Episode 50 – Inducing Lactation

Guests: Kelli, Trudy and Hannah

Hear from 3 mothers through Australian surrogacy who induced lactation and were able to directly breastfeed their babies.

We discussed:

❤️ What’s the name of the protocol / process you follow?
🧡 When do you need to start taking meds/tablets?
💛 What pump did you use?
💚 How much should I expect to get each pump?
💙 How often to pump?
💜 Did you see a lactation consultant?
🤎 And when baby is born…. Did you have enough milk?
🤍 How long did you breastfeed for?

This episode was recorded in June 2022.

After a miscarriage that resulted in an Asherman’s diagnosis and too many IVF rounds to count, Sydney-based Trudy and her husband Tom welcomed a beautiful baby girl called Bonnie in August 2020, thanks to her sister-in-law, Sarah, who carried their child in New York, and birthed in Sydney after two weeks of hotel quarantine. They have embarked on a sibling journey but this time using an agency in the USA.

Hear from Trudy in episode 13 and episode 23 How to Find a Surrogate.

Hannah, based in Adelaide, became a single mum through surrogacy in June 2019. Her daughter, Imara, was carried and birthed by Lee, who is Hannah’s cousin. Hannah was diagnosed with MRKH in her early 20s, which essentially means she was born without a uterus.

Hear from Hannah in episode 28

Also Adelaide-based Kelli, like Hannah, has MRKH and found out at 16. So no uterus but still ovaries. Kelli’s husband Ben had known their surrogate, Rachel, since birth, but it wasn’t until they bumped into each other in late 2020 that they reconnected. Rachel was looking to be a surrogate for someone and Ben and Kelli needed someone. Their daughter Daisy, was born on the 1st of May this year, so she’s very new!


These podcasts were recorded as part of the free webinar series run by Surrogacy Australia. If you would like to attend one, head to this page for dates and registration links. The recording can also be found on our YouTube channel so you can see the photos that are described. Find more podcast episodes here.

The webinars are hosted by Anna McKie who is a gestational surrogate, high school Math teacher and surrogacy educator working with Surrogacy Australia and running SASS (Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service). 

Follow Surrogacy Australia on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube

Are you an Intended Parent (IP) who is looking to find a surrogate, or a surrogate looking for Intended Parents? Join SASS.


Welcome back, or if this is your first time, thank you so much for taking the time to listen to Surrogacy Australia’s podcast series with me, your host Anna McKie. This episode was slightly different to the regular webinar series that I run. The standard webinars are one hour, free, and will take you through the surrogacy process in Australia. You will hear from a surrogate or parent, and there are opportunities to type in your questions and we will try to answer them. You can find upcoming dates on our website at surrogacyaustralia.org

This episode recorded in October 2022 features three sets of co-hosts, Trudy, Hannah and Kelly. They are three mothers through Australian surrogacy who induced lactation and were able to directly breastfeed their babies. Let me tell you a little bit about each of them. Trudy, after a miscarriage that resulted in an Asherman’s diagnosis and too many IVF rounds to count, Sydney-based Trudy and her husband Tom welcomed a beautiful baby girl called Bonnie in August 2020.

thanks to her sister-in-law Sarah, who carried their child in New York and birthed in Sydney after two weeks of hotel quarantine. Hannah, based in Adelaide, became a single mum through surrogacy in June 2019. Her daughter Imara was carried and birthed by Lee, who is Hannah’s cousin. Hannah was diagnosed with MRKH in her early 20s, which essentially means she was born without a uterus. And Kelly, also Adelaide-based, Kelly, like Hannah, has MRKH and found out at 16.

So no uterus, but still ovaries. Kelly’s husband, Ben, had known their surrogate, Rachel, since birth, but it wasn’t until they bumped into each other in late 2020 that they reconnected. Rachel was looking to be a surrogate for someone, and Ben and Kelly needed someone. Their daughter, Daisy, was born on the 1st of May in the year of this recording, so she’s very new. Two of these women have also joined me on a webinar as a solo co-host. You can hear Hannah on episode 28, and Trudy on episode 13.

as well as in a group episode, number 23, titled How to Find a Surrogate. This webinar recording can also be watched on our YouTube channel. The questions we discuss in this episode, you can find in the show notes. A slight language warning, as I do drop the S-bomb at one point, but I’ve kept it in the recording because it’s part of a rhyming phrase regarding pumping milk that we laughed about. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Alrighty, so just to kick us off, let’s go around the room and hear from each of the ladies in terms of how old is your daughter now? Because we have three daughters from this team here. And how long did you breastfeed for Trudy? Kick us off. Hi, everyone. My little girl, Bonnie. So she’s she’s going to turn two in a couple of months. So I think she’s 22 months old. I breastfed her for my goal was nine months. I wanted to breastfeed as long as my sister-in-law carried her. So I made it to 10. And then, yeah, I was pretty pumped to make it to 10.

So yeah, 10 months. Well done. Such a month. He was too active, too active to do it anymore. And then Hannah? Um, so, Immy will be three on Saturday. Very close to being three. I can’t believe it. Um, and we actually breastfed till she was two years and four months. I struggled to get her off of the boob. I loved every moment of it. I definitely could have probably gone a bit longer, but.

Yeah, we were done. Wow, long journey for both of you. And then Kelly, how old’s Daisy? Daisy is six weeks old, so a lot younger. And she’s still breastfeeding, having a feed right now, actually. Do you have a goal for how long you think you’d like to try for? I think I’m just trying to stay very open-minded and be dope with every past day that I am able to breastfeed. Ideally, I’d love going to at least 12 months, but.

