Surrogacy is a partnership, and you want to make sure your gestational surrogate has the best experience possible. In addition to sticking to your surrogacy contract and following the advice of your surrogacy specialist, what can you do to make her pregnancy and surrogacy journey as easy as possible?
We’re glad you asked. There are plenty of ways you can take some stress off the woman who’s carrying your child. She’s doing an incredible thing, which is why American Surrogacy always encourages intended parents to go the extra mile to make her feel appreciated.
Small and large, here are a few gestures you can make to help your surrogate’s journey be a little bit easier.
1. Stick to Agreed-Upon Contact Schedules
Just as you will be excited to hear from your surrogate, she will be excited to hear from you, too. You’ll want to hear about her pregnancy developments, and she’ll want to know about how you are doing and how you are preparing for your new addition.
Life can get busy, but the best thing you can do during your surrogacy is to make contact when you said you would. Missing or rescheduling calls and meetings over and over again can send a message to your surrogate that she’s not important to you; she may start to worry something is wrong. Unnecessary stress can impact her and the baby, so be mindful of your contact schedule — and stick with it.
2. Respect Her Time
When someone else is carrying your child, it’s normal to wonder about her and the baby’s health every second of the day. It’s hard to give up control and not be involved in every minute of your unborn child’s development. However, reaching out constantly and asking for updates is counterproductive.
While your surrogate has taken on the important task of growing your child, she also has other responsibilities: as a mother, as an employee and more. She’ll need to take care of those responsibilities throughout her pregnancy, and she can’t take the time to update you 24/7 on the baby’s development. She may not be able to meet as frequently as you like or exercise for an hour every day like you would prefer.
The best way to make your surrogate’s journey a little easier is by respecting her time and the boundaries you’ve set. It may be hard to do, but allowing her the space she needs will help her maintain her mental health — an equally important part of her overall health during these nine months.
3. Trust Her
The success of a gestational surrogacy depends on the trust between each party. Surrogacy is an intimate partnership, and you won’t get very far if you’re second-guessing every move your surrogate makes. Again, we know lack of control is hard — but you’ll need to learn to trust that your surrogate is doing what is best for her and the baby she is carrying.
A surrogate can’t turn her life upside down to adhere to her intended parents’ every desire. Of course, your surrogate will follow the recommendations for a healthy pregnancy, but she may do things you wouldn’t do yourself. Remember: American Surrogacy fully screens every gestational carrier and prepares her for the surrogacy process, so she will know how to safely carry your child for these nine months. When you trust her to do so, you can both create a genuine friendship that will make the journey much easier.
4. Send Some Family Gifts
Your surrogate’s choice doesn’t just impact herself; it impacts her family, as well. Her spouse may need to take on additional childcare and household duties while your surrogate takes it easy. Her children may get less one-on-one time with their mother than they have in the past.
You can make it a bit easier by sending little gifts for her family throughout her pregnancy, like:
- Gift cards to restaurants and movie theaters
- Personalized gift boxes (like a “pregnancy gift box” full of pillows, a heating pad, chocolate, etc.)
- Meal kit delivery services
- Toys and games for her children
- And personalized gifts expressing your appreciation
Even the smallest gifts will let your surrogate know that you’re thinking about her. They’ll bring a smile to her face even on the busiest of days.
5. Be Organized With Your Finances
A surrogate should never have to pay for surrogacy out of her own pocket. While there are times where she may need to take care of co-pays and other expenses up front, it’s your responsibility to get reimbursements resolved as quickly as possible ( by responding efficiently to any payment notifications the agency sends you). Being organized with your finances — tracking the payments you owe her, confirming her base compensation is paid out of escrow, etc. — can take that stress off of a surrogate’s shoulders.
Organization with finances will not only help your surrogate; it will help your family, as well. If you ever have questions about compensation and other payments, reach out to your surrogacy specialist.
6. Listen to Her Needs and Wants
Remember, surrogacy is a partnership. While a gestational surrogate is carrying your child, she is an active part in the process. Your surrogacy specialist will emphasize this from the start, but don’t forget to treat your surrogate with respect throughout the entire surrogacy journey. Listen to her thoughts and feelings before, during and after her pregnancy, and do what you can to alleviate whatever stressors or concerns she has on her mind.
The best surrogacy relationships are based in friendship first. Take the time to make your surrogate feel as valued and appreciated as she should be.
7. Remember that She’s More than a Surrogate
Your surrogate is her own person, with her own goals and hopes beyond the surrogacy journey. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the gestational surrogacy process, don’t let all of your conversations focus on the pregnancy and the baby. Take the time to get to know her and her family. Ask them all how they’re doing during your check-ins, and find some things you have in common besides this surrogacy journey. Some intended parents and surrogates go on to have lifelong friendships after the baby is born, and this is the best way to start that relationship.
Appreciate your surrogate for who she is, and she will appreciate you for doing so!
For more suggestions on making your surrogate’s journey easier, reach out to your American Surrogacy specialist anytime.