Friday, August 29, 2008

breast milk and the surrogate baby

Okay, now I am going to bring up a topic that is the mine field of the mommy wars. BREASTFEEDING! Let me start by saying that I was not breastfed, and believe with all my heart that I was in no way negatively affected. Being that I research everything about babies and what is best for them, I have read a lot on the subject. Since I am not giving birth there are a few options open.

1. Let surro-mom breastfeed for the first couple of days.

Pros: Baby get some benefit. Might make surrogate feel better.

Cons: Baby not getting full benefit.
More bonding between surrogate and baby (the whole one more thing I can not do for my child, completely my own issue).
Logistics if baby or surrogate is released from the hospital. Surrogate may not want to do this.

2. Take drugs to induce lactation so I can feed baby.

Pros: Good for baby.
Good for waist line.

Cons: Creeps me out more than Alfred Hitchcock.
Have to take a bunch of drugs.
Still have to use bottle and formula.
Still creeping me out and now is making me doubt mothering ability.

3. Let the surrogate pump and ship to us so we can feed with bottle.

Pros: Great for baby.
Great for surrogates waist line.
Easy for me and not creepy.

Cons: Expense (it will either be cheaper or more expensive than formula).
Still have to use formula if something happens to shipment.

I know that this issue is controversial, and that I am putting the cart miles in front of the horse, but this is what you think about waiting around. What brought all this up is another blogger, which I should have bookmarked and did not, who is breast feeding her baby who was carried by her sister. Along with beautiful stories of her daughter, she also talks about breastfeeding. Before reading this, I had done some of my own research on the issue.

The more that I think about induced lactation, the more it just freaks me out, and the more freaked out I get the more I worry that I will not bond with the child. I know that this is crazy, but that is the way my mind works. If I am really going to feel that this is my child then feeding them from my body should be a no brainier, and it is not. See I told you it is not good to have so much time to think about this stuff.

Seriously, I think that having the surrogate pump. To me this makes the most sense.


Yolanda (the callipygian chronicle) said...

While I wouldn't say there is anything wrong with the surrogate pumping idea (except that it sounds very inconvenient), if your baby os born full term and healthy, I wouldn't panic so much about formula feeding. Due to my postpartum complications, Lyra was primarily formula fed and only nursed a couple of times a day. By the time she ate solids, she didn't breast feed at all. At 13 months she is brilliant, healthy, walking, talking, laughing and all the wonderful things that babies do. I know people are crazy about this issue, but the stress it causes mothers is unnecessary. Not to mention this article, which just goes to show neither choice is without potential pitfalls, which is true of so much in parenting...regardless of how right people think they are about the issue.

MNjen said...

Good look with whatever you decide! My IM is going to see a lactation consultant to try to induce her lactation. I'm somewhat relieved because I offered to pump and ship it to her, but pumping is a whole lot of work!

I wasnt a big ban of breastfeeding my own kids. I tried it for a little while with both of them, but then switched to formula and we were all much happier.

Jaymee said...

Thank you ladies. I am not too worried about the whole thing. This is just a perfect example of why I need a hobby.

Amanda said...

dont forget the paralyzing depression that is also a common side effect for Reglan (the most common lactation-inducing drug). thats why i didnt use it. as you know, i wasnt able to BF hazel, and she has been on formula exclusively since she was 17 days old, supplemented since she was born. i would not say that it affected our attachment one bit and in fact letting go of the stress and turmoil i had around BF'ing made me relax enough to bond sincerely. we all know Breast Is Best All Things Being Equal, but there are so many options. there is also donor milk from milk bank, but i think it gets pricey. whatever happens, you do the best you can, and its only a blip on the screen in the large scheme of things. you and your child will fall so head over heels in love with each other no matter what and nothing else matters.
longest comment in history.

Silver said...

I think BF or not BF baby will be fine. I had to take drugs when I had my twins as I didn't have enough milk, they worked well for me however I did have the other hormones going for me.

Good luck what ever you decide.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping to be gestational surrogate one day and I've also been wondering about this.

From MY point of view if I was the GS I don't think I would be able to BF the baby - to me it would be like BF'ing one of the other babies in the hospital nursery - it's not MY baby, how can I BF it, you know?! That creeps ME out. Also if I manage to get my head around it and do it it would, as you mentioned, stregthen my bond with the baby which would just make giving the baby back that much harder. Nope, not going to work for me.

I think when I'm doing it I'll offer to pump milk for a couple of weeks, but I HATE expressing with a passion, it is an absolute nuisance, so I'm not sure how long for. Hopefully the IP's will agree to just a couple of weeks as well, so tht the baby can at least get the benefit of the really good milk (colostrum etc) at the beginning, and then go onto formula.

It is a really tough one.

If the shoe was on the other foot I don't think I would induce lactation either, as from my understanding you would still need bottles and formula anyway so it really just sounds like a whole bunch of hard work!

I was only bf for 3 weeks as a baby and I'm honestly one of the healthiest people I know - my main objective would be to get the baby to at least have some colostrum...anything after tht is just a bonus.

Good luck with your decision :)


Nit said...

hello! thanks for stopping by my blog :)

I agree...this would be a difficult decision. I wasn't breastfed either & I'd like to think that if I ever get the chance, I would breastfeed. I think having the surro pump and mail is a good idea. Even if you just do it for a few weeks.

Good luck & take care :)

Anonymous said...

As a gestational surrogate who is in the early weeks of pregnancy, I can tell you where I am with this. I nursed all of my children exclusively. I'm big on nursing MY children but not big on telling other people to nurse. I also work full time so me and the pump have a long history. I hate the pump. loathe is being too nice, really. Not only does it make me question my mothering abilities because it measures to the ounce every last drop I can pump, but it takes the place of mommy and baby nursing that I love. Also, it takes a LOT of time from my work day and very nearly got me laid off from my job. (Ya, I know, fight the man, protest, all that.. I didn't have the energy and it didn't matter because before anyone said anything, I was at 1 year and had no more supply to fight for.)

While I understand the desire for breastmilk and doing parenting 'the best possible way', I do not know that I'm even willing to OFFER to pump regularly while at work. The hormones, the depression, the whacked out messed up mental state that the whole thing puts me into isn't really worth it, I think. If it was real nursing, I'd be all for it. That pump though, I just get a really bad taste when I think about supplying milk ONLY from the pump.

Now, mind you, I'm all for nursing while in the hospital and all that. I don't feel it would be a bonding issue for me.

Anonymous said...

You will find a solution that makes you all warm and fuzzy, no worries.
I will be BF these twins while they are in the hospital just because daddy is OK with it and I am a big BF fan with a huge crush on the goodness of colostrum. That works for us. But when they check out Daddy will be holding that bottle all on his own. I don't worry about bonding with the babies because frankly breastfeeding, at least for the first few weeks, is horrible! It hurts, is awkward, and is really just not fun for me. At all. I see it as the final healthy gift I can give the babies, and not a way to bond with them.
Babies on forumula from meal one are just as beautiful, healthy, well rounded and happy as BF babies. So whatever you decide, you've made the right choice. You're the mama, so what makes you happy makes baby happy too!

Jen, the Mama and Egg Donor;-) said...

jaymee, i stumbled upon your blog by accidet. we are currently pregnant by surrogate, my sister-in-law being our baby carrier. I am desperately seeking information on induced lactation and if i can, i plan to breast feed this "adoptive" child delivered to us by the Grace of God and surrogacy. Much love and prayers sent your way for a successful journey.

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