Breastfeeding in Surrogacy

From ancient times, humans have utilized several methods to fight against fertility. Surrogacy, an assisted reproductive technique is the modern medical approach to overcome infertility issues. In this process, a woman agrees to become pregnant and carry the fetus on behalf of the intended mother, and handover the neonate to the intended parents for their paternal and maternal responsibility.

Breastfeeding in Surrogacy

In a surrogacy contract usually mention the terms that surrogates should relinquish the child “immediately after birth” or “as soon as birth” or “upon birth”. But, immediately after birth, neonates need breastfeeding, which is essential for nutritional supply to the child and to build the basic immunity, which protects them from diseases.  

Using the Surrogate Mother’s Breast Milk

The surrogacy agreement does not consider this essential factor to avoid emotional conflict. In most of the cases, both intended parents and surrogates do not agree to breastfeed the child from the surrogate, as it creates an emotional attachment between neonates and surrogates.

But every child has the right to breastfeed. In this aspect, if both intended parents and surrogates accept two motherly perspectives in surrogacy to provide the basic right to the newborn.

However, this needs to be informed to both intended parents and surrogates before signing the contract by providing the awareness of advantages of the breast milk for the child and the mother at the time of consultation. This is essential for those who strongly believe favor breastfeeding benefits.  

In this case, the surrogate mother pumps her milk for at least the first six weeks after the delivery of the child, and intended parents use this milk to feed the baby with the help of the supplemental nursing system. Thus, the born child gets the benefits of breast milk without the intervention of the intended mother.

However, the task of pumping, immediate transporting of milk require time, effort, and dedication, as surrogate need to pump the milk frequently. Surrogate can claim extra compensation for this extended service commitment.

If the intended family agrees to afford the extra expense including taking care of the surrogate mother during this period to produce enough milk, shipping costs, and the other supplies required for the process. All these aspects are usually included in the surrogacy agreement for the smooth completion of the whole event. 

Otherwise following are some of the alternative measures to solve the breastfeeding issue for a child born through surrogacy without involving a surrogate:

Administration of lactation medicine

If the intended mother wants to breastfeed her child who was born through surrogacy should consult with the doctor during the gestational period. The right lactation medicine at the correct time can enable to intended mother to breastfeed her child. The administration of such medicine requires some preparation in advance.  

Hormonal therapy

The doctor usually prescribes some hormonal therapy at the initial phase of the treatment. Birth control pill is one of the common tricks to prepare the body as during pregnancy hormonal changes occur in the body. In this stage, the body prepares internally to produce breast milk.

In the later phase, hormonal therapy has replaced with other supplements and medications. The doctor advises to stop the birth control pills before the delivery of the child and recommends herbal-supplements or other medications for milk production.

Start pumping 

Breast pumping needs to be started immediately after the cessation of hormonal therapy and the introduction of breast-milk producing medications. Gradually the frequency and duration of breast pumping increasing to support the eventual breast milk production. The intended mother needs to prepare herself for the baby’s arrival by maintaining compliance with the doctor’s instructions and guidance to induce lactation.

Initiate nursing to the neonate and supplement your milk

At the initial stage, the milk production rate may not sufficient for the intended mother to completely sustain the neonate with the produced breast milk. In such circumstances, using of Supplemental Nursing System helps your baby to get enough milk to eat and fulfilled the requirement.

In this process, supplemental milk, which may obtain from a milk donor or surrogate milk which is collected by using a breast pump is poured into the container attached to the Supplemental Nursing System unit. Then the container is held in the mother’s chest and thus the baby can suck a sufficient quantity of milk from both the sources, i.e., mother’s breast milk, along with the milk stored in the Supplemental Nursing System container. 

Read Also: Challenges in Surrogacy Pregnancy.

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