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When the surrogacy journey starts, breast pumping is usually the last thing on a surrogate’s mind. But as the delivery’s big day draws near, many questions begin to pop up coming up to the postpartum period. And breast pumping is one of them. “How do I breast pump?” and “Can I breast pump while on the go?”
For some surrogates, pumping is a non-issue and they are ready and willing. But for many surrogates, there are negative emotions surrounding pumping.
Some have struggled to pump successfully in the past, and some understandably are ready to return to their everyday lives with their families after a month of IVF and pregnancy. With support and knowledge to make pumping more user-friendly, here are some tips we’ve put together from the world of breast milk feeding.
It’s common for surrogates to want to travel with their families during their postpartum recovery, and pumping on-the-go doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are some tips and products that make a pumping surrogate completely doable:
When pumping on-the-go, you need to consider whether your clothes are going to be easy or difficult to pump in. Luckily, many of the maternity clothes you may already have work well for pumping. Here are some examples:
While what you wear on the outside can make pumping on the go easier, what you wear underneath is far more important. When it comes to pumping bras, we’ve come a long way.
Hands-free pumping bras are the way to go, and one amazing example of pumping-friendly undergarments proven to work is the Dairy Fairy's bra, The Pippa. The Pippa is as beautiful as she is functional, comfortable and supportive. With super-soft stretch lace, light padding for support in the lower cup, and a very flattering silhouette she is the full package.
One of the biggest challenges surrogates face pumping on the go is how much they have to carry around to get the job done. Below you'll find alternatives methods to carrying around your pumping equipment:
My Sarah Wells pumping bag. These ultra-chic bags are life for me, and there are styles to match anyone’s preferences.
Kelly Backpack. This backpack is just the right size for pumping on the go, and the beauty is in the details. It can convert into a handbag, with the ability to store the straps out of the way when you’re not using them. The Kelly Backpack also has a padded pocket that fits the Spectra S1 pump beautifully or when you're carrying a smaller portable pump.
Sarah Wells Cold Gold Cooler. It has the ability to keep breast milk cool for 8 hours (and even longer if you have extra ice packs).
Sarah Wells Pumparoo. A handy little pouch with a waterproof compartment that fits all of your wet pumping accessories in between pumping. It also comes with another compartment for nursing pads, and a detachable drying mat for after washing your pump accessories.
Nursing cover. It's useful while pumping on the go hands-free. For women who feel more modest, you can always find a private spot or pump in a car but women have fought to be able to nurse in public, pumping is no different. The cover works well for comfort and modesty.
You can’t get very far when you’re attached to a cord in a wall socket. You can get a portable breast pump, and there are options strong enough to rival hospital grade pumps.
The Spectra S1. It is a chargeable lightweight breast pump that works every bit as well as a Medela Symphony at a fraction of the cost and weight. It fits beautifully in any pumping bag, and even has a night light for those middle of the night pumping session. Plus the kit that comes with the Spectra has very few pieces to clean.
The Baby Buddha. This pump is so compact you can wear it around your neck and be 100% mobile as you pump. Just one small warning to those very sensitive pumpers out there, this is a VERY strong pump. People who pump on the highest level of suction on the Spectra S1 generally only pump on a 1 or 2 setting on The Baby Buddha.
If your baby is a full-term and healthy breastfeeding baby, wait a few weeks before starting.
However, if your baby is ill, preterm or unable to breastfeed, make sure to breast pump as soon as possible after the birth of your baby (between one to five hours of delivery).
Each situation is unique to a surrogate mom and her baby. Consider planning your breast pumping sessions with what works best for both of you.
Being a pumping surrogate doesn’t need to slow you down or infringe upon your life. With the right tools, pumping time doesn’t have to just be pumping time. Wishing all you super surrogates out there a joyful recovery whether you’re pumping, resting, vacationing, or all of the above.
If you're interested in learning more about being a surrogate or would like to start your surrogacy journey, contact us to learn more about surrogacy at Hatch Egg Donation & Surrogacy.