Today, Rosalinda shares her postpartum experience as a surrogate mother.
My postpartum experience as a surrogate was definitely different from when I had my keepers. The recovery process felt more intense, in particular the cramping and the pain with my breasts as milk was trying to come in, but I was not going to pump or breastfeed. I would’ve been okay with pumping for my first surrogacy, but of course, I didn’t know what to expect as my children were mainly breastfed for over the first year of their life (over 2 years with my first).
When my breasts started feeling hard and becoming engorged a few days after birth, I was constantly icing them and avoided pumping or expressing as I didn’t want my body to start trying to produce even more milk. I do remember using a manual pump on one or two occasions, only to relieve the pressure, as I was in pain and extremely uncomfortable. I remember being pretty miserable when it came to my breasts for about a week or a week and a half, and then it started becoming more manageable and the hardness and lumps started to disappear.
One thing I remember saying at the time was that I believed that I was feeling everything more intensely because I did not have a newborn at home keeping me distracted the whole time. During birth, I had a tear and had to get internal stitches. This was my third time getting stitches, so it did not feel any worse than before. The uterine cramping felt a lot more intense in the first week after birth, even more intense than when I had my first child.
By the time I was four weeks postpartum, I was ready to go back to work. I think under normal circumstances, I would have waited at least 6 weeks to return to work, but I did give birth at the beginning of Covid, and the IPs had asked me to be off of work two months before my due date. I just wanted to get out of the house and socialize with others outside of my home. I work in healthcare (direct patient care) so my place of employment never shut down nor did we get reduced hours or have the chance to work from home.
I am now 16 weeks pregnant with my second surrogate baby; this time I do believe I will be pumping for several weeks postpartum, so I can’t wait to see how this next postpartum experience is different from my last. This time around, my IPs live in California, maybe two hours away from where I live, and they have expressed an interest in receiving breast milk for the first 4-6 weeks after the baby is born. Of course, this isn’t a long time and my milk will barely be established in that time frame, so I am thinking of possibly continuing to pump after that time frame and either donating the milk to local moms, which I’ve done when I had my own children, as I am an overproducer or selling it on websites such as onlythebreast.com.