To Breastmilk Or Not To Breastmilk, That Is The Question
When you become a parent through gestational surrogacy, feeding your new baby can be a little more complicated. Some intended mothers choose to induce lactation and breastfeed the new baby. But what if you don’t want to, or cannot, breastfeed your little one? We get it—breastfeeding is not an option for two dad families and for moms on certain medications. And some moms just choose not to try breastfeeding—that’s fine too. Whatever your situation, you need to know your options to make sure your new baby gets fed.
Formula feeding is one option. It’s fast and easy to prepare formula. When you are using powder formula, you don’t have to worry about keeping the formula at a certain temperature—just mix the powder with water when your baby gets hungry.
You can also get some ready-to-feed bottles for when you need it, such as for travel—these can be pricey, so they are not for everyday use. (Handy tip: get some extra ready-to-feed bottles from the hospital when your baby is discharged).
If your child needs a specialty formula, like Alimentum, insurance may actually pay for it. This is a good thing because these specialty formulas can be extremely expensive. Let me warn you though, this stuff has the most awful smell—worse than you can possibly imagine! I have an Alimentum kid—I speak from experience! One of the many sacrifices we make for parenting.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your surrogate may be interested in pumping for you. If this is something that is important to you, please let us know at the beginning so we can match you with a surrogate who is interested in pumping after the birth.
Basically, your surrogate will pump and then freeze the breastmilk. If you live close by, you can pick the breastmilk up at her house (did we mention ALL of our surrogates live in New England?). If you can’t pick up the frozen milk, it can be shipped to you. You will be responsible for all associated costs. This includes paying for a hospital grade breast pump, storage containers and shipping costs.
Pumping is a very time-consuming process for your surrogate. So you can expect to pay her additional compensation for her time spent pumping, cleaning pump parts, arranging for shipping and all the other little tasks that go along with pumping.
What if you want the benefits of breastmilk but your surrogate is not interested in pumping? Your baby’s doctor can write a prescription for breastmilk from a donor milk bank—we even have one of these right here in New Hampshire! You “fill” the prescription (pun intended) right at the milk bank’s dispensary.
With a milk bank that follows safety protocols, you have the peace of mind of knowing that the milk donors are being screened and the donors are only using medications that are safe for your baby. As an added precaution, the milk is pasteurized before it is released for use.
Of course, you can also do a combination of formula and breastmilk. That works too! And before you know it, your baby will be starting on solids—in which case one of these bibs is an essential “must have” item, trust me!