We’ll display it by year. And I hope those with us tonight find it fascinating to have such a variety of ages here. So very fresh with Kelly and then those that it was a little bit in the past but went for a significant amounts of time both of them. So we’re going to kick off with the list of questions. I’ll put them in the chat in just a minute and Trudy will kick us off. One of the first questions I’m sure people might ask is so what’s the name of the protocol or process you follow if there was one? Yeah, so I saw a lactation consultant and she in Sydney and she actually when I called

how to induce lactation. So she said, I’ll get back to you. And then a week later, she came back with the plan and she researched it all and talked to people and it was called the accelerated Newman Goldfarb protocol. So accelerated because I was starting six weeks before birth. So normally you can take a few extra months to do that. But I sort of contacted her three months before or two months before Bonnie was due to be born. So yeah, we did an accelerated protocol.

Right, okay, so that’s that. And you’ve answered one of the other questions too, which is great. So then Hannah, did you follow a process too? Yeah, so I actually started once Amy was born. So I took her with me to the lactation consultant and said, this is what I want to do. I knew the process, knew what I had to do, but obviously had to get the scripts from the lactation consultant to start.

medication. So I started the meds when she was about four weeks old I reckon and then started attaching her from there with a supply line but only started really pumping and getting milk when I stopped.

the pill after about six weeks. So probably from when she was about three months, we were breastfeeding. So yeah. I reckon there’s lots of more questions I can already see them back there. And Kelly, did you follow a protocol? So it was a similar protocol, but it was the regular version. Started my medication five months before her due date. Okay. Wow. What a variety here. This is really valuable here, isn’t it?

One of the questions was, did you see a lactation consultant? So then maybe each of us now spend a bit of time talking about, yeah, how that came to be a bit like what Hannah did. Cause so some of the other questions are, did you see a lactation consultant? When did you need to start taking meds or tablets? How long before due date do you start pumping? And then we can get into the more specifics of pumping. So, so Trudy, how about you? So in terms of, did you take some medications and then… And pumping. Yeah, let’s do it. Yeah. So when I saw the lactation consultant, so the,

The plan was to stay on birth control for a couple of weeks. The accelerated protocol was go on birth control.

control for a couple of weeks, stop that. That’s supposed to help mimic pregnancy and I guess grow your breast tissue. And then you stop that and you start the medication, which is Domperidone or motilium, more referred to as motilium in Australia. Yeah. You start that for tablets a day for a week. And then I increased that, doubled that second week. And then that was the medication that you sort of talk and to you established your milk supply and beyond really. So I think I took the medication.

until about six months. She was six months old. So it was a very long-term kind of medication. And I didn’t supplement with any other herbs or anything like that because there are herbs you can use but I just ate lots of lactation cookies to get through my sleepless nights and yeah, the motilium. So then the pumping side was, I was a bit delayed with the pumping. So I think I was a bit nervous about failing. So, and I tried pumping once and I honestly felt like a bit of

And so I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t like it and sort of just put it down.

and came back to it a week later. And then, yeah, started pumping. You’re supposed to start pumping when you start the DomPeridone, but I started a week later and I literally got drops in my first session, which was amazing. So I think that gave me the motivation to keep going and pump away. So I would pump they say every sort of three, four hours, you know, five times a day, but it was just a bit much. So I did three to four times a day leading up to the birth. So from about, it was probably only three weeks prior to her birth. I was pumping. Yeah.

day. Well I think that’s a good snapshot to hear. A few weeks before birth and you’re pumping a few times a day. So you’re saying you could do more if you could fit in mental health wise manage that but because you’ve got to balance that out don’t you? That would be interrupted sleep before you’ve even got to eat. 100% I wanted to be on point when this baby was born.

I didn’t want any sleep deprivation before hand. Didn’t wake up in the middle of the night to pump. I sort of stayed up later and sort of pumped at maybe 11 o’clock at night. And then I’d get up at six in the morning and or seven and pump then. Going back to the Dom, no, what’s it called? Domperidone. Is that the one where is it you take it and.

Weirdly enough, the side effect is that your body produces milk? Yeah, it is supposed to produce prolactin, which is what produces the milk. So, so yeah. Are there any other side effects from taking that? Well, I was nervous about taking it, to be honest, because there was, there’s a lot of people that have big side effects. Like you can only take it if you don’t have certain heart conditions and there can be weight gain as well. I was lucky that that wasn’t me, but I put on so much weight from IVF treatments over the years that it was like,

on weight from breastfeeding. So it was great. It was yeah, I didn’t have any side effects, which was amazing. Good. All right. So there’s a snapshot of one journey there of some the medication and a bit of your pumping regime to bring you to birth. Let’s then maybe go back to Hannah now that well, you then weren’t doing things prior to birth, but did you then the regime and in those sort of few months until it was established, were you doing similar times and things? Yes. So

control. I obviously wasn’t on prior to having her because I don’t need to, don’t have a uterus. So I did start when I wanted to induce a lactation. My choice to not do it beforehand was I was working on cool, crazy hours, didn’t think I could do that prep of pumping and all that. And in my head, honestly, I didn’t think it was going to work. And I thought I would just set myself up for failure or the hard work and it not work. So the reason I chose in the end is when she was born, I really wanted to feel what it felt like.

to feed. So I put her on one day and she sucked for about 20 minutes, even though I had absolutely nothing. And I’m like, okay, we’re doing this. I went to the lactation salt and then at about four weeks started the pill and the Domperidone then. So I started both at once, but was told not to start pumping until I stopped the contraceptive pill, which was at about the six weeks after taking it. She wanted me to start feeling the breast changes, which I didn’t.

