Most of the questions we respond to from gestational surrogates and their intended parents (IP) have to do with their relationship before and during the pregnancy. One step at a time is how most try to get through their surrogacy journey as many IP’s have gone through unsuccessful attempts at IVF or pregnancy themselves, with or without the help of an egg donor. We advise surrogates and their intended parents not to involve children and other family and friends in the beginning of their journeys as it’s best to make these introductions after a pregnancy is achieved and medically stable. There are considerations at The Surrogacy SOURCE that we remind our clients of as we see how their relationships evolve.
Birth plans are part of the later stages of the pregnancy but should be thought out in advance of the hospital visit to view the labor, delivery and postpartum units. Most social service departments who assist with the parentage paperwork as well as the postpartum stay will ask what the birth plan will include from a detailed list of questions. At The Surrogacy SOURCE, we have a draft of a birth plan to view so our families are prepared. Most new parents will be offered a room at the hospital so they can learn how to care for their baby. Their surrogate will have her own room so she can rest but also visit with the baby. There must be time for the baby and the surrogate as well as her family to see the baby, hold the baby, and take pictures with the baby they all helped nurture for all those months. This is a crucial time for each surrogate and especially her children. All are very happy for the new family and will be changed forever but some surrogate’s will go through a grieving process and need to know how much they were valued as she goes home without all the attention she previously received (which is a plus for her kids!).
Friends and family need to know that it takes time for each surrogate to adjust to their normal routine. This may include recovering from a vaginal birth or C-section or even pumping breast milk for the baby they worked so hard to grow in a healthy environment. Emotionally there are going to be moments, hours, and days when there are reminders of the baby that is now home with another family and sudden change is often an adjustment. The new family won’t have the time they did before birth to talk to their surrogate so she’ll need family and friends to include her in their plans. If she had a difficult recovery, dinner from a friend is appreciated or an hour or two of babysitting for a nap would be great.
An “after baby” girls’ night out would be fun and if she’s pumping she can still enjoy a night out with her friends. Date night with her partner, or movie night with the kids can be special too!
Anything that is pampering is a plus!!!
This article was composed by Nancy Block, RN and Vice President of International and Major Client Relations at Fertility SOURCE Companies.