4 Ways to Introduce Your Newborn to Family During COVID-19

Socially distancing ourselves from one another this year, especially our own family members, has been hard. If you welcomed a baby in 2020 (or are about to), the inability to enjoy the magical meet-the-baby moments is especially disappointing and isolating for everyone — even more so if you’ve waited a long time for those experiences.

We understand how badly you and your family members want to hug each other and hold the newest member of the family. And we know that new parenthood is always a little lonely and isolating, even before those feelings became heightened by new parenthood in a global pandemic.

Right now, you’re all eager to share in your excitement and love. But, as you know, now just isn’t the safest time to celebrate together in person.

Your infant isn’t the only one considered high-risk for COVID complications; your older or immunocompromised loved ones are also at risk. For everyone’s safety, things are going to have to look a little different.

While it’s still not safe for your friends and family to hold your newborn, there are a few creative ways in which they can meet and see your child while still prioritizing everyone’s health:

1. A Virtual Party

Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and other video call platforms have been a saving grace for all of us during the pandemic. With these tools, there’s no reason to cancel your baby shower or “welcome home” party.

It may not have the same feel as an in-person party, but there are some upsides to a virtual meet-and-greet:

  • No need to have a bunch of people in your home when you’re already juggling the chaotic messes and sleeplessness of a newborn.
  • You won’t have to clean up the mountain of spit-up rags and stray bottles scattered everywhere.
  • Everyone can attend, even if they live far away.
  • You’ll limit your family’s exposure to the seasonal flu, colds and other common illnesses in addition to serious illnesses like COVID-19.

You were probably already going to ask a friend or family member to help you organize a party pre-pandemic. So now, just ask that person if they’d be willing to schedule a virtual party and help coordinate the tech aspects with attendees.

2. A Drive-By Parade

One fun, lively and creative solution that has arisen in the age of COVID-19 is the drive-by parade. People throughout the world have lined up from inside the safety of their cars and slowly driven past the houses of friends and family members in honor of a celebration: birthdays, graduations, marriages, important anniversaries and, yes, to meet children for the first time.

If you invite your friends and family to participate in a drive-by parade past your home, you should probably ask them to skip the horn-honking — your baby wouldn’t appreciate the noise. However, this is a way for your loved ones to view your baby through their rolled-up car windows and offer their congratulations from a safe distance.

If they want to drop off gifts or food while they’re in the area, you probably don’t need to worry about disinfecting those items. As you know, COVID-19 is primarily spread through in-person contact (so keeping a rolled-up car window in between one another will do the trick) but it’s also completely fine to request that your visitors refrain from delivering gifts if you’re worried.

3. A Photo Shoot

Many parents-to-be were planning on having a newborn photo session long before COVID-19 struck. Now, those photos may be the only way for your friends and family to see your baby at the moment.

We know looking at a photo is a poor substitute for your loved ones cuddling your new baby, but it will give them the opportunity to see your baby closer than they would safely be able to right now.

Plus, scheduling a photo shoot with your newborn during this difficult time will someday serve as an amazing reminder of your child’s entrance into a world that felt a little upside-down. Someday, you’ll be able to show those photos to your child and explain to them what a blessing they were in the midst of such a scary and dark time.

When booking your photo session, make sure that your group is limited to the parents, the baby and the photographer. Talk with your photographer about precautions that you’ll all want to take, including but not limited to:

  • Quarantining before your photo shoot.
  • If available in your area, getting yourselves tested for COVID prior to the session, to be certain that you’re all negative.
  • Wearing masks as often as possible during your session — put them back on after you smile!
  • Taking photos outdoors rather than at home or in a studio.
  • Staying at least six feet apart from the photographer when possible. They may want to bring a zoom lens!

Don’t forget to take at least one photo with your masks on, if only to commemorate the strangeness of this moment in time!

Once your photos are ready, be sure to send an online link, physical prints, or a keepsake album of your family photo session to your loved ones, so that they can see your baby up close without being close.

