EXPERT'S CORNER

Induced Lactation Made Simple

By Jennifer Ritchie, IBCLC, Owner of Milkalicious

Believe it or not, it is not necessary to have been pregnant in order to breastfeed. A common practice in the dairy industry, inducing lactation can be a fairly simple process with the right education and support. During pregnancy a woman's body produces increasing amounts of progesterone and estrogen and prolactin (the hormone from the brain to tell the body to make milk). These hormones ready the breasts for breastfeeding. Once the placenta is delivered, progesterone and estrogen levels drop and prolactin levels increase, resulting in lactation. It is possible to simulate the increased progesterone and estrogen with the use of birth control pills.

The first step in inducing lactation would be to request a prescription for the birth control Yasmin. The mom will need to take active pills only, no sugar pills. The longer the mom has to be on the birth control the better, but the advanced protocol requires a minimum of 30 days. Just think, a woman has these elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen for 9 months, so the longer the mom is on the Yasmin, the more milk she will make overall. It is important that the mother's doctor understand that the birth control pill is not being used to control menses but rather to develop the milk making apparatus of the breasts.

The second step would be to obtain the drug Motilium, a GI drug generally used for controlling nausea and vomiting, dyspepsia, and gastric reflux, this drug is necessary to increase prolactin levels.

The third and final step is to see an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant prior to the baby being born. Formula supplementation with induced lactation is very common, and supplementation may be necessary. How you deliver the supplementation, on breast or in a bottle, will be something to discuss with the Lactation Consultant. In addition, a pumping plan will most likely need to be put in place, and the Lactation Consultant can help you with your overall plan of care, and the rental of a Hospital Grade Pump Rental. With induced lactation, a consumer pump that you purchase, may not be enough to establish your supply.
 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions via email or phone. You can also visit our website atwww.milkalicious.org. Milkalicious is located in close proximity to Coastal Surrogacy, and we would be happy to meet with you prior to the delivery date
 
 
Tips to keep your relationship STRONG while dealing with infertility and pursuing Surrogacy:

By Valerie Gelb, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Work through fertility problems and treatment as a team. Remember you both want the same thing….a baby!
  • Acknowledge each others experience without trying to change it. Each of you will experience infertility and surrogacy differently based on your own personality and gender. Be understanding of each other.
  • Engage in activities you both enjoy. Schedule a regular date night where you consciously choose not to talk about infertility or surrogacy. Remember that you were a couple before trying to have a baby. Recapture the feelings that brought you together in the first place.
  • Identify the ways in which your partner copes with the stress of infertility treatment and surrogacy. Learn to accept these coping mechanisms rather than try to change them. Your partner may not be coping the same way as you would, but that is okay. There is not one right way to cope. If you feel your partner is coping in an unhealthy way, you might suggest seeking professional help together.
  • Communicate openly with each other but put reasonable limits on the infertility and surrogacy discussions. Remember many women find it therapeutic to talk – it is a way of relieving stress. Men, on the other hand, often find that talking about an issue produces stress.
  • As a couple decide what you do and don't want to share with your friends and family regarding infertility and your surrogacy plans. Infertility is something you do not have control of and this can produce great amounts of stress. It can help you feel that you have some control over the process when you are able to control the information that is given out.
  • Acknowledge your feelings. Holding everything inside is not helpful. It actually takes more mental energy to hold your feelings back then to express them. Allow yourself time to feel the sadness, anger and frustration over not being able to carry a baby yourself.
  • Plan things to look forward to. Try not to put your life on hold. Infertility can take over your life if you let it. Fill your time with hobbies and interests outside of infertility and surrogacy.
  • Practice Relaxation. Learning how to relax and calm yourself can help when feelings get intense and during treatment. Relaxation can help with anxiety and make your journey to parenthood more enjoyable. Find a book or look on-line for a relaxation script or CD.
  • Consider professional help. Many couples find that individual or couples counseling can help them cope with the emotional stress of infertility and surrogacy.
  • Join a support group. Infertility can be isolating and it is very helpful to get with other people going through infertility or surrogacy. It is uplifting, educational, supportive, and therapeutic.
 
