Buying Breast Milk Myths – Breast Milk for Surrogate Babies

Buying breast milk is not something that is done in commercial surrogacy, though the donation of breastmilk may be covered in a surrogacy arrangement. Learn about surrogacy issues surrounding breast milk with surrogate pregnancy.

Breast milk donation (not buying breast milk) may or may not play a part in a commercial surrogacy agreement. Many families are huge supporters of the value of breastmilk. Some intended parents desire for their surrogate to pump, if possible, to give to the child after birth. Some intended parents are not interested.

If breastmilk is desired, it should be determined in the contract for how long. In some situations, it might be possible for the surrogate to provide breast milk to the baby for several months.

Sometimes both families live locally, and are able to meet frequently to exchange milk.
Other times, it is worth it to the intended parents for the surrogate to ship the milk overnight to them. Some situations, such as international surrogacy arrangements, do not provide an ideal atmosphere for extended pumping.

In these situations, a surrogate might pump for a week or a month, or not at all. Also, some surrogate mothers have trouble pumping milk, or have a very low supply.

In such a situation, it might not be an option to provide milk to the baby.

Proponents of breastfeeding agree that the colostrum produced in the first few hours following the birth of the baby is extremely important as it provides antibodies to help the baby fight off infections and disease. When pumping milk, it is rare that this important colostrum is expressed.

For this reason, some surrogates and intended parents agree to allow the surrogate mother to breastfeed the baby a few times while in the hospital. In most cases, however, either the surrogate or the intended parents find the situation odd and uncomfortable.

A surrogacy contract might include mention of donating breast milk (again, not buying breast milk) and/or nursing a surrogate baby. Some intended parents feel it is necessary to put into a contract that the surrogate mother agrees not to nurse the baby in the hospital.

It is important to note that if the surrogate mother has never pumped breast milk before, that the contract says something along the lines of “will pump if able.”

Though the intended parents should pay for all expenses related to pumping, including a rental of a pump if needed, milk supply bags, and shipping expenses, if required, buying breast milk is actually illegal.

It would be completely inappropriate for a contract to specify a payment per ounce. A surrogate and intended parents may decide to compensate the surrogate for her time. This is not done in every arrangement; many surrogates donate to their intended parents without receiving any sort of compensation.

It is also possible that the contract does not state anything about these surrogacy issues. This issue can be discussed at the time it is needed.

Have you decided to pump as part of your agreement, or do you desire your surro to pump?

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