4. A Safe In-Person Meeting

We understand that it may be a priority for certain loved ones to meet your baby in person and that waiting until this pandemic is completely over just isn’t an option. You may feel that it’s important enough for people like your parents or siblings to hold your baby that you’re all willing to take the necessary precautions, as well as accept some level of risk.

Not everyone will feel comfortable with an in-person visit right now, so always remain respectful of everyone’s individual levels of comfort and health concerns. However, if you and a few close family members mutually decide that an in-person meeting can’t wait, we recommend that you all take some important precautions, which can include but are not limited to:

Meeting at home.

Meeting outdoors is preferable to an enclosed space, but it might not be an option in your situation — caring for a newborn as well as local weather conditions may necessitate an indoors meeting. If you do meet inside, stay at home rather than meeting up in a public place to avoid contact with non-family members.

Quarantining before the visit.

Ask your loved ones to stay at home and avoid contact with non-household members for two weeks, and practice the same quarantine measures yourself. It may seem extreme, but it’s the best way to keep everyone (including your newborn) safe.

It may not be possible for you and your family members to get tested for COVID-19 in preparation for the visit, so quarantining in advance is the best way to prevent potential spread of the illness.

Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the visit.

Everyone but the baby should be wearing a mask throughout the entirety of the visit. Remember: Try not to touch your mask while you’re together. Wearing a mask won’t do anyone any good if you’re not using it properly!

Washing hands and sanitizing.

It may seem simple and it’s been said countless times, but you and your visitors should wash your hands in accordance with CDC guidelines before, during and after the visit. Even if visitors aren’t planning on touching the new baby, they’ll still probably touch a few shared surfaces or objects. Sanitizing frequently touched areas (doorknobs, tables, your phones, etc.) before and after the visit will also limit the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Keeping your distance.

As tempting as it is to pass your baby around for long-awaited cuddles, everyone should try to maintain a six-foot distance as often as possible. If your loved one must hold your baby, ask that they refrain from kissing your newborn or removing their mask.

Additionally, make sure that you and your loved ones maintain a safe distance from one another. We know it’s hard not to touch, hug, kiss, or be physically close to your family during this important moment, but safely needs to come first right now. Remind everyone to keep touching to a minimum.

Celebrating the arrival of a child can feel strange in the middle of so many unknowns and stressors. But, it absolutely still deserves celebration and joy — even if those celebrations are a little bit different from how we had originally imagined!

Should You Become an Intended Parent During COVID-19?

We’ve all felt the widespread effects of COVID-19 in different ways. For some, it has brought about job loss and economic hardship. Others have struggled with loneliness due to social distancing, and many have felt an increase in anxiety as they go about their daily life with all of the new health and safety precautions.

COVID-19 has caused massive change and disruption to nearly every area of life, and that includes the surrogacy process. Intended parents who were ready to begin the process, and even those already in it, may be confused about what to do next. Should you continue to pursue surrogacy during COVID-19?

This is a personal choice, so we can’t make it for you. However, we can give you helpful information that puts you in a better place to make the right decision. And that’s why we’ve created this guide.

This is Part Two in our series on surrogacy and COVID-19. If you are a potential surrogate asking the same question, make sure to check out our blog for surrogates.

In order to decide whether or not pursuing surrogacy during COVID-19 is the right choice for your family, it may be helpful to understand how the process could change because of the pandemic.

How COVID-19 Could Change the Surrogacy Process

Every journey toward building a family through surrogacy is unique. That means the specific ways COVID-19 changes your process will depend on the details of your situation.

Has someone close to you contracted the virus, or have you gotten sick? How prevalent is the spread of the virus in your community? Are you a high-risk individual?

These (and other) personal questions will play a big role in determining how things change in your surrogacy process. Along with these things to consider, there are some bigger changes that most processes are experiencing in the face of COVID-19.

