Discover best options of breastfeeding and surrogacy for intended parents

Breastfeeding is a heartfelt experience for every mother as it aids in creating a strong connection or bond with newborn children. Though, can I breastfeed my surrogate baby? This is the common question every mom-to-be has when she considers surrogacy to conceive a healthy child. We understand your concern regarding breastfeeding and surrogacy, whether you have undergone pregnancy yourself or opted for surrogacy you can still experience the perks of breastfeeding your little one.

We know you are excited and nervous about whether I would be able to breastfeed my baby without going through pregnancy. Usually, surrogates deny directly breastfeeding the baby, to avoid the emotional connection with the baby and it can be too much of a commitment for them. Breastfeeding is extremely important for every newborn baby as it involves every essential factor of nutrition that aids in building immunity and also protects babies from disease

Well, there are various options for which intended parents must consult a doctor and educate themselves for the same before committing to the surrogacy process. If not pumping a surrogate’s breast milk then how would an intended mother’s body produce milk without experiencing pregnancy? To give a short answer, induced lactation makes the process of breastfeeding and surrogacy possible for new moms.

Confused? Don’t worry, we have covered every factor relating to the process of breastfeeding a baby born through surrogacy IVF in this blog. To give you a gist about the process, let’s have a look at the factors of breastfeeding and surrogacy.

  • What are the options to breastfeed my surrogacy IVF baby?
  • What is lactation?
  • Process of lactation
  • Breastfeeding and surrogacy process for the intended mother
  • Utilizing a surrogate’s breast milk
  • Pros of breastfeeding and surrogacy
  • cons of breastfeeding and surrogacy

What are the options to breastfeed my surrogate IVF baby?

Usually, intended parents can consider 2 options to successfully breastfeed their surrogate children. With advanced medicines, intended mothers not only conceive a genetically linked child but also breastfeed their child like any mother would do post-pregnancy. Before we explore the different options and their procedure, let us understand the term lactation.
What is Lactation?
A woman’s body that experiences pregnancy involves a complex interaction of hormones in her body. Lactation helps recreate this same procedure for women who opted for surrogate pregnancy. Though, there is no escape or shortcut if breastfeeding is what you seek. To begin your body to produce milk, you need assistance with medications and hormone therapy which a doctor will initiate months before the time your baby arrives.

While the reason why one may choose to induce lactation could be many. The reason varies from case to case like:

  • A mother who has opted for the surrogacy process to complete her family may want to lactate to ensure her child gets all the nutrients in the initial phase.
  • Intended parents who adopted a newborn child, would prefer breastfeeding babies instead of using other formula methods.
  • In some cases, a mother cannot feed her child due to separation either because of illness or a sudden medical emergency.
  • In rare cases, the intended mother may have to re-lactate if the baby is intolerant of particular infant formulas and he or she isn’t getting complete nutrition.

  • Above all, a new mom would choose to breastfeed her little munchkin despite all the physical challenges and struggles as it allows her to bond with her baby. While intended parents who have been struggling with infertility issues, or other medical conditions or intended parents from the LGBT community, hopeful individuals miss out on the emotional bonding with the baby in the span of pregnancy.

    While breastfeeding is the only opportunity that infertile intended parents have, to experience emotional bonding. Lactation allows intended parents to experience the joy of breastfeeding but the only downside of this procedure is it is lengthy and needs a physician’s guidance for hormonal therapy.

    Process of Lactation

    The journey of inducing lactation begins months before your surrogate delivers your child. It is essential to match the hormonal therapy with the estimated time of delivery, get in touch with your surrogacy agency and start your therapy accordingly. So that you can start breastfeeding your baby as soon as you take his or her custody.

    When a woman is pregnant, her body would produce elevated levels of three hormones.

    • Estrogen
    • Progesterone
    • Placental Lactogen

    After delivering a baby, these hormones decrease in a female body except one i.e placental lactogen. Pregnancy itself aids in producing lots of milk for the baby. Though, inducing lactation mimics the process of pregnancy and stimulates these hormones for a woman who hasn’t carried the baby in her womb. This hormonal therapy would trigger her body to start producing milk.

    1. Breastfeeding and surrogacy process for intended mother post-surrogacy IVF

    We know how eagerly you want to commence the journey of parenthood. While the worldwide surrogacy process is the ideal process to assist you in conceiving a healthy baby that is biologically linked to you. But what happens post-surrogacy? How can I breastfeed my baby?

    Well, the first step of every intended mother wishing to breastfeed her baby is to consult and talk about her concern to a trustable physician. Though you can feed your surrogate baby just like nursing any other baby through inducing lactation. Well, we already have discussed what exactly lactation is but to understand the process in depth and to know when to start and end medications, let us dive in deeper to determine the breastfeeding procedure for the intended mother.

    Initiating the hormone therapy

    Months before the delivery date for your baby, the doctor will prescribe you medicines for hormones (usually birth control pills). These hormones would trick your body to think that you are pregnant, to initiate producing milk.

    Replacing hormones with supplements and medicines

    Before the baby arrives in this world, your physician would ask you to stop those birth control pills and instead recommend herbal supplements and medications that help promote milk production in your body.


