We often receive emails with questions on Breastfeeding, and proceeding with Surrogacy. As you can imagine, there are many opinions on this topic. Here is an opinion that we were provided, and it seems after passing it around to Fertility clinics, they all agree.
With the above being said, we often suggest connecting with Breastfeeding resources, prior to deciding whether or not putting your Surrogacy on hold, or weaning your baby is the best option.
I’m currently breastfeeding but plan on self-weaning. Why do I have to wait to move forward with my surrogacy?
It is typically recommended that a gestational surrogate who is breastfeeding stop doing so at least one month before undergoing an IVF treatment cycle whereby an embryo is transferred into her uterus.
The process of breastfeeding is said to induce the secretion of certain hormones, including prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin induces amenorrhea, or lack of ovulation and periods. Timing during an IVF cycle is critical, as the doctors work to synchronize a surrogate’s menstruation with that of the egg donor/intended Mom, thus the need to know when the surrogate is getting her period. Also, elevated levels of prolactin associated with breastfeeding may have a negative effect on implantation, although we don’t have strong data to support it.
Finally, the hormone oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, can cause uterine contractions, which in turn could be harmful to implantation when an embryo is trying to attach itself to the lining of the uterus.
CFCs staff did a fair bit of research on this topic, and unfortunately there haven’t been any studies that could link success or failure of a cycle to Breastfeeding, and so we suggest that Surrogates discuss their Breastfeeding plans with their Fertility Dr. at the time of the screening, as many factors play in to Breastfeeding, such as
-Have your periods returned to normal?
-Is your baby also eating table food/not exclusively breastfeeding
-What are your prolactin levels throughout your cycle
With all of the above said, we have had many Carriers continue to Breastfeed successfully through a Surrogacy, with the Dr’s blessing, of course.
For further information on becoming a Gestational Carrier, Breastfeeding and IVF, or any other Fertility related matters, please contact our office at 613 439 8701 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org