Inducing Lactation: Guide to Breastfeeding Your Surrogate-Born Baby

Breastfeeding is an extraordinary and bonding experience between a mother and her child. It fosters a unique connection while providing numerous health benefits for both the baby and the mother. Traditionally, breastfeeding has been associated with biological mothers, but with the rise of surrogacy, intended parents now have the opportunity to experience this beautiful journey with their surrogate-born baby. Inducing lactation allows parents to establish a breastfeeding relationship even if the child is not genetically related to the breastfeeding mother. In this guide, we will explore the process of inducing lactation for surrogate-born babies.

Understanding Induced Lactation:

Induced lactation is the process of stimulating breast milk production in a woman who has not given birth. This method allows adoptive or intended mothers to breastfeed their babies and enjoy the emotional and nutritional benefits that come with it. In the case of surrogacy, the intended mother can initiate the lactation process before or after the baby’s birth.

Preparation and Timing:

For intended mothers to successfully induce lactation, preparation and timing are crucial. Ideally, preparations should begin a few months before the expected arrival of the baby. The process involves hormone therapy, breast pumping, and patience.

Consultation with a Healthcare Professional:

Before starting the lactation induction process, it’s essential for the intended mother to consult with a healthcare professional, preferably a lactation consultant or an endocrinologist. They will assess the mother’s health and may prescribe medications to help stimulate milk production.

Hormone Therapy:

Hormone therapy is a key component of inducing lactation. Prolactin and oxytocin are the primary hormones responsible for milk production and let-down reflex, respectively. The healthcare professional may recommend medications containing these hormones or hormone-regulating drugs, such as birth control pills, to mimic the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

Breast Pumping:

Breast pumping is an essential aspect of the lactation induction process. It helps signal the body to produce milk and establishes the milk supply. Mothers are advised to start pumping several times a day, gradually increasing the frequency and duration. Consistency is vital to encourage the body to respond and produce milk.

Herbal Supplements:

Some women find that herbal supplements like fenugreek and blessed thistle can aid in milk production. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using any supplements, as they may interact with medications or have side effects.

Skin-to-Skin Contact:

Skin-to-skin contact with the baby is not only emotionally beneficial but can also help stimulate milk production. The warmth and physical closeness trigger the release of oxytocin, which promotes milk flow.

Nursing Assistance Systems:

In some cases, a supplemental nursing system (SNS) may be used to supplement breastfeeding. An SNS is a device that delivers supplementary milk at the breast while the baby is nursing. This helps the baby receive the necessary nutrients while stimulating the mother’s milk production.

Be Patient and Kind to Yourself:

Inducing lactation can be a challenging and emotional journey. It’s essential for the intended mother to be patient and kind to herself throughout the process. Some women may experience challenges or may not produce a full milk supply, and that’s okay. Every drop of breast milk is valuable, and the bonding experience with the baby is irreplaceable, regardless of the quantity of milk produced.


Inducing lactation allows intended mothers to experience the joy and benefits of breastfeeding, creating a unique and beautiful bond with their surrogate-born baby. With proper preparation, hormone therapy, breast pumping, and patience, many intended mothers successfully establish a milk supply and embark on this rewarding journey of motherhood. Remember to seek guidance from healthcare professionals, and be gentle with yourself as you navigate this incredible process. The love and care you provide to your baby are what truly matter in the end.

At Elevate, we help hundreds of couples and individuals achieve their dream of parenthood each year.  If you are are considering surrogacy to guild your family, please contact us to learn more how our program might be right for you.  Email us at or call us at 323.933.8918


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