heaps feel as much as I expected. So yeah, six weeks after starting, I stopped the contraceptive pill, continued the Domperidone, and that’s when I started increasing my actual pumping and expressing. Because she was already here, I was already attaching her with a supply line, which is a little bottle that you wear around your neck, and it has a little tube, goes kind of sticky tape it.

next to your areola so that bubs is getting their milk whilst attached. So she was already stimulating before I physically started pumping but when I stopped the contraceptive pill six weeks after I started it then I started just hand expressing kind of after every feed and it was yeah obviously because she’d already been stimulating I was getting it straight away yeah.

but then started pumping after every feed. So every two to three hours, I was then pumping on top of feeding her. And so then, and that took a little bit of time until you felt the supply was established and you could stop. Yeah, yeah. I really pumped quite a bit right up until she was kind of nine months old. I kept pumping to try and increase my supply as much as I could. Cause I was still using quite a bit of donor milk and formula. So I just wanted to really try and increase the supply as much as possible. And that’s how I felt.

do it. I was going to ask is it because you felt that she wasn’t getting enough milk? Yeah. Yeah. It’s so hard to know isn’t it when you’re breastfeeding how much have they got? Yeah. And so there’s a question that was you know about supply lines if people have more specific questions about supply lines please type them in. Did so you use some donor milk or was it formula in that? Yeah so I used uh initially Lee pumped for I can’t remember how much she pumped for but her supply lasted up until Amy was about six months.

So her supply, my supply, and a little bit of donor milk till she’s six months.

Then we started some formula at six months because she had a whole heap of allergies and the donor milk was getting hard to get dairy free and gluten free. So yeah. Right, okay. That’s a good snapshot for that beginning bit. And I think again, helpful for people to hear, okay, here’s an example of someone that didn’t start until birth. So a range of experiences here to find what’s the right fit. All right, and so then Kelly, what was your process of pumping and the leading up? Yeah, so I was on the fence for a long time as to whether I want to actually induce

lactation or not. We all know and I didn’t

I was worried that juicing lactation would add another stressor to it, I suppose, and I wanted to enjoy the process as much as I could. So I wasn’t sure about it for a long time. And I actually spoke to Hannah quite a bit about it, which was great. But in the end, you know, being able to do something for her with my body and having that bonding experience that I really wanted. Five months out from her due date, I was like, nope, we’re going to do this. So I booked an appointment with a lactation consultant and she said, great, you’ve come to me now, basically the more time.

prepare your body the better. So she put me on the contraceptive pill straight away. So I was on the pill for two and a half months and that is non-stop. So you don’t take sugar pills or anything like that, you just go for it. And similar to Hannah, it was quite strange for me. It was a bit of a novelty to be able to actually take the pill. I actually like it very much. So I felt sorry for my husband a little bit, but yeah, it was interesting. So I took the contraceptive pill

And then eight weeks out from her due date, I stopped the contraceptive pill and that’s when I started pump though. I went all guns blazing. So I was pumping every three hours and I was pumping once during the night as well. And to begin with, I was quite tired doing that. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but.

I actually got used to it. But then we all saw your freezer full of milk. I do have quite a lot of milk in the freezer. I think it paid off though. The Domperidone increases your prolactin level in your body. And then once you’re producing milk, it’s basically supply and demand. The more you empty your breast, the more your body will produce more. Basically the more you pump, the more you make. Excellent. How long did it take in pumping until you got some? So I was actually a little bit eager. And before I started pumping, I started hand-agreed.

And I got like a few drops. I reckon it was maybe a week or so before I actually used a pump. And I was so excited to get those for a couple of drops. I thought it was the best thing ever. And then once I actually started to use the pump, I was getting, I think it was maybe five mil.

And then it just slowly, very, very slowly increased from there. And Trudy, I can’t remember if I asked you that, how long was it until you started getting some? Yes. So mine was the like, I tried that first time and I sort of stopped and like it, but it was the second second day of pumping that I got drops. And and I, I think I probably had a few meals in that first week. And then by the third week, which was when, you know, three and a half weeks later, Bonnie was born. So I had up.

to, I think I was doing 200 mils a day by the time she was born, which was amazing considering I was only sort of.

pumping for three weeks. So yeah, I felt like I was very lucky to get a result. I think it was, I felt like it was a bit of karma to be honest. My body failed for so long that I feel like it gave me this little win, which was really, really nice. And I imagine for the listening here, that yeah, having those wins and most women that come to surrogacy are here because in some ways their body failed is a tricky word, isn’t it? But it hasn’t done as a woman what it should have done, what a large majority of

and twist angry towards your body but it is what it is and so I’d imagine then yeah going on the pill and taking you know the DomPéridone and then getting to that and you do all that and you’re like yeah but is it gonna work am I actually gonna get any even though other women have but it’s my body stuffed me up every point up till now why should it work now I could just imagine those first few drops and you’re like yes it’s good possible and so I think that it’s really valuable for the people listening to this you know here tonight or as a recording to go okay

make this happen. Maybe let’s talk about pumps a little bit more then. Are there recommended brands and how much you might expect and how often to pump? We’ve probably been doing a bit of that but let’s start with brands. Hannah this time. I think I tried about five different brands all up. I tried my sister’s like Tommy Tipper I think was a bit of a cheap brand to start with. I tried the Medella, the Spectra, the… or maybe it’s four and then I settled on it’s a New Zealand brand it’s called the Milk Bar.

was my favourite that I settled on.