    Once you stop those hormone treatments and begin consuming medicines and herbal supplements to initiate milk production, you will observe the beginning of your pumping . And it gradually increases the duration and frequency till the time you start producing milk for your baby. By following the doctor’s advice, and protocols of induced lactation, the milk supply in your body must gradually increase as you prepare yourself for the baby to arrive and for his or her nursing.

    Begin nursing and meanwhile supplement your milk

    Though a woman can induce lactate and begin breastfeeding her baby, not all women can produce enough milk to sustain a baby’s nutrition alone. Instead, doctors recommend intended parents use the supplemental nursing system (SNS) to make sure that their baby is getting enough nutrition to consume.

    How do you use SNS? Simply put supplemental milk (donated milk, surrogate mother’s milk, or your milk that you pumped previously and or formula) into the SNS container and tape the tubes to your chest. When you begin nursing your baby through SNS he or she will get the milk you are producing along with the milk from the container. This aids the baby to get habituated to nursing and also he or she gets complete nutrition.

    Every mother’s breastfeeding experience is different and the success rates depend on various factors. Though, breastfeeding specifically in the case of induced lactation, whether your child is a surrogate baby or not, it isn’t for everyone. You will take time to adapt to the process and there will be a long learning curve, so make sure you are patient throughout the journey and seek guidance from your doctor.

    2. Utilizing a surrogate’s breast milk

    The other option for intended parents who prefer breastfeeding as a must-have source for their child’s nutritional needs is using surrogate’s breast milk. While a surrogate wouldn’t agree to directly breastfeed your child, as it may lead to emotional bonding with the child. Furthermore, it would get more difficult to detach herself from the baby.

    When you start your surrogacy IVF journey ensure that you find a surrogate who agrees with pumping for about 6 weeks for you and your baby. You can feed your baby through a surrogate’s milk in a bottle or supplemental nursing system (SNS) to give your baby the feeling of breastfeeding or breast milk regardless of the decision of the intended mother to produce milk or not.

    Usually, surrogates are not required to pump and the ones who do, need lots of effort, energy, and considerable time in pumping and shipping the milk to the intended parents. If you or your partner have tried to induce lactation then you would agree with how time-consuming and tedious the process of pumping can be. If a surrogate agrees to do the pumping for you, she will have to do it every few hours, even at night and that requires lots of dedication and effort, which might be inconvenient for her to leave her work and pump for someone else’s baby, though find a surrogate who understands your struggles and pain.

    For this reason, surrogates need monetary compensation for their additional dedication and effort to the intended parents. Well, most surrogacy agencies suggest between $200-$250 per week for pumping, including shipping costs and all the other supplies which are necessary for the procedure. Find a surrogate who agrees with your cost budget for gestational breast milk.

    If you wish to utilize your surrogate’s breast after the birth of your baby, then this must be discussed, negotiated, and included in your surrogacy contract before proceeding with the embryo transfer procedure. Also, talk with your surrogacy agency to find a surrogate who is willing to provide her breast milk after the delivery, this is a must-have situation for gay couples or single fathers considering surrogacy process.

    Pros of breastfeeding and surrogacy
    Health benefits

    Many moms state that health benefits are one of the top reasons for them to opt for breastfeeding over other options for their infant’s nutrition. As per various studies and research, breastfeeding can reduce the health risk to newborn babies like ear infections, asthma, and early obesity in childhood. Additionally, even intended mothers have a few health benefits like reduced risk of having breast or ovarian cancer.

    Promotes bonding with the child

    Physical contact during breastfeeding leads to bonding between the new mom and her child. This is beneficial for women who didn’t have the opportunity to carry a pregnancy, this is the only time when they can feel attached and embrace the process.

    More convenient than bottle feeding

    While bottle feeding may seem easy and less painful but it’s quite a tedious process. Usually, it’s a lot for a mother’s mentally prepare a bottle from time to time and pack formulas especially when she is travelling. Instead breastfeeding is a more convenient and simpler alternative.

    Cons of breastfeeding and surrogacy
    It isn’t convenient for every mom and not all the time

    Most of the mothers, especially the ones who seek the assistance of lactation, do not produce enough milk to feed the baby without the help of SNS. The feeding procedure with SNS can be quite a tedious and inconvenient task for a mother, especially in a public area.

    It demands a good amount of commitment with time and energy

    Usually babies nurse for over 10-12 times a day, which demands a lot of effort and time for a mother. Often mothers need to be dedicated and careful if they are using SNS and pump for weeks and months in preparation for the baby to arrive.

    Takes time to adapt to the process of breastfeeding

    Most newborns and new mothers go through a learning curve as they face challenges with breastfeeding. Nursing moms with few adequate painful side effects and babies may take time to latch. Additionally, intended mothers may take time to learn to induce lactation and operate SNS with a child.

    As the pregnancy or surrogacy experience varies for each individual, the same is with breastfeeding. While these are pros and cons, for few seeing the baby having complete food and nutrition may feel like breastfeeding and surrogacy are worth giving a shot.

    Whether you are conceiving through natural pregnancy, fertility treatment, or surrogacy with correct guidance and medicines every mother can breastfeed their infant. If you have any further doubts, regarding the surrogacy process visit our website!

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