Breast Milk and Surrogacy
After fulfilling her purpose by delivering a baby and giving it to its parents, a surrogate is ready to go home. She will not have a child to breastfeed when she gets home, but her body does not know that; therefore, her body will produce milk just as if she had a child who needs it.
Although each surrogacy journey is different, it’s common that Intended Parents ask the surrogate to pump her milk for them. IPs make arrangements for the milk either to be shipped to them or to have the milk picked up. Other times, IPs are fine with their newborn to be formula fed and do not require the surrogate to pump. If a surrogate decides not to pump, she chooses what lactation suppression method works best for her.
Surrogates who choose not to pump and want to halt their breast milk production have a couple of options, according to different literature and the advice from members of Omega Surrogate Stories:
- Ice packs can be placed on top of breasts to ease milk production.
- Peppermint will help dry up breast milk production.
- Cabbage leaves are also used for this effect. Healthline Parenthood has a good article on this.
- A Tight Bra works as well, but you must be aware that it could lead to mastitis.
Some surrogate agreements arrange for the surrogate to pump for IPs during a specific period. Pumping is an effective method to relieve breast engorgement and to produce breast milk. Some women claim that pumping helps them return to their before-pregnancy weight, which is emotionally helpful during the post-partum process. Some surrogates pump and provide milk for the first few weeks and then ease off on production.
What should I do with my breast milk if IPs are not interested in It?
Donate –Some places accept breast milk donation for those mothers who are unable to breastfeed. IVF clinics and doctors’ offices may provide information about local venues accepting breastmilk donations.
Freeze – Breast milk has been known to help heal pink-eye due to its immunological agents and is known to heal wounds due to its anti-bacterial properties. It can also be used as a skin moisturizer. Many little-known uses to make breastmilk valuable.
As always, surrogates will plan and consider what course will best meet the needs of both them and the IPs. And, of course, Omega Family will be available for help for any pumping or breast milk cessation issues.