after all four of them, yeah. Were you buying them brand new each time? No, so one was my sister’s, one was a friend, one was actually from Simone. She gave me, like bought it off Simone secondhand and the milk bar I bought new, yeah. Right, all righty. And then, oh, we’ll just do brands first. So Kelly, brands? I was lucky enough that my friend had a spectra that she wasn’t using at the time. So I borrowed that one, but got it right here. So it’s, yeah, it’s a bit of a big contraption but it is portable. So I found that really, really useful,

pumping every three hours. Those three hours come around really fast. So, you know, you’ve got things to do during the day. So if you need to pump while you’re out, getting a transportable one is good. Can I ask a question? How did like work go with that? Did they allow you extra breaks for pumping? So I was lucky that we’re self-employed. So that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. We’ve got a couple of jobs. I was able to swap it on staff to cover the times I needed to duck out in the parents room.

shop that then has an awesome parent room so I was so happy to finally be able to use the room. They’re epic by the way. So yeah I just sucked out every time. And true to your brand? Mine was a Spectra as well the S2 so it was the the non-portable version of Kelly’s and it was it was great. I think that’s key is to have a hospital grade pump because I did try the

birth and I got half as much I think with the medella. So I found the spectra to be really, really good. Yeah. In terms of comfort and the effort that it was taking. So, and I bought it, I actually bought it secondhand because I didn’t want to invest money if it didn’t work. And so, um, it’s actually quite funny. It’s very easy to buy secondhand and I thought that might be a little bit weird, but you sterilize it all. And it was actually, yeah, it was, it was great. Like you can even see how many hours you’ve done on it. So you

that I spent pumping on this. So it’s got a lot of good features that I think really help. That’s good, that’s valuable. Okay, so then we’ve talked about pumps a bit, maybe a little bit more detail about how much might you expect to get in each pump. I guess in the beginning days, we’ve sort of talked a bit about that. Is there a maximum then that people ever got to, either when baby was born or in that lead up, any range of what people might expect to get? I think the important thing with that is to not compare yourself to every other person’s journey because you have to go into it

knowing or understanding that you might not get much at all or you might get heat so everyone is different in that respect so for me I think by the end I was getting a hundred and eighty meals each time which was what I hear a lot so that’s combined like 90 meals each for a hundred and eighty that sort of thing that’s right so that is yeah combined to be into one freezer bag so yeah from what I hear that’s before she was born yeah before she was born so

Good work body. I’ll just add my bits. Being a midwife, that’s more than even people that have had babies get. Yes, so I breastfed both my kids when I expressed milk for Surrobub Baker for nine weeks. And you know, we often joke about you have a shitty titty. Mine is my left.

Yeah, me too, even though it’s the bigger one. And you’re like, damn you. And so yeah, the amount of milk I might have, I hope they got some laughs from everybody here tonight. You know, mine might’ve been, oh, maybe 40 and 80 mils or something like that. So it’s quite a bit of difference. That would have been the most type of thing. Yeah, but so it’s weird. So my kids were clearly able to suck it out of me efficiently for 12 months, you know, pretty much exclusively, but I was just never a great pumper. But see, it was, you have to remind yourself of that. Like Kelly said that, you know. And that is very normal for all Breast feeding women.

just cannot pump, you can fully breastfeed a baby and be big, fat, healthy, chunky baby, but you can get like 20 mils on the pump. So yeah. I’ll add for those that don’t know, Hannah’s also a midwife. Midwife. Right, so that.

you know, add to that. And Trudie, same advice, don’t compare. No, and I think I was similar to Kelly. I thought anything I can get is a bonus and I sort of prepared to do a mixed feed from day one and almost what, like by choice did that so that I could share the feed with Tom because I wanted him to have a way to bond as well. So we actually started supplementing with formula. Oh, actually, no, it was probably with the frozen breast milk first

of adding a bit of formula once my freezer stash was gone. But yeah, I did pump post birth and same as Anna, I have, I would literally feel one whole side and I’d get 20 mils on the other side. So it was ridiculous. I didn’t understand how that was the case. Yeah. I had one that was and significantly bigger too. I had a bigger boob. It was a bit awkward. Was that the shitty one? Yeah. No, no, my big one was the good one. Oh, okay.

I probably pumped for a couple of months post birth. I think probably around the three months I stopped because I really, it was more a choice for life, not lifestyle, but just I guess sleep and yeah just enjoying it. The pumping does get like a lot so I think I just wanted to keep her on because I think she was making my supply a lot more than the pump. I felt like I was getting better results by using Bonnie. Yeah and I think sometimes then you just become like a normal

You might just, if you were out and you didn’t have the baby with you, you might pump to keep, you know, that sort of timing happening. But yeah, you just adjust to their feeds and whatever. So I think Kelly by the sounds of hasn’t needed donor milk or anything extra there. But Trudy, did you use any donor milk or did your surrogate express at all? No, because Sarah was only in the country for two weeks post birth. So yeah, she and she she took something to stop her milk coming in because she didn’t want to have to travel back to the US.

have sort of that problem. Kelly, then your surrogate who’s six weeks post-birth, did she do any milk at all or want to? Yeah, so in the first five days, she expressed colostrum, which we fed her once a day. And then after that, she’s actually still pumping and expressing milk now. And she’s actually supplying it to people that need it via human milk for human babies. So she is just amazing. Which is where I…

got lots of my milk from. So yeah, she was like the circle of I think she’s supplied it to six different people so far. So she’s doing amazing. Wow. And so those for the I knew that if you are after donor milk, that’s the group to head to, I believe human milk for human babies. You can’t obviously pay for donor milk in Australia, but there are women who have oversupplies or occasionally surrogates to do that there. So that’s a good little plug for that one. Well, okay, Kelly, so you mentioned colostrum, I guess a classic question might be, does your body produce

colostrum at all when you induce lactation? So I asked this question to my lactation consultant and she didn’t actually know if I was going to colostrum or not. She seemed to think that I wouldn’t because, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the colostrum is made as a response from the hormones from the placenta. So yeah, based on that you won’t produce colostrum. But interestingly the first couple of weeks I was pumping, I compared that milk to my milk now and it is actually quite a lot more dense and yellow in colour. It’s not colostrum but

I think it’s possibly more fatty, fattier milk, which I thought was interesting. Yeah, the short answer is no, you probably won’t do colostrum. But the lactation consultant said that’s not a big deal. It’s a bonus if they can get it, but they don’t need it to survive. They’re fine just going straight onto the mature milk. Trudy, wanna add anything about the colostrum there? I didn’t know the answer to that either, to be honest. And I think I Googled a lot of it.

