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Pumping milk from the surrogate or infant formula after the birth

First of all, it’s important to remember that the surrogate will not always be able to pump milk for you. Beyond what she wants, you have to understand that there is not every woman reaches the breastfeeding/pumping stage at the same time. Sometimes, even when she wants, the body does not always cooperate, whether the breastfeeding/pumping is painful to the surrogate or she doesn’t have enough milk.

Some surrogates will agree and will even want to pump milk to help you at the beginning and sometimes it can help the surrogate prevent breast engorgement.

Parents are sometimes prepared to let the surrogate breastfeed the baby, but this is a bit more controversial since the majority (of both parents and surrogates) will prefer to avoid this extreme bonding between the surrogate and the baby. But remember that there is no right or wrong here, and it depends on your connection and relationship with the surrogate.

If you agreed with the surrogate that she would pump colostrum or milk for you (by the way, the surrogate has probably already received a pumping kit as a gift from the insurance, so you will only need to buy sterile storage bags and a few small accessories), make this known in your birth plan at the hospital so that while you are there your baby will be given pumped milk from the bank, and they won’t give the baby formula right away.

Ask, and sometimes you even have to beg, not to give the baby formula at the beginning but rather breastmilk from their milk bank if they have one (preemies are given first priority on milk from the bank). Obviously it’s important to try and feed the baby colostrum (the initial drops of milk contain important immunological substances) - even with a spoon.

Tip 1: Get the baby used to a few different types of formula. Some of the formulas you’ll find in American supermarkets are available in your local country as well, and as a rule, it’s best for the baby to get used to more than one type. Also from a medical aspect (the case of Remedia), and also so you don’t limit yourself (if the pharmacy just ran out of a specific brand, or there’s a good sale on other products, you will have more options to pick).

Tip 2: Get the baby accustomed to drinking room-temperature formula, rather than warm. It doesn’t matter to the baby, and this will save you the trouble of always needing warm water. You can use a bottle of boiled and cooled water instead. Do you have any idea what a hassle it is when you’re out and about and you have to go into cafes/restaurants and ask for a cup of boiling water to place your bottle in for a few minutes? :)

Tip 3: Buy a gallon of “baby water”, which is actually distilled/purified water (not mineral water). It’s available at every supermarket in the US, and it will save you a lot of hassle there when you know you have a bottle in the fridge that you just have to decant into baby bottles instead of going through the tedious process of boiling and cooling water, sometimes when you are short on time (especially when you are staying in the United States and not every apartment has a kettle. A gallon costs around $1.50).

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