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Thread: Induced lactation for mother by surrogacy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Induced lactation for mother by surrogacy

    Hi everyone! Due to MRKH (I don’t have a uterus, but do have ovaries!) my husband and I are hoping to start our family with the help of a gestational surrogate (still searching for the right one ), and are starting our IVF cycle this summer to retrieve eggs and then freeze the embryos until we find our GC.

    I want to learn more about the possibility of breastfeeding my child when that time comes. So I started doing research and several people said I should join the La Leche League.

    For the past 5 years I frequently get nipple discharge and swollen dense breasts around the time i ovulate, when it first happened i freaked out and went to my doctor took did tons of blood work (hormones, etc) and even a sonogram of my breasts to make sure it was all ok. Everything came back normal, and the doctors said this is somewhat common and is nothing to worry about. It doesn’t happen every month, but maybe 3-4 times a year. I am not on birth control or any medicine and am a very healthy person on prenatals and CoQ10 for egg production.

    I’m wondering if this discharge is a good “sign” that I would be able to induce lactation possibly without medication or minimal medication?

    Thank you!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Induced lactation for mother by surrogacy

    Welcome to the forum!

    Your situation with the unexplained galactorrhea (the technical term for milk flow in associated with pregnancy or childbirth) is unusual. So much so that I don't even have a guess as to what it says about your chances of inducing lactation without using medication. My gut says that the root cause is going to be really important. I did some googling, and it looks like the most common causes of galactorrhea are hyperprolactinemia (excess production of prolactin) and hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). If hyperprolactinemia were the cause of the galactorrhea, I'd say that your chances of getting milk without using medication would be better than average, since prolactin is the hormone that makes milk and your baseline prolactin level would be higher than average. If the root cause were hypothyroidism, you'd probably have a worse than average chance unless you got the problem under control by taking thyroid replacement hormone, since low thyroid function can impact milk supply. But here's the rub: your docs did tons of bloodwork and still couldn't figure out why you have this issue! So it's probably not caused by either hyperprolactinemia or hypothyroidism.

    Basically, I think there's no way to tell whether or not you're in a better position than average when it comes to inducing lactation. But since you're planning on pursuing surrogacy, I think you will be in a better position than many moms who induce lactation, because you will know when your baby will arrive. A lot of moms who induce lactation are adopting, and they often have no idea when or if they will get a baby, and if that baby will be a newborn or an older baby who is already bottle-feeding. You're going to have 9 months to get things squared away, and that's a real asset!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Induced lactation for mother by surrogacy

    Congratulations on beginning your journey!

    You may consider getting in touch with a lactation consultant through your local hospital for advice catered to your particular circumstance. They may even help you get connected to other mothers in your community who have or are nursing their surrogate. Surrogate mothers can breastfeed, and you will want as much support as is available to get you started.

    Good luck- can't wait to hear more from you as you progress!
    Last edited by @llli*twinsforthewin; February 22nd, 2014 at 06:53 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Induced lactation for mother by surrogacy

    Hi there! I am brand new to this board and stumbled across this post and am in the exact same situation as you in regards to cause and working with a gestational carrier that is due 1/23. I am late apparently to the BF world (no one explained before how long is needed to prepare!) and wondered how you were doing with your progress? Would love to chat more about your journey since I am often looking for someone in the same boat as me...so rare, but special! I also have noticed at times in my life where I have this waxy white discharge secreting from my nipples, like a day or two and nothing for a long time again, and often wondered what the heck that was and if my breasts were trying to lactate lol. I have not mentioned this to my doctor nor done any tests in that matter, but going through the IVF process twice, I have had many hormones checked lots of times and I seem to be fairly normal...just without the baby carrier piece.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Induced lactation for mother by surrogacy

    I hope the OP will respond. I just wanted to welcome you to the forum and say that from an inducing lactation standpoint, you are in the same situation as any mother who has not given birth but wishes to induce lactation, so for example a mother who is a adopting a child, or trying to induce lactation so they can provide milk for a child whose mother for whatever reason can not produce milk. I guess I am saying that your situation is not all the rare, biologically speaking. Nor would I say you are "late to the game." You work with the time you have, and not every mother who induces lactation follows a protocol that requires months of preparation. This simple article explains there are several pathways one could choose: http://www.breastfeedingwithoutbirth...lactation.html

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