Lactation for New Mothers

Lactation and breastfeeding have many physical and emotional benefits for new mothers and babies, which is why many women choose to breastfeed or pump through their child’s first year of life.

Below, we offer lactation tips and answers to basic questions new mothers have about breastfeeding, pumping, breastmilk storage, and breastmilk donation, including:

Basic Questions About the Fourth Trimester and Postpartum Recovery

The fourth trimester refers to the first three months after birth. It is a time when there’s a lot of transition in both the mother’s personal life and of course, a newborn being in the world. what it means to a woman who has recently given birth in that period of time, what happens to her body and her postpartum recovery.

Lactation vs. Breastfeeding: What’s the Difference?

What Is Lactation?

According to The Cleveland Clinic, lactation is the process of making human milk. Human milk is secreted through your mammary glands, which are located in your breasts. Lactation is hormonally driven and occurs naturally in people who are pregnant. It can also be induced in those who are not pregnant. Lactation will continue as long as milk is being removed from your breasts. The CDC has compiled breastfeeding and lactation information all in one convenient place for you to learn more.

What is Breastfeeding?

There is a difference between lactation and breastfeeding. Lactation is the process of making breastmilk. Breastfeeding, or nursing, is the act of feeding a child directly from the breast, or chest feeding. The infant will latch on the breast and suckle to feed directly from the breast. When it comes to breastfeeding and surrogacy, surrogate mothers will not usually breastfeed. Instead, they will experience lactation and by shipping breastmilk, supply the intended family and their surrogate baby milk.

Learn more about nursing basics from Webmd and these breastfeeding tips from

What Are the Benefits of Breast Milk?

Breast milk is often called liquid gold because of its high nutritional and immunity benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) says breast milk is the ideal food for infants. Breast milk protects babies from diarrhea, asthma, ear infections, pneumonia and more. Not only does breast milk contain important antibodies that protect against many childhood illnesses, it also provides all the energy and nutrients a child needs for the first few months of life. The Cleveland Clinic shares even more benefits of breast milk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice, or water) for 6 months. After the introduction of other foods, it recommends continuing to breastfeed through the baby’s first year of life. As an infant grows, breast milk changes to meet the infant’s nutritional needs. Learn more about breast milk and nutrition at different stages.

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding or Pumping for the Mother or Surrogate?

Lactation is an important part of postpartum for both the woman and the baby. Not only can breastmilk can help the infant, it also has benefits to the woman including having a lower risk for the following:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.

During pumping or breastfeeding, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps your uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnant size more quickly, as well as helping to reduce postpartum bleeding.

Lactation Tips for Pumping and Storing Breast Milk

How Do You Pump Breast Milk?

You can feed a child breast milk without breastfeeding through pumping. Many women, including surrogates, choose to pump. Lactation expert Lenna Gregory of Mothers' Milk Bank Denver shares her expert tutorial on how to pump, ship and donate breast milk.

And if you pump on the go, consider using Milk Stork, which is the world’s only breast milk travel solution. It was inspired by all the breastfeeding super moms who work and travel. Milk Stork helps ship efficiently so moms can provide their babies with the best possible nutrition.

How Do You Store Breast Milk?

MAMMaway Freeze It Flat offers a great solution for breastmilk storage. Created by a working mom, it holds up to four bags of breast milk at a time, saving 30% more space in your freezer and allowing moms to feed their children even while they are away.

You can also use Milkify to freeze dry your breast milk and turn it into a powder. It is a game changer for shipping and storage, increasing breast milk shelf life to three years.

How to Increase Milk Supply While Breastfeeding or Pumping

There are many ways to increase milk production, which include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Eating a nutritious diet high in calcium
  • Pumping or breastfeeding often, based on a supply and demand system. The more you pump or feed, the more breast milk your body will make.

You can also find some helpful resources and supplements to help increase your supply. One of the products we love is Cookies Then Milk. They create lactation cookies and other mixes specially designed to enhance breast milk production in lactating women. Each mix contains a blend of 3 key ingredients proven to support lactation: Whole Oats, Flaxseed and Brewer's Yeast. When combined with your favorite cookie dough ingredients you have a delicious, nutritious, milk-enhancing cookie!

What Can You Do for Cracked, Sore Nipples from Breastfeeding?

Dr. Nice's Moisturizing Gel was developed exclusively for breastfeeding by a renowned pharmacist and expert in breastfeeding and lactation pharmacology. Dr. Nice's Moisturizing Gel's patented, vegan, all-natural, lanolin-free formula instantly soothes and cools sore, cracked, chapped, and chafed nipples.

How to Stop Lactation

The best way to stop lactation is to slow down your feeding or pumping schedule to gradually slow your breast milk production. There are many resources available to help you suppress lactation. Check out WebMD’s How to Dry Up Your Milk Supply.

Lactation Support for New Mothers

It takes a village, and there’s lots of help for you as you embark on breastfeeding or pumping. Don’t be discouraged if you are finding lactation, breastfeeding, or pumping challenging, there is help:

  • Lactation Consultant: A certified lactation consultant is a professional who specializes in breastfeeding and lactation support. They can provide expert guidance, answer questions, and address any challenges you may be facing with breastfeeding.
  • Pediatrician: Your child's pediatrician can provide advice and guidance on breastfeeding and can help address any medical concerns related to lactation, such as infant weight gain or potential issues with your baby's health."
  • La Leche League: La Leche League International is a nonprofit organization that offers support, information, and encouragement to breastfeeding mothers. They have local chapters and online resources that can be helpful.
  • Online Support Groups: Many online communities and social media groups are dedicated to breastfeeding and lactation support. These groups can be a valuable source of advice, shared experiences, and tips from other breastfeeding mothers.
  • Breastfeeding Classes: Attending a breastfeeding class before or after childbirth can be an excellent way to learn more about breastfeeding techniques and to ask questions. These classes are often offered at hospitals or by community organizations.
  • Friends and Family: Sometimes, friends and family members who have experience with breastfeeding can offer guidance and support. Sharing experiences and tips with people you trust can be reassuring.
  • Nurse or Midwife: If you are in a hospital or under the care of a midwife, they can provide immediate assistance and guidance with breastfeeding in the early postpartum period."
  • Postpartum Doula: A postnatal doula can help with lactation, latching, breastfeeding and pumping.
  • Lactation Hotlines: The Office on Women's Health and many hospitals and healthcare providers have lactation hotlines that you can call for immediate assistance and advice. "
  • Books and Online Resources: There are many books and reputable location websites dedicated to breastfeeding and lactation. These resources can provide valuable information and tips.

Donating Breast Milk

Before you stop lactation, consider donating breast milk to a local milk bank.

With the continuation of infant formula shortage, milk banks across the country are needed more than ever. Listen to our Podcast with HMBANA Executive Director Lindsay Groff talk about the Infant Formula Shortage and the importance of breastmilk donations.

Then learn more about how to donate your breast milk from lactation expert Lenna Gregory and find a milk bank near you.

You can even participate in ConceiveAbilities’ #MilkBankChallenge.

What is the #MilkBankChallenge?

Learn more about the #MilkBankChallenge and how ConceiveAbilities is helping women continue their lactation journey while helping replenish milk banks across America.

Everyone can play a role in the 2023 #MilkBankChallenge and earn rewards. Create a Customized Share Link and text, email and share on your social channels with potentially lactating women. For each person in your community who enters their email to learn more about the #MilkBankChallenge, you earn a $5 reward and so do they!

What’s Next After Lactation?

After you stop lactation, you may be wondering what’s next in motherhood. Not only do you have the joy of raising your child, but as someone who has already experienced a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, you actually make a great candidate for surrogacy and the many benefits that come with

Learn more about surrogacy for lactating mothers.