Valerie Gelb is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialty in issues related to infertility. She provides a number of services including mental health assessments and evaluations of potential surrogates, egg donors and intended parents, counseling for individuals and couples, as well as facilitates support groups for surrogates, intended parents and women and couples going through infertility. To contact Valerie Gelb, please email:valeriegelb@hotmail.com
 
 
Acupuncture recommended for Surrogates? Yes! Results say it all!
By Dr. Kathleen Albertson, L. Ac., PhD, Holistic Nutrition

Couples encounter many fertility options, and surrogacy is a wonderful choice. Several studies indicate acupuncture produces a 40-60% improvement rate, increasing the success of take home babies even more! I have successfully treated many, many surrogates over the course of my 15 years in practice. This includes prior to IUI or IVF transfer, same day as, and throughout pregnancy.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It has successfully treated infertility, gynecological, male factor, as well as many other illnesses and health problems for over 5,000 years. Western medicine, by comparison, is just over 200 years old. Now is the time for integration of Western and Eastern thought to enhance patient care.

So how does it work?
TCM treats holistically, balancing, nourishing and supporting your blood and organ systems. A balanced body system is necessary to make good follicles, good eggs, sufficient uterine lining and to help prevent miscarriage. TCM stabilizes our systems. Your body is like a "circuit board connecting with your brain". Life is busy and stressful for most of us ...so it is easy for our bodies to "shut down" and be unbalanced. It is as if some of the switches on our "circuit board" have been turned off creating blockages causing physical or emotional imbalances. TCM restores balance and blood flow, and opens up our "circuit boards" so that the body functions better without stress or duress. The body and endocrine system feel safe, in better working order to conceive, implant, carry, and deliver! The stress on the couple and the surrogate is overwhelming at times.

“Any protocol that can reduce that stress is beneficial to the couple, the surrogate and of course…to the baby! Luckily, everyone has the same goals in mind and that is to deliver a healthy baby.

My experience is that acupuncture has a significant, positive impact on the mental and physical state of the surrogate...and yes… the couple (many come in for treatment as well)!”
 
  • Improve and supports the immune system.
  • Reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and worry.
  • Promote blood blow to the uterus and ovaries.
  • Improve ovarian function, which includes follicle and egg quantity and quality.
  • Reduce uterine contractions after IVF assisting implantation.
  • Reduce miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL).
 
  • Treat pregnancy related disorders.
  • Assist in thickening the uterine lining.
  • Create calmness and a more "grounded" feeling.
  • Reduce toxic effects of medications.
  • Regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Help normalize reproductive hormones.
  • Improve sperm count, motility and morphology.
 
Does it hurt?
No, acupuncture is a very gentle and relaxing protocol! The needles are very thin -hairline.
You may feel a tiny pinch or nothing at all. It is safe with little or no side effects. In fact, I treat children. Women are treated all the way through pregnancy in high-risk cases, or to counter the effects of morning sickness, fatigue, headaches, edema, back pain, etc. during pregnancy. If there is less stress and fatigue on the Mom's body; the Mom, and baby benefit.

What can I expect at my first visit?
We discuss your medical history and current symptoms and goals. Tongue and pulse diagnosis is part of the consultation. Nutrition, diet and lifestyle are also an important part of becoming and maintaining pregnancy, and are discussed. I will explain an appropriate treatment plan for you. TCM practitioners work closely with fertility specialists, therapists, and surrogacy centers, and are an important part of IUI or IVF cycles.

So, we know that pregnancy and delivery are a journey, and I am here to help each and everyone of you succeed. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email or call me.

PS: Many insurance companies now cover acupuncture! Your first wealth is your heath!
 
Kathie Albertson is a gentle and caring practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine, specializing in gynecology and fertility. Kathie holds a PhD in Holistic Nutrition. She is the author of “Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Women's Health: Bridging the Gap Between Western and Eastern Medicine.”
Her office is located in Irvine, CA (see our resource page for more details). Kathie can be reached by email at kathie@orangecountyacupuncture.com and is also available by phone or SYKPE consultations.
 
 
Disclaimer: The articles and resources provided in this website are intended specifically for helpful or educational purposes. Any information provided herein is not intended to replace the medical, legal or psychological advice of your own physician, attorney or mental health professional. Coastal Surrogacy LLC. will not be liable for any complications or misinterpretation of any advice arising from or in connection with, the use of, or reliance upon any information or resources provided on this website.