And there was a lot of mixed reviews, but yeah, my understanding is you, I didn’t because of that exact reason. Yeah, it’s from the placenta. And then summing that up, nurse midwife Hannah. Yes, that is correct. It’s the signal that when the placenta pulls away from the uterus, that sends a signal, we need the liquid gold stuff first. And that that triggers that. So if your body hasn’t birthed, then you can’t.

reduced colostrum. Are there other colostrum options people? I’m just imagining the questions people might want to ask. You can’t get donated colostrum I’m assuming because you can? I was gonna say it’s such a small quantity. Yeah well some women do express, hand express in those weeks leading up to birth in case baby does need extra and then if they don’t need extra then yeah I have seen on the Human Milk for Human Babies page. It’s rarer but there is a few stating.

have some colostrum a few syringes here and there so those were so Hannah used donor milk um the others didn’t i I’m just adding in an extra question here i wonder if people are nervous about using donor milk and how they feel and i guess even some ways if you use your surrogate’s milk it’s interesting she grew the baby she’s even great yeah so Hannah did you have any concerns about donor milk or what what can you think of some of the no no it’s it i mean it’s similar with the whole altruistic of the sari seed people are doing out of the goodness of their

they’re not doing it to gain anything. So they’re going to be more the people that are, you know, they’re not tricking you for any reason. Why would they be giving you milk that’s not good milk? Like an offer on the page. So you usually do a summary like milk to donate, not on caffeine, not on any medications. The new one is if people have been vaxed or not.

So you do a summary of what you either have to donate or what you’re looking for. And then you just have to trust that people are being honest with what they’ve written and said. Really? Yeah. And I suppose it’s a bit like coming to these things tonight. Once you hear from other people who have done it or used donor milks and that’s it might put some fears at ease for people. So definitely connecting with people that have been before you could be quite helpful there. And then one other question I’ve got there is, and once baby is born, do you still need to pump while breastfeeding bubs? We’ve probably covered that from all of us.

in there was need. Well it’s really up to you isn’t it? It’s about you judge your baby in terms of if they’re thriving and putting on weight and if you need to supplement it all. Would you agree with that ladies? Yeah for me I actually had to pump in especially in those that first week just because my breasts were so full so I needed to drain them because obviously they only drink the smallest little amount when they’re you know the days old so she wasn’t emptying it the way she yeah she wasn’t emptying it so I had to pump to empty them fully so that I was more comfortable.

I was the same, I think because I was up to sort of 200 mils a day by the time she was born, those first couple of days, she kind of almost dropped my supply a little bit. So I had to keep pumping because yeah, I had that extra milk. And so if you want your supply to increase, you’ve got to get rid of the milk. So yeah, I found it hard in hospital because I had that.

pump I was using was terrible. So I feel like a couple of days in hospital did drop it a little bit, but as soon as I was home, it was fine. Is that because you didn’t take your pump to hospital? Yeah. Cause they, they said they had them. So I, it just was not as good as mine. Yeah. And so then how long did you find you had to pump until Bonnie caught up to your supply and her tummy size? Yeah, probably three months, I think. So two to three months was, and I wasn’t diligent at it at all. Um.

I wasn’t doing it all the time. I was just doing it whenever I could. And, and I, I do feel like I got sort of an 80% supply by about four months. And then there were days where I actually feel like I’ve got a hundred percent. So, um, so yeah, it was, it was, and I was happy to get that much. I thought, yeah.

I’m happy to stop pumping if I’m sort of at that percentage. So that’s a good, a good sort of balance for me. Yeah, absolutely. Some good, good numbers there. Kelly, well, no, you’re only up to six weeks. So you still needing to pump? At the nighttime feed before we go to bed, my husband’s doing a bottle feed with her and I pump basically in replacement of that feed. So that all the pumping that I’m doing at the moment, I’m still just trying to, you know, figure out what she needs, what I need. So we’re just kind of cruising along. She’s only six weeks old. So there’s some time for her need to increase deal.

So we’re just going to play it by ear. And if I find that I need to be producing more, then I’ll probably introduce some more pump to try to jump that up a little bit. That’s lovely, yeah, to be able to include the partners in that too. Ladies, we briefly mentioned this before we started recording. Do you know if you can induce lactation if you have breast implants? Hannah, I’ll get you to answer this one. Can you do things? Yes, I would presume you can, because most implants are put behind the muscle, from my understanding, so they don’t interfere with any of the glands and the ducts and all that.

