We are so incredibly fortunate that our surrogate offered to continue pumping for Aidan. In most surrogate contracts, the surrogate chooses whether or not they’d like to pump for the intended parents, and there is usually a fee associated with it. The fee varies, though in most situations I’ve encountered it’s about $1 per ounce of breast milk. In the beginning of our process, I had researched induced lactation and had hoped that I could nurse Aidan myself, but once Aimee offered to pump for him we decided that the cons outweighed the pros for induced lactation.
We’re still ironing out the process since we had one shipment that came a day late (and boy did we freak out!), but this is what has been working for us so far: Aimee pumps and stores breast milk in Lansinoh bags, which are then put in her deep freezer. Once she has enough for a shipment, she puts the bags in a Styrofoam cooler with dry ice packed on the top. She has been shipping overnight through USPS, so I receive before 10:30 the next day. We did attempt to ship via FedEx, but they will not ship breast milk.
Once I get the shipment, I take all of the milk bags out to our deep freezer, which I purchased before Aidan was born. This has been such a good investment for us. When we are preparing milk for the next few days, we take about 8 bags inside to our freezer to start defrosting. When we need milk for that day or the following day, we take about 3-4 bags of milk and place them in a Ziploc bag to continue defrosting in the refrigerator. When they’ve defrosted enough that the milk can be broken up, we take the bags out, and put the contents into a mason jar to be stored for the day. It sounds like quite the process, and to be honest it’s not as easy as putting formula in a bottle and having it instantly ready, but we really feel it’s worth it, and are incredibly lucky to have a friend who is willing to provide this for him.