You chose surrogacy because you want to give the most incredible gift you can give to another family — and of course, you want to make the most of your experience and be the best surrogate you can be.
Every surrogacy journey is different, and there are many ways to be a good surrogate. Here are five things every surrogate can do to ensure that you, the intended parents and the baby you carry all have the most positive surrogacy experience possible.
- Take care of yourself. First and foremost, your health is essential to a successful surrogacy process. Be sure to eat healthy and nutritious foods, exercise, and get plenty of rest throughout your pregnancy. There are many resources dedicated to health and wellness during pregnancy, and your doctors and surrogacy specialist can also provide you with additional information, resources and advice.
- Stay in touch with your surrogacy professional. Remember that open communication is key in surrogacy. Your professional is there to be a resource for information and support, so keep them informed throughout your pregnancy and never hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have. If you are struggling to cope with any of the challenges of pregnancy or surrogacy, consider speaking to a counselor for additional support — your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical health during pregnancy.
- Document your journey. Many intended parents create a baby book to help them tell their child’s story. You are an important part of that story, so take plenty of pictures throughout your pregnancy to capture life with your family and document your progress. You may also want to keep a journal, take notes or write a letter to the baby to give the intended parents the option of including the story from your perspective, as well.
- Keep the intended parents involved.
Intended parents are generally eager and excited to know how you are feeling and receive any and all updates you can provide on the pregnancy. Based on the amount of contact you agreed to share with the intended parents, do your best to keep them informed and provide frequent updates. Involve them in the pregnancy as much as you are comfortable with — invite them to key doctor’s appointments, for example. The more open communication you can share throughout the surrogacy process, the stronger your relationship will be.
- Prepare the baby for the emotional transfer. During pregnancy, you will become more than just a vessel for the baby you are carrying. He or she will come to recognize your voice, scent and touch, and will begin to bond with you even before birth. At birth, the baby will need to begin bonding with his or her intended parents, which means an emotional transfer must take place at the hospital when the baby is born. As a surrogate, you can help prepare the baby to go home with his or her parents and facilitate this emotional transition. Here are some tips to help prepare the baby for the emotional transfer during pregnancy:
- Introduce the baby to the intended parents’ voices. Babies’ sense of hearing plays a large role in prenatal bonding. You can help prepare the baby to bond with his or her intended parents by allowing the intended parents to talk to the baby during your pregnancy. Play recordings of the intended parents talking or reading books to the baby so he or she can get used to their voices.
- Play the intended parents’ favorite music. Familiarize the baby with the sounds of home, even before he or she is born. Play songs, artists and genres that the intended parents enjoy so your baby will recognize and be comforted by the music after birth.
- Provide a transitional item. The baby will also begin to recognize your scent before birth. You can sleep with a blanket or stuffed animal and send it home with the baby, so they can keep the familiar smells of your home and family with them as they transition to life in their new home.
- Allow the baby to confirm his or her senses at birth. When the baby is born, he or she will need to confirm the sounds and smells that he or she grew accustomed to during your pregnancy. If you can, hold the baby on your chest before handing him or her to the intended parents.
As a surrogate, your ultimate goal is to give the baby you carry the best possible start in life. It is a big task, but these simple acts can make all the difference and help ensure that the surrogacy is a success for everyone involved.
Are you ready to become a surrogate? Want to learn more about the surrogacy process? Contact a surrogacy professional now for free information with no obligation.