Surrogacy and Breast Milk

Did you know that your surrogacy journey doesn’t have to end once you deliver? Many Gestational Surrogates choose to continue their journey by pumping breast milk for their Intended Parents, other new parents, hospitals, or milk banks! Want to learn more about pumping breast milk after your surrogacy journey? Keep reading to learn more!

Why Do Surrogates offer Breast Milk?

The decision to offer breast milk to your Intended Parents after delivering their baby is a choice that is decided upon in the beginning stages of the surrogacy process. Although feeding a baby breast milk is not a requirement for ensuring your baby is healthy, many Intended Parents like to have the option to provide their child with breast milk. 

What Are The Benefits of Breast Milk?

Breast milk is filled with several different beneficial nutrients. Many people are interested in the first milk that is produced, called colostrum. Some of the main beneficial nutrients that are in this first breast milk include:

  • Proteins
  • Antibodies
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

There are also nutrients in the rest of the breast milk that many Intended Parents wish to provide to their child.

How Does The Breast Milk Get To The Intended Parents?

Not every Surrogate is located close to their Intended Parents, or even in the same state! Many surrogacy arrangements also end all physical interaction between the Surrogate and the Intended Parents once the child is born. This is why many Surrogates choose to pump and ship their breast milk to the Intended Parent’s home. Not only is this convenient, but it benefits both parties!

Does Pumping and Offering Breast Milk Benefit the Surrogate?

Not only does breast milk provide the Intended Parents and the baby with benefits, but there are also benefits for the Surrogate. Even though the Surrogate is not preparing to welcome the baby into their home, her bodies will still produce breast milk. Instead of just disposing of this breast milk, many Surrogates choose to offer it to their Intended Parents so that both parties benefit! Surrogates are compensated for the milk at a typical rate of $1/ounce, plus all associated expenses like milk bags, ice,nursing bras, and shipping.

When Should Surrogates Discuss Pumping for Their Intended Parents?

It is always important to discuss important components of your surrogacy agreement early in the relationship. If you are willing to pump and offer breast milk for an Intended Parent, that would be discussed in the legal stage of the surrogacy. Many Intended Parents will be grateful for the additional effort. At Simple Surrogacy, we advise all of our Surrogates and Intended Parents to include the option of breast milk in their legal contract prior to the embryo transfer, if they choose to pump.

How Time Consuming is Pumping and Donating Breast Milk?

When you make the decision to pump and offer your breast milk, you are taking on a time-consuming commitment. You will have to spend time pumping, packaging the milk, storing the milk properly, preparing it for shipping, and then shipping it. It is very important to determine whether you are able to devote the time to this process before you commit to it with the Intended Parents. If you are not sure if you will be able to devote the time, speak with one of our experts! We have many experienced Surrogates on our staff that will be able to provide you with firsthand experience.

Will I Need More Nutrients To Pump and Donate Breast Milk?

Pumping and offering breast milk is similar to breastfeeding your own baby. Pumping breast milk may require additional calorie intake, but nothing severe. If you are concerned about this, we suggest that you speak with your doctor.

How Long Will I Have to Pump and Donate Breast Milk?

The duration of pumping is dependent on your agreement with the Intended Parents and also on how long you would like to pump. The duration of pumping varies on an individual basis. Most Surrogates only pump for the first 2-6 weeks, though some do agree to pump longer if the Intended Parents ask.

Should I Join a Support Group?

When you become a Surrogate with Simple Surrogacy, you will be connected with a group of current and previous Surrogates. This group will allow you to ask questions, learn from peoples’ previous experiences, and connect you with like-minded individuals! Many people also turn to social media platforms such as Facebook for additional support. There are several support groups for Surrogates that may even connect you with Surrogates in your area!

What Do I Need to Pump and Ship Breast Milk?

There are many items that you will need to have purchased (and of course be reimbursed for) before you give birth if you decide to pump and donate breast milk. Some of these items include a cooler for transport, bags for the milk, a breast pump, and a large freezer. You will also need shipping labels to send the cooler with the breast milk to the Intended Parents. Most Intended Parents will set up a shipping system with Fed Ex, so it’s easy for the Surrogate to just drop off the milk there and have costs for shipping billed directly to the Intended Parents.

What If the Intended Parents Don’t Want the Breast Milk?

Sometimes Intended Parents don’t want to accept breast milk from their Surrogates. That is not a problem! If you still want to donate your breast milk, even if it is not to your Intended Parents, you can donate to a local milk bank or a local hospital, both of which also pay costs and fees for the milk.

Why Choose Simple Surrogacy?

When you choose Simple Surrogacy for your surrogacy journey, you’re choosing to work with a group of experts who have your best interest at heart. Our team is made up of mostly women, most of which are previous Surrogates or Egg Donors themselves. This means that you’re working with a team of individuals who understand the journey you are embarking on because they have traveled it themselves. 

If you have questions about pumping and offering your breast milk to your Intended Parents, contact Simple Surrogacy today! Our team will answer all your questions and provide you with any additional resources that may be helpful!

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