Clinic Policies:

Each fertility clinic implements unique precautions to protect clients from COVID-19. You should expect your experience to change. Consultations may move online, and in-person visits may require mask-wearing and other social distancing measures. Consult your fertility clinic to learn more about the guidelines they have put in place during this time.

Travel Plans:

Will your surrogacy process involve travel? Not all processes do. If you do expect to travel, then you will feel the impact on COVID-19 on this aspect of your journey. Airlines have enacted stringent safety measures, and flying is a higher risk activity due to the confined airspace shared with many others for several hours. If you have the ability to drive to your destination, that may be a preferable mode of transportation.

Surrogacy Funds:

The financial impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for many. Whether this comes in the form of job loss, reduced hours, stock losses or something else, your surrogacy budget may have been reduced because of the virus. You’re not alone in dealing with this. Speak to your surrogacy specialist and be totally clear about what your budget looks like because of the pandemic.

The Family-Building Timeline:

It seems like one feature of life in a pandemic is that everything takes a bit longer. Many places of businesses are still catching up on backlogged appointments from the shutdowns, and others simply run at a slower pace in order to follow all the required safety measures. The family-building timeline of your surrogacy process could be extended due to COVID-19.

These are several significant changes to the surrogacy experience that any intended parent should take into account when considering whether or not to carry on with the process in light of COVID-19.

Evaluating Your Options

Taking these considerations into account, should you move forward with the surrogacy process as an intended parent? The answer depends on several factors, including your personal risk tolerance, ability to be flexible and the current situation around COVID-19 in your area.

It should be noted that the impact of COVID-19 could change rapidly. Some communities have already weathered the worst of the virus and are operating under more normal procedures, while others are on the brink of lockdown. Make sure to take your local situation into account.

You might want to move forward with the surrogacy process if:

  • You are prepared to be flexible.
  • You surrogacy funds are secure.
  • You are OK with an extended timeline.
  • You are aware of the health risks involved with clinic visits, travel and other parts of the process.

You might want to consider pressing pause on surrogacy if:

  • The changes to the process will make you anxious.
  • Your surrogacy funds have been reduced due to the pandemic.
  • The fluctuating timeline and delays will be a source of frustration.
  • You or someone you know is at a higher risk for severe presentation of COVID-19, making the health risks associated with certain steps of the process more dangerous.

There’s no “right” or “wrong” decision in this situation. We’re all going through a pandemic for the first time, and it’s OK to feel confused or unsure. Whatever you choose will be the best decision for your life.

If pressing pause on your surrogacy process is what’s best, then that is OK. You’re not on a deadline. American Surrogacy will still be here to assist you months or even years from now.

Even if you had already stepped into the early stages of the surrogacy process, it’s OK to press pause and pick things back up when life is better. It’s not ideal, and it may be disappointing or frustrating. But, it’s better to be patient (even when it’s hard!) then to try and force the process at the wrong time.

Speak with a Specialist

Many intended parents find clarity when they speak to a surrogacy professional. If you have more questions about your specific situation, you can contact us online at any time or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-229) to speak with a specialist. We’d be happy to answer your questions, fill you in on how we are keeping our clients safe during the pandemic, and help you decide what will be best for your family.

Should You Become a Surrogate During COVID-19?

COVID-19 has disrupted nearly every aspect of modern life. What was once an abstract idea — a respiratory virus in a relatively unknown region of south-central China — has become a fundamental fact of daily life around the world. From work to school to social life and everything in between, we’re always considering how COVID-19 will come into play.

It’s no different, of course, with the surrogacy process. There’s a chance you were considering surrogacy before the pandemic began. Or, you may have started giving surrogacy serious thought more recently. Either way, you’re probably wondering if you should continue to pursue becoming a surrogate during COVID-19.

This is a personal decision, and only you can decide what is right for you. American Surrogacy is active and operating according to the highest standard of safety procedures to keep our staff and clients safe in the face of COVID-19.