And we were wondering in terms of reduction or augmentation in terms of one might be less likely than the other. Yeah, so if you had a breast reduction, it depends on what they did exactly, because sometimes they sever the glands and ducts to move the nipple higher once they’ve done the reduction. So not as likely, but it is still possible. I do know people that have had reductions have still produced a bit of milk.

that haven’t been able to at all. So very hit and miss, I guess, with the surgery. So we’re not experts on that one. So you’d obviously check with your professionals, peoples. Again, we’re not all medical professionals, but one question we have here is that for somebody that’s on HRT, that’s hormone replacement therapy, I’m pretty sure, after medically induced menopause, is anybody in that situation? Or do you know if they might be able to still induce lactation? I’m not sure, to be honest, yeah. I’m not sure what medication it is or how it affects the system at all. That would definitely be a question for the lactation consultant

the doctor, yeah, a doctor that specialises. So I saw, personally I saw a GP who’s special, also a lactation consultant, so she’s got a GP and lactation consultant, so she was really beneficial. So that would probably be a question for someone like that, I would presume, yeah. Yeah, yeah, good question. Sorry we’re not overly helpful on that one tonight. One question, did anyone use an SNS system? Yes. So that’s the, what is it? So that’s what I call the supply line.

supplementary nursing system. Yeah, I did for the first, trying to remember how long we used it for. It would have been for, it was good, I reckon about a month, I reckon we used it before I stopped doing her supplement feeds and was trying to figure out how much milk I had and then topped her up after. So before my milk came in, I definitely used that for her to get used to the breast.

still get her milk. But then when I started pumping and getting milk, I stopped the supply line to really make sure she was getting as much from the breast as she could. And then I would top her up with the bottle after. So very surprisingly, she didn’t get a nipple confusion at all. Starting with a bottle for the first, you know, majority of the first three months of her life really she had a bottle for and then went to the breast fantastically.

I’ve got videos of her feeding and pictures that all my midwife friends like that should be in a textbook. It’s like the perfect latch and the perfect suck. So I was very lucky in that aspect that even starting later in our journey, she still obviously was an amazing feeder and I couldn’t get her off. Did anybody have issues with breastfeeding and taking a bottle and any confusion Trudy with your body? No, I made sure we started Bonnie in.

I think two weeks. So with a bottle just so that she could kind of get used to both. Cause I, I wanted, I really wanted Tom and I to both share a little bit of that for bonding. So yeah, we introduced a bottle of the, the frozen or I should say the express breast milk. Yeah. Around two, two to three weeks. So, and she never had any problem, which was great. And, and Kelly too, I think you said, um, husband been doing a bottle. So it’s the same, she’s taken to a bottle. Okay. Yeah. So far so good. So similarly we introduced the bottle for that nighttime feed. I think it was around two weeks.

Um, begin with G wasn’t as keen on the bottle. She much broke the nipple for the first few. And then after that she was completely fine. Um, and since then it’s been okay. So I haven’t noticed any difficulty in her latching after she’s had a bottle. Um, so it’s been completely fine. Um, similarly to Hannah, she had a really great lap, um, straight after birth. So I was really lucky with that as well. Good sound positive journeys there ladies. I’m going to go to one of the questions now. I’m going to go to the second one. So it says, can the med- meditation taken?

to generate milk be passed to the baby? And are there any side effects for the baby? Trudy, what were you told by your people? Well, it was interesting because I actually joined a mother’s group when she was born and more than half of the people in the mother’s group were on motilium as well to increase their fly. So it’s extremely common for just normal people that give birth to take that same medication. And so it’s very, very safe was what I was told. And my doses were obviously a little bit higher than what they were taking, but quite surprised how many other

mums were taking that same medication. In terms of actually how much is passed on, I’m not entirely sure that would probably be a doctor question. All medication obviously does go through the milk.

to some degree and not enough to have a bad outcome on bubs. Even every newborn baby that is breastfed gets those feeding hormones from mom. So newborn baby girls and boys can get breast buds, quite solid little breast buds from the hormones and little girls can even get like a little bit of blood loss like a little mini period from mom’s hormones as well. That’s not related to the domperidone at all. So yeah, it happens even if you’re not on the domperidone. Okay, that’s good. I think that that answers that one. That’s helpful.

We’ll go up to the third one by Nikki, who’s actually in the process of being a surrogate. And do you think feeding bub helped you as the mums bond with the baby? She’s added that, I’d hope my IP would be open to inducing lactation. It’s great to hear such a success story. So ladies, I’m pretty sure it’d be a resounding yes. Did it help you bond? 100%, yeah. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, even though I was on the fence to get it with. I’m so glad that I did it. Each breastfeeding session is just really, really special. So I’m very glad I did it. Definitely helps with bonding.

the only one that didn’t start at birth, obviously I still bonded with my baby. I didn’t have any of those, like before Bob’s is born, oh, am I gonna bond? Is it gonna feel like my baby if I don’t feed? You know, you do all those questions, but obviously, there’s other ways to bond as well if you don’t end up inducing lactation, but yeah, immensely proud of myself and my body that it was able to, so beautiful bonding time. And Trudy. Yeah.

100% agree. Like I was, like Kelly, I was on the fence and really torn over the decision. And when I did make the decision and it worked, it was the highlight of my surrogacy journey. By far, it was the best thing I did. And, and it was just like the bonding was great. Like I wasn’t worried about bonding either, but it just enhanced it to a level that I didn’t think was sort of possible. It was just beautiful. It was really lovely. I’m just going to add a couple of bits in there so that I carried for two dads. And so obviously they didn’t induce lactation. And so I suppose, you know, there’s a good

that yes, you still bond with your child, even if you can’t breastfeed and induce lactation. And I guess I think for those listening, it would be empowering to go, okay, even if you’ve got doubts, it sounds like it will be worth it. I think I will just add, it’s okay if anybody is listening to this and at any point in their journey, they go, do you know what? I just can’t. That’s okay too, isn’t it? And it’s also okay as you hear from the variety, it’s okay to make you change your mind.

