and the newborn, as well as for intended parents seeking breast milk for their new bundle of joy:

  1. Inform the hospital staff, including your nurse and the lactation consultant, about your intention to pump for the baby. Ideally, aim to start pumping within the first 30 minutes after birth, although this may vary depending on circumstances. Early initiation is crucial for both the surrogate and the baby.

  2. As the intended parent, consider the pros and cons of formula feeding versus breast milk early on to establish optimal digestion and provide essential nutrients for the newborn. Discuss with your surrogate whether she’s willing to pump breast milk for the baby after discharge from the hospital.

  3. Surrogates can begin preparing to establish a milk supply well in advance. Some experts suggest starting as early as six weeks before the baby’s arrival, while others recommend a couple of months beforehand.

  4. Utilize a high-quality, electric, hospital-grade breast pump with dual attachments for simultaneous pumping of both breasts. Your health insurance might cover the cost. Begin gradually with gentle massage and pumping sessions lasting 3 to 5 minutes a few times daily. Gradually increase to pumping for 10 minutes 6 to 8 times daily. Follow a lactation induction protocol and consider reaching out to your local La Leche League for additional guidance. La Leche League supports mothers and nursing parents and provides many great resources you can read prior to the delivery date.

  5. Don’t be disheartened by the amount of breast milk you initially pump. Pumping, even with low milk production, stimulates breast changes and increases the chances of success regardless of the initial output.

  6. Supplementing with formula is acceptable if the infant requires additional milk. It’s common to supplement with a mixture of formula and breast milk if there’s initially insufficient breast milk.

  7. Ensure access to a board-certified lactation specialist, preferably one familiar with the specific challenges faced by surrogates or intended mothers during pumping. Most hospitals have such specialists on staff, or you can seek assistance from organizations like the International Lactation Consultant Association or your local La Leche League.

  8. Remember to stay relaxed and enjoy the benefits of pumping if you’re a surrogate or the benefits of breast milk for your baby if you’re an intended parent.

Shared Conception is always here to provide more information. We strive to help surrogates and intended parents at every step of the surrogacy journey. If you have any questions at all, please contact us at 713-622-1144.