We’ve created this guide to help anyone trying to decide whether or not becoming a surrogate during COVID-19 is the right choice. If you’d like to speak with a surrogacy specialist about this decision, you can contact us online today.

COVID-19 and Surrogacy

Surrogates and intended parents have different considerations when it comes to COVID-19 and surrogacy. To give both sides the time and attention they deserve, we’ve split this blog up into two parts. Keep an eye out for Part Two, which is for intended parents considering surrogacy during COVID-19.

For those who might be thinking about becoming a surrogate, the primary risk factors to consider have to do with your health during pregnancy, changes to typical prenatal visits, and how labor and delivery could be different because of COVID-19.

Understanding Pregnancy Risks

The majority of people who become sick with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and recover within several weeks. While anyone can experience a severe presentation of the disease — which can result in hospitalization — certain groups are at a higher risk for severe presentation. Those include people who are:

  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Living with pre-existing conditions, like heart failure or type 2 diabetes

So, what about women who are pregnant?

The jury is still out on the risk of severe presentation for women who are pregnant. There have not been enough observable presentations of COVID-19 in pregnant women to clearly determine the increased risk. Still, caution is advised. According to the CDC, “Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 may be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.”

The way this virus attacks can be random and unique from person to person. There are so many variables involved in a pregnancy that the risk for a severe presentation of COVID-19 that requires hospitalization is unknown. The best course of action is to exercise caution and use all social distancing measures to stay safe.

When considering your level of risk, take into account things like preexisting conditions, history of anxiety or depression and the current level of COVID-19 spread in your area.

If you are considering surrogacy during COVID-19, you will need to decide whether or not stepping into the unknown risk of pregnancy and the coronavirus is something you can handle. If these risks during pregnancy because of COVID-19 will increase your anxiety and stress, then it may not be the best time to become a surrogate.

Considering the Surrogacy Process

Most of the surrogacy process can’t be done virtually. There are some things that can transition to video calls, like conversations with your surrogacy specialist and the intended parents.

However, when you’re a surrogate, there’s plenty that you have to do in person. Depending on the spread of COVID-19 where you live, this experience could be different because of the pandemic.

Your visits to the fertility clinic will likely involve wearing a mask and other safety precautions. You may have to be tested for COVID-19 before the embryo transfer process, depending on the guidelines of your fertility clinic.

Similarly, your OBGYN appointments following a successful embryo transfer process won’t be the same as they would be in a pre-pandemic world. You will most likely have to wear a mask and potentially take other precautions as well.

Finally, labor and delivery may not be what you would have experienced before COVID-19. Depending on the hospital rules, one or both of the intended parents may not be allowed in the room with you. Other social distancing measures may be in place during this time, as well.

It’s difficult to say exactly what your experience would be like if you choose to become a surrogate during the pandemic. So many factors come into play — like the spread of the virus in your area, the specific rules of your medical providers and your own level of risk tolerance.

You should keep in mind that the surrogacy process can take 12-16 months from start to finish. If you are considering becoming a surrogate today, things could be different (as it pertains to COVID-19) by the time you get to appointments at the fertility clinic and other parts of the process.

Making Your Decision

Taking into account the increased risks associated with COVID-19 during pregnancy and the changes to the process, should you pursue surrogacy now? Ultimately, it’s your decision. Your choice will depend on your risk tolerance and your ability to be flexible during uncertain times.

Surrogacy professionals are still providing the necessary services to complete the process. Intended parents are still seeking matches. If you want to become a surrogate, you can. Just keep in mind how things will be different because of this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

Even if the risks and changes feel like they’ll be too much for you to handle, that’s okay, too. You’re under no obligation to become a surrogate, and there’s no shame in deciding that now is not the right time. Whenever you’re ready, American Surrogacy will be there to help you get started.

Contact a Professional

Finding clarity for a life-changing decision like this won’t be easy. If you’re still feeling confused, it could be helpful to speak with a professional. You can contact us at any time to connect with one of our surrogacy specialists, and you can also call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).