later on you might go up until the birth you go I just can’t I’ve got I’m trying to support my surrogate you know as this whole extra family I just can’t until I’m perhaps on leave and then I’ve got time and so you don’t it’s okay to change your mind isn’t it on any of the decisions that you make and even if you only did a few feeds or even if it was a feed with a supply line that you haven’t lost it’s not a you know a competition here is it so yeah. I agree and you can even do the supply line with formula so there’s like if you didn’t produce milk that was sort of my backup

it was, if it didn’t work then let’s give a supply line with formula a go. So you can try all those things. Yeah, absolutely. That was always my plan as well. I had one of the SNS systems on standby as well just in case it didn’t work. I think it’s important to keep in mind that, you know, it doesn’t work for everyone but it does work for a lot though. I think you have nothing to lose in trying if you’re able. Good, good advice. One of my ladies I egg donated to was also for surrogacy there in Brisbane and

a five-year-old didn’t have time to pump until she was on leave. Yeah, mainly supply line. But again, it was partly for that bonding. Nikki, I would just point out, though, that as in the process of being a surrogate, it’s tricky because you might flip side. You might want your intended mum to induce lactation and she might not want to. And so that could be tricky if you would passionately like her to have those moments. You know, there’s some conversations that you need to talk about. And also, I guess, as a team, you know, your surrogates are women. Having conversations is to do you all feel comfortable about if the surrogate was to directly breastfeed to or would you want her milk?

sort of thing. So I did a lot of direct feeding for Baker for the first three days, but that’s not for everyone too. So I think it’s important to have those conversations. Should I ask you each that question then? Conversations with the surrogate directly feeding, was it something either the surrogate just didn’t want to do or as a team you went, no, it’s going to be the mum. Like tell me, so Trudy, you mentioned that your surrogate Sarah was going to head back overseas anyway. So she was never going to establish.

Never an option for us. The first friend who offered to be a surrogate that didn’t end up working out because of medical reasons, she had mentioned it to me. So we had a discussion about, this was before I even knew I could like induce lactation. And she said she would like to breastfeed the colostrum. And I, it sort of threw me at first because I thought, oh, I hadn’t even thought of that. And so it was great to discuss all those things upfront. Yeah, it was something that was a great thing to talk about because yeah, without having that discussion, it’s something you don’t

And it’s okay for everybody to feel the way they feel. If you’re not comfortable with another woman breastfeeding a child, that’s absolutely okay. You’re allowed to want what Hannah did you and cousin Lee chat about directly feed? Obviously, yeah, we talked about it, but we were both happy to not for her directly to feed. I was obviously also happy for her to take the expressing at her own pace, do it for as long as she wanted to, because I knew I already had that option of the donor milk that was, I was already starting to stock up my freezer with donor milk. I knew I would have the breast milk there. So I left that completely up to her.

to express and for her sake she did want to express so that was a great bonus but no we neither of us were keen for the direct feeding. And Kelly in your team did you discuss it? Yeah definitely definitely a conversation that you need to have. I don’t want to be making those decisions when bubs in front of you. For us we decided that I would breastfeed especially because of the amounts I was getting. We did consider you know to say no bubs was born and some reason she wasn’t latching properly. We had those discussions and we were comfortable with

scenario. Another one to consider as well is to help the placenta come out. Sometimes they’ll put buds to breast to help increase the oxytocin levels in the body to help it come out. So we just stayed really open-minded and took that process as at some reason we needed to direct breastfeed with the rate going through, but we didn’t need to. Do you mind me asking, did she have the IM oxytocin or she was doing it all physiological third stage? She did it all physiological. It took an hour, but yeah, it was all physiological. She did use the pump though, I’ll add.

Yeah cool, because Kelly’s team and my team actually had planned home births for us too, so sometimes things are a little bit more slightly more flexible and different to hospitals. So those that are not familiar with all of those physiological third stages, you will be at some point in time when you get there as your team. A couple more questions, so Stacey says, are there any concerns in inducing lactation that you might know of ladies for women who have had cancer? You might have talked to other women in the communities. Hannah, do you know of any? I think if you want certain drugs.

from the cancer it can interfere. I’m not sure what drugs people are on after cancer. I’m trying to think. No, I’m not gonna answer that because if I answer incorrectly, it’s not, yeah.

In your chats in leading up to getting to the point of, you know, inducing lactation, you obviously talk to other people yourself. Did you chat to any women in that cancer boat? No, like I do know that there is something with like motilium has got medications that it doesn’t work with. So I guess it’s just a matter of checking if your medication is on that list and certain conditions, and I know one of them is a heart condition. So people that have certain heart conditions can’t take motilium. But I’m not sure about cancer specifically in those medications.

if you’re not sure, it’s probably best to book a session with a lactation consultant and they’ll be able to tell you. Yeah and I think you’re empowering those listening tonight because you’re giving them the words of the Domperidone, the motilium, then hearing it from you, it gives them that knowledge of what questions that they need to ask to find out what’s going to clash. So hopefully that’s empowering people. Just so everyone knows as well, I did actually ask the lactation consultant if it’s possible to induce lactation without the use of the drug

She basically said that in some people can, but if you do, you most likely won’t get as much life. And it’s just, there’s no guarantee that it would work. So 100% going on the motilium and the concept of pill is a higher success rate. Yeah, very handy to know. On top of that, on top of that, it’s more likely to work with the natural roots of like the…

supplements and things like that if you have already had a pregnancy before. So there might be some women who birthed their first child but needed a surrogate for a sibling. Yes, yes. Then the natural way can work more effectively than if you haven’t had a pregnancy at all. And when you say the natural way you mean just the pumping? Just the pumping and like um fenugreek and all the supplements.

things like oats, yeast, things like that, I suppose to put you in the booby breastfeeding cookies that we were talking about earlier. Oats, brewers yeast and flaxseed, other kind of naturalistic type of supplements that you can take to boost your supply. So it gives you an excuse to eat lots of chocolate chip lactate lactation. That’s the thing I like, I can batch every two days. They are really good.

