Episode 53 – Education – Can a surrogate breastfeed surrobub?

Yes, there is no law prohibiting direct breast feeding with a surrogate and her surrobub.

How many surrogates don’t produce any colostrum or milk?
How many do some colostrum and milk in the first week?
How many express milk for an extended amount of time?


This page is part of a series of surrogacy education episodes from Anna. On the main podcast page you will find recent episodes and links to other categories: surrogates, gay dads, straight mums and guest / theme.

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Can a surrogate breastfeed a surrobub. Yes, there is no law prohibiting direct breastfeeding with a surrogate and her surrogate, but a few things to consider. Fed is best. Formula or breast milk from the breast or from the bottle always are good. Everyone in the surrogacy team needs to feel comfortable with direct breastfeeding. Talk through your desires and concerns as a team, have time to sit with your thoughts and come back to these conversations with time.

Some intended mothers, IMs, induce lactation and directly feed themselves. Sometimes the surrogate and the IM both directly feed the one baby. Not at the same time though. We have actually had a webinar on inducing lactation. So if you’re interested in learning more about that, look it up on our YouTube channel, or you can listen to it as a podcast back in episode 50. Directly feeding can help with post-birth recovery. So there are benefits for the surrogate as well as the baby. Every baby has bonded with their intended parents.

even if they were fed directly from the breast of the surrogate. And no, it does not make it harder for the surrogate to hand over the baby if she directly feeds. Those feeds are often a nice opportunity for the surrogate to talk to her womb mate and wish them well in their life with their parents. Expressing milk is also an option, or a surrogate could also hold bubs while feeding them a bottle of her own breast milk or formula. I directly fed my surrogate bub, whose name is Baker.

for most of his feeds in the first three days to bring in my milk supply. I then pumped milk for about nine weeks as well as doing direct feeds when we saw each other in person. And that would be a few times a day in the first week. And then it weaned off to a couple of times a week directly feeding, but that stopped it. Ooh, my memory’s foggy on that one. I think the last direct feed was when he was about four or five weeks old. But then as I said, I continued to pump for nine weeks in total.

I’ve actually done some data gathering from 170 surrogates, so I feel that I can confidently tell you that about 1 in 3 surrogates do not produce any milk or colostrum for their surrogate bub and that’s absolutely fine. Another 26% express some colostrum and milk for the first few days and then about 40% express milk for longer than one week, sometimes for many months. So there really is no normal. Every surrogate will do what feels right for her and her team.

I hand expressed some colostrum for Baker before birth so his dads could feed him from a syringe in those first few days or two of life. And it’s okay to have a plan to directly feed or not and to then reassess that plan closer to birth or even after birth. Just remember, communication is key among your team. I hope that answers some questions you might’ve had about directly breastfeeding. If you’re a surrogate or an IP, an intended parent, perhaps it’s raised more questions that you hadn’t even thought of as well. So to summarize, yes.

It is fine for a surrogate to directly breastfeed a surrogate, provided everyone in the team is comfortable with that. If you are finding these discussions useful, I would love it if you could leave a review for this podcast wherever you listen to this show, and you can find more information at surrogacyaustralia.org Until next time, welcome to the village.


Looking to find a surrogate in Australia? Consider joining ⁠SASS⁠.

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Looking for support one-on-one? Register for ⁠SASS⁠ to connect with me – your Siri for Surrogacy, or book in for a private consultation ⁠sass@surrogacyaustralia.org