This conversation is always free of charge, and you’ll never be pressured into making a decision. We just want to help you make the right choice for you, whatever it may be.

Surrogacy and Vaccinations: Unpacking a Difficult Process

Surrogacy is an intimate process, and sometimes it requires uncomfortable discussions. The safety and happiness of everyone involved in the process — both the surrogate and the intended parents — is always the goal. To ensure that goal is achieved, one touchy subject has to be addressed: surrogacy and vaccinations.

The medical aspects of surrogacy make up a large part of the process. If you’re considering surrogacy — either as a surrogate or intended parent — then you’ll need to get used to in-depth discussions around medical issues. This can often feel invasive and uncomfortable.

Vaccines have become a delicate issue in our culture. What was once accepted almost universally as a good and necessary piece of modern medicine is no longer so simple. In fact, in many circles the mere mention of vaccines can cause tension. And ever since COVID-19 became a big part of our daily existence, the conversation around vaccines has only intensified.

If you’re interested in surrogacy, you’re going to need to push through this tension to understand how vaccinations can impact your journey. From agency requirements to finding a surrogacy match, vaccinations can significantly alter your experience with the process.

Surrogates and Vaccinations

Your health as a surrogate is a priority during the process. You may feel a strong conviction about vaccinations — whether you see them as necessary or harmful. What’s important to understand is how your views (especially if you are against vaccinations) could disrupt the process.

There are two levels of medical screening that surrogates must complete: the agency screening and the fertility clinic screening.

Each surrogacy agency has its own in-house medical screening standards. These agency requirements will determine whether or not you can begin the process as a surrogate. If you do not have all of your immunizations, you will need to check on your agency’s requirements before going any further.

The intended parents choose the fertility clinic that will perform the in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Each fertility clinic will conduct a medical screening before the procedure, and requirements differ from clinic to clinic. Many require a full vaccination record.

When you’re a surrogate, you don’t officially enter into your legal contract with the intended parents until the medical screening with the fertility clinic has been completed. A failed screening could result in the dissolution of a match, which can be very disappointing.

Our intent in saying this is not necessarily to change your mind. It’s important to remember that, when you are a gestational surrogate, you have the right to choose what you believe is best for your body.

However, it is our job to make sure you have all the information you need before making big choices. If you are interested in being a surrogate and are personally against vaccinations, it could become an issue in your medical screening.

Intended Parents and Vaccinations

The intended parents’ opinion on vaccinations can also be a factor in the surrogacy process. While intended parents do not undergo the same medical screening that surrogates do, their perspectives on vaccines can come up in the screening process and, as we’ll explore in greater detail below, could potentially become an issue when it comes to finding a match.

Intended parents who are against vaccines may want to find a surrogate who is also against vaccines. This could become an issue if it is not clearly addressed upfront. If a surrogate feels that immunizations are necessary to protect her health, the intended parents cannot force her to abstain.

Additionally, intended parents who are against vaccinations may have a hard time finding a fertility clinic that does not require them. Many fertility clinics have guidelines that include a long list of immunizations.  If this concerns you, you can ask a clinic if there are exceptions, or ask them to explain the safety of vaccinations during pregnancy. However, there is a chance that anti-vaccination views on the part of the intended parents could limit the number of professionals available to work with. 

Anti-Vaccination Views and Finding a Match

The aspects of surrogacy and vaccination covered above are primarily technical. But, there’s a more personal side to this discussion, as well. While medical screening and agency requirements should be considered, finding a surrogacy match is another topic of equal importance.

Here’s the simple truth when it comes to anti-vaccination views and finding a match: It may be more challenging to find a match if you hold this opinion of vaccines.

This can be true for intended parents or surrogates. If the other party accepts medical science on the safety and importance and vaccines and you do not, then it can often become an insurmountable disagreement.

Intended parents and surrogates do not have to perfectly agree on everything. In fact, disagreements on some level are common. However, vaccinations are too important for many people to simply “agree to disagree.”

The views of the intended parents and surrogate on vaccinations should always be discussed early in the process, so that a passionate disagreement can be avoided at a later stage.

The COVID-19 vaccine, specifically, could become a regular requirement for surrogates and intended parents when it comes to finding a match. While requirements from the agency side will vary, it’s expected that many surrogates and intended parents will want the other party involved to have received the vaccine once it is available.

On the other hand, there is a growing public wariness about vaccines, and the COVID-19 vaccine in particular. This could cause it to become a hot-button issue that impacts all areas of society, including surrogacy.

Once again, this information is not presented in an effort to change opinions. Rather, it’s vital that you fully understand the potential implications of anti-vaccination views when it comes to the surrogacy process.

Speak with a Specialist

Surrogacy can be a beautiful journey. Whether you are pursuing this opportunity as a surrogate or intended parent, we want you to feel encouraged and empowered. If you’d like to learn more about the process and speak to a specialist about this specific topic, you can contact us online today or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).

How COVID-19 Has Impacted International Surrogacy

It’s Time to Shift to Domestic Surrogacy

Despite the availability of surrogacy situations within the United States, many intended parents turn to other countries in search of a gestational surrogate. Now, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, intended parents and surrogates around the world are experiencing the fallout.

Now and in the future, domestic surrogacy is the safest option for all involved.

Here are a few of the situations that international intended parents and surrogates have found themselves facing as a result of the ongoing pandemic:

Babies have been stuck in foreign makeshift nurseries.

Hundreds of children are in quarantine limbo, thousands of miles from their parents, who have yet to meet their baby. Nurses are caring for these stranded babies in temporary nurseries set up in hotels.

Many of these babies have been stuck for months while countries are restricting or banning international travel, and it’s still unknown when they’ll be able to go home.

Intended parents have been unable to travel to their surrogate or meet their newborn baby.

On the rare occasion when international travel has been permitted, intended parents have still been met with countless legal and financial hurdles. Intended parents who are immunocompromised may not be able to travel due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

New precautions by countries and airlines regarding intercountry travel have delayed or halted travel plans for intended parents, so many were too late for their baby’s birth, if they were able to arrive at all. Some are still waiting to meet their child, months after delivery.

Intended parents have become stuck in their surrogate’s country.

Some intended parents who scrambled to beat the oncoming travel bans arrived in their surrogate’s country to get their newborn baby, only to find that they were not allowed to return home. Many are still quarantining in hotels within their surrogate’s country, waiting for it to become possible to leave.

This has become financially straining for many families, and they’ve had to find ways to care for their newborn in a foreign country.

Surrogates have had to care for the intended parents’ baby.

Some gestational surrogates for international families have had to assume responsibility for the baby during the COVID-19 outbreak. But these women were not prepared to care for a newborn — they don’t have cribs, carriers, diapers or the essentials.

They also were not expecting or wanting to care for a baby, let alone someone else’s. Most of these women are also raising children of their own, so providing for another is a serious burden.

Fortunately, women have risen to the occasion with compassion, even though it’s not part of their job description.

6 Reasons Why Intended Parents and Surrogates Should Choose Matches Within Their Own Countries

If the horror stories of intended parents, surrogates and babies being stranded thousands of miles apart from one another due to COVID-19 weren’t enough to convince you that it’s time to look within our own countries for surrogacy situations, these six reasons for choosing domestic surrogacy will.

1. Fewer ethical concerns

Eliminating the exploitation of women in developing countries is always a concern. Surrogates within the United States are required to be financially stable without the assistance of surrogacy-related compensation they accept, so you know they’re doing this because they want to and not because they need to.

There will always be a group of people who do not feel comfortable with the concept of surrogacy as a whole, but knowing that their gestational surrogate is in a stable and positive situation in her life will put the minds of many intended parents at ease.

2. Improved opportunities for strong surrogate-intended parent relationships

Intended parