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breastmilk compensation

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am a surrogate mother that delivered a lovely baby boy last saturday and I am exclusively pumping for the family and the baby. Although I told them it wasn't necessary, the parents would like to compensate me for the work that it takes to pump for them.

I'm looking for resources on how we can come up with an amount. Do you all have ideas on what it a typical amount or where I can look?

thanks!
post #2 of 32
My partner and I figure that the cost to feed a formula bottle is about $1.00. So if you doubled that to capture the increased nutrition of bm, then figured on ten bottles a day, you're at $20/day. But that doesn't factor in the cost of your time.

Instead, I'd pay myself a certain amount an hour - like $15 an hour, since you can watch TV or read while pumping. Assuming it takes you twenty minutes a session to pump, and you pump six times a day, we're at 2 full hours plus thirty minutes to adjust/wash bottles/etc. So that would be 21/2 hours a day at $15 an hour, $37.50 a day.

Kudos big time to you for taking this on. You rock.
post #3 of 32
I might consider that a bit high. I ff'ed my two boys, and we paid around $100/month for formula. I also think that $15/hour is a bit high. I have a college education, 10+ years of administrative and clerical experience and I can barely bump the $12/hour payrange in my community. True, it's higher in larger cities, but I still think $15 is quite high. I don't have much to substantiate my opinion other than standard formula costs. I would suggest taking the cost of a basic formula, like Parent's Choice from WM or whatnot, and using that cost. I KNOW breastmilk is the standard and has far better value for the baby, but if they weren't compensating you, they'd be comping the formula companies, right?
post #4 of 32
Taking what it would have cost them to FF and doubling it sounds reasonable to me- don't try to figure it out by the time it takes you to pump.
post #5 of 32
There is an agency in Los Angeles that provides wet nurses and they charge a $1000 per week. Milk banks get something like $2-6 per ounce.
post #6 of 32
I would probably charge on a per-ounce basis, some amount that would make it worth my time in the long term. I recently pumped for someone else's baby for about a month while nursing my own baby, and it was hard work (though some of the things that made it hard were that I was nursing my own baby and looking after my toddler at the same time.)

I think it probably would have been worth my time to keep on doing it if I'd been paid around $1.75 an ounce. That's the point at which it would have made enough of a difference in my monthly budget to overcome the inconvenience involved and keep me from resenting it in the long term.

The reason I would charge on a per-ounce basis is that if my output dropped, it would make me feel guilty to charge the same amount as I had when my output was higher.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
There is an agency in Los Angeles that provides wet nurses and they charge a $1000 per week. Milk banks get something like $2-6 per ounce.
I live in L.A. and have never heard of any agency like this. Is hiring a wet nurse even legal? I was under the impression it was NOT.

P.S. I think charging double formula is a good idea too.
post #8 of 32
WOW. That's a lot of money! But, wetnursing is different than just providing your pumped milk, b/c you're not actually dealing with the baby and baby's schedule, just your own pumping schedule.

I think you might also take into accout that these people offered to compensate you, you didn't ask. So you may ask what they're considering to be a reasonable compensation, and go from there.
post #9 of 32
Personally I wouldnt charge then more than a few dollars a day.
post #10 of 32
Sorry momuf8tobe, you're right:

http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,...612710,00.html
post #11 of 32
i have no clue what to charge but wanted to let you know what a great thing your doing how long are you going to do this for ?
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathteach View Post
I live in L.A. and have never heard of any agency like this. Is hiring a wet nurse even legal? I was under the impression it was NOT.
I've heard of this somewhere recently. Why would a wet nurse be illegal?
post #13 of 32
I'm really surprised that it is legal, just because it's the sale of bodily fluids. I'm not saying whether I disagree or agree about the legality of it, just surprised. Offers to sell bm on craigslist or ebay are always pulled. Anyway I'm so that's all I'll say about that!
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnhighmama View Post
I am a surrogate mother that delivered a lovely baby boy last saturday and I am exclusively pumping for the family and the baby. Although I told them it wasn't necessary, the parents would like to compensate me for the work that it takes to pump for them.

I'm looking for resources on how we can come up with an amount. Do you all have ideas on what it a typical amount or where I can look?

thanks!


I think you're awesome for what you're doing!!!!
post #15 of 32
I would think that a price by the ounce would be fair for both parties.
I would set the price about $5 an ounce because pumping is not easy for all and especially since the baby wont be there to help with let down.
post #16 of 32
Congrats on your surro son mama!

I have also been a surrogate (twice!). For my second surrogacy I nursed the girls in the hospital and then pumped for 12 weeks. I also drove to their house and nursed them for 2 weeks (they live about 40 minutes away). I wasn't compensated at all. When I started out, I felt like I didn't want to be compensated. By the end though, I realized that I did deserve something for all the time and effort put in to pumping. I hate to admit it, but I really started to resent the fact that I had to rearrange my schedule so that I could pump every two hours (day and night) for babies that weren't mine. I'm not saying that's how you will feel, just trying to give some insight I guess. I can't help with how much to ask for as compensation, but I like the idea of charging by the ounce.

Good luck mama! Congratulations again
post #17 of 32
You are AWESOME for exclusively pumping for the baby!!!!! I had to EP for my baby, she could not nurse. It was so much work! As per cost, I do feel you deserve something. I would charge according to your life. If you are trying to take care of other children and working, I would charge more than if I was a housewife who had lots of extra time. I would charge the same rate as formula. (cheap formula if I had lots of time, more expensive formula if it were a true pita) I would be afraid that if formula was a lot cheaper, they would choose to buy the formula instead if they had a tight budget that week. I would try to keep it reasonable. I am curious, are they having to supplement with formula at all? I was very lucky, and had a fabulous supply as an EPer.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by momuveight2B View Post
There is an agency in Los Angeles that provides wet nurses and they charge a $1000 per week. Milk banks get something like $2-6 per ounce.

Good grief.

Are we talking about this mom making a ton of money here or providing breast milk for a baby she carried for nine months?

Is it even remotely realistic for the baby's parents to pay $4000 a month for breast milk when they can feed the baby formula for $100 a month? On a per ounce basis, assuming an average of 24 ounces per day (likely more as baby gets bigger), you'd be looking at $48/day or $1440/month at $2/ounce. Triple that for $6/ounce and your figure goes to $8640/month.

Is this baby being parented by Bill Gates or someone with that kind of money? Who is going to realistically pay well over $1000/month to feed a baby breastmilk?

I'm shocked that such numbers were even introduced into this conversation.

As for the OP question, I absolutely see nothing wrong with being compensated for your milk. But some of these numbers being thrown around are just nuts.

You should expect them to pay for any direct costs related to pumping (cost of pump, extra horns and collection bottles, storage bags, cleaning supplies, breast pads and bras for you). On top of that, I think the average cost of formula would be more than reasonable, which I'd figure to be about $100/month give or take.

If they ARE wealthy people, maybe more. But I'd think you'd have to be willing to do this not so much for the money but for the baby to have breast milk. If you give them some astronomical figure, they are likely to say 'No thanks' and who suffers then? Not saying you should do it for free, but realistically, what are they going to be willing to pay?

Maybe allowing THEM to come up with an initial figure would be better? They might be thinking $20 a month or they might be thinking $500 a month. See what they say.

Interesting topic.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
Good grief.

Are we talking about this mom making a ton of money here or providing breast milk for a baby she carried for nine months?

.
There are some things in life you just can't put a price on. I nurse my children for free but there is a personal cost. I gave up a full time job that paid $25 an hour plus benefits. That was a forty hour week that included lots of professional perks.

I CLW so I am available exclusively for my children 24/7 for a period of four to five years each. I don't pump, we don't supplement or use any artificial nipples. It is me and me alone. Being a SAHM who tandem nurses is much harder than a professional job in my experience.

The gift of breastmilk is priceless. It is nothing like formula. The parents must know this and they want the baby to have mother's milk. Whatever financial arrangements they agree upon are fine in my opinion.

Offering this service should not be compensated any less than any other professional service. That is what the parents are asking for, aren't they?
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by momuveight2B View Post

The gift of breastmilk is priceless. It is nothing like formula. The parents must know this and they want the baby to have mother's milk. Whatever financial arrangements they agree upon are fine in my opinion.

Offering this service should not be compensated any less than any other professional service. That is what the parents are asking for, aren't they?

So is BM 'priceless' or is it something that can be bought at a price? It's either/or, but not both.

I am also fine with whatever financial arrangements the two parties agree upon. I was stating that I found it absurd to suggest the outrageous prices being thrown around, unless of course the ultimate goal is for the parents to say 'No thanks' and feed the baby in question formula because they cannot afford $1440 ($2/oz) to $8640 ($6/oz) per month to feed their baby.

My DH makes excellent money, but we couldn't afford even the low end of that scale. If we had a surrogate carry our child, I'd be MORE than willing to fairly compensate her for providing milk for my child. However, my idea of fair would honestly be not a whole lot more than what I could buy at the store. Sure, BM is great and wonderful, but it's not worth losing our house over.

The surrogate mother can certainly name any price she wants, but surely we all realize that even upper middle class folks aren't going to pay THOUSANDS of dollars each month to feed their child breastmilk.

Which is why I asked...is the goal here to provide BM to this baby at a reasonable cost OR is the goal to attempt to make the surrogate mom rich? The latter is incredibly unlikely to work anyway, simply due to economics. Unless of course the parents happen to be on the 'richest people in the world' list or something. Then perhaps she can charge thousands of dollars every month for BM.
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