Yeah, that’s the gift I usually make for new mums. That’s how I bring you around though. So actually I’m better homemade than the packet ones. I actually still make them for my kids. I put them in the freezer, these biscuits, and they’re for their recess. I don’t put the brewers yeast in anymore. But yeah, that’s clearly become a part of.

I like sort of good standard recipe there. Ask, send me a message if anyone needs a recipe. And so then another question from Stacey. So how did these ladies, well, I think maybe we’ve answered some of these. I’ll just read it out though. How did you manage the first breastfeed post birth? Did baby latch to the breast naturally and any personal stories to share? I think we sort of have talked about that first feeds and latching that they all did well and transition between bottle as well.

Can I just add that that moment in the hospital though, when you feed your baby after they’re born was absolutely mind blowing. Like it was just the most incredible feeling in the world. And you know, it’s not great to have the midwife kind of shove your boob in like they do, but sorry. I know they do it because they’ve got to. But yeah, just to watch her feed and it worked. It was, yeah, it was unbelievable feeling. Yeah. Well done. Because I really enjoyed it.

birth, doing it just me and her. There wasn’t any midwives around. There wasn’t, you know, the surrogate and her family. There wasn’t extra people. It’s just one day I put her on and it was just me and her. And yeah, it was just, just as beautiful. Yeah. But yeah, all the excitement and adrenaline would have been going for that first hospital one. Kelly, some beautiful pictures of, you know, you feeding on that first birthday. Yeah, there was a lot of emotion. She was born and then we decided to wait for the umbilical cord to start pulsating before we cut it. And the umbilical cord was quite, quite short.

So she couldn’t come over to me until that had happened. So we were there basically just in a puddle of tears, just soaking it up. And then eventually we were able to cut the cord and came over to me. And that moment was unreal. Can’t describe it. I think after what you’ve all been through to become mums, to get to that point, to then have your mother with you and your body nourishing them, it would be beautiful. Cause it’s a long road you’ve all been to get this point. Yeah, definitely. Every midwife visit where they would weigh her

up in wait. I was just pumping like yeah that was me. Yeah this oh it’s inspiring. Beautiful ladies. I guess to sum up is there anything as you look back on your journeys there that either you chain or do differently or any sort of parting advice Trudy? Anything you do? No because I needed to go through the emotions of you know not wanting to do it, questioning myself to in order to come up with that kind of end solution. So I think it all just happened the way it was supposed to so.

Yeah, I wouldn’t change anything at all. It was all great. I think what you’re saying though is it’s okay to have a rollercoaster. Yeah, yeah, it definitely is. And not to have such a… And I didn’t have a plan as such. And maybe that’s advice for other people is don’t sort of put too much pressure on yourself to achieve a certain amount of milk or, you know, you just take it easy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. And if you can’t make five pumps a day, do as many as you can. Like, don’t do

put pressure on yourself because part of it is also just being in the right state of mind. I remember one of the greatest things that the lactation consultant said to me is you need to be in a great frame of mind when you’re doing this because a lot of it is emotional as well. So when you’re pumping, make it in the nursery. So I used to pump in the nursery before the baby was there because you know, imagining that she was eventually going to be there. So that was something to help in those moments leading up to her birth. Yeah, I think that’s great advice. I think not

one. You have to do what’s right for you. So the biggest thing with this journey is the pumping. You have to figure out if that is going to work for you or not and if it doesn’t then that’s okay. Kelly, anything you would change then? I mean I know you’re only six weeks in but you have had the leader. Yeah like Trudie said, you had to go through all of those emotions and that roller coaster but everything worked out okay for us. I wouldn’t change it. Wonderful and Hannah then, anything you’d change or parting advice? I definitely probably would start earlier

compare my own two journeys if I do induce both times. Not be working full time beforehand, I’ll definitely start sooner because I don’t plan to go back more than two days a week like I am now before the next journey. So I’ll definitely have time at home to be able to pump.

sooner and do it all a bit earlier in hopes that that does have that increased supply. Because I feel like I probably didn’t have as much as you guys, which I know it’s not, you know, all that kind of thing. But I think next time if I start a bit sooner, I’ll, yeah, get a bit more and having a bit more trust in my own body next time, not being the first time, am I doing it right? Is this enough? I think I’ll just trust my body a bit more next time that, you know, that it is doing what it should be doing. So great advice. All righty. Well, I think we’ll, we’ll sum it up there, lady. Thank you,

lovely feedback and comments there, but I think they found it really valuable and everybody’s still here. So that, you know, stay till the end to listen to it all. It’s always a good sign. I’ll say to everyone that’s joined us, thank you. And I hope you found it useful. If you’ve still got lots of unanswered questions or want them answered privately, joining SAS might be something that you consider so you can be connected with a mentor and have those chats in a one-on-one setting. I like to say, let’s change the world one conversation at a time so we can educate more people about how topics like surrogacy and inducing that…

work. This journey can be overwhelming both surrogacy and inducing lactation but there is plenty of support by women like you see here in the village if you go looking for that support. As we say it takes a village to raise a child and in the case of surrogacy it takes a village to make a child so welcome to the village everyone and particularly anyone that’s new here. Thank you for joining me Trudy, Hannah and Kelly and Daisy. Thanks for having me. Thanks ladies. Good luck everyone I hope I hope you give it a go if you can it’s totally worth it. There we go right that’s all we need to hear give it a go and we’ll be out if you need help.

Thank you so much for joining me. If you’re looking for more resources, check out the show notes for this episode and consider joining us for one of our webinars so you can have your questions answered on the spot. Please subscribe to this podcast if you found it valuable and share it with someone so they too can benefit from this conversation. Until next time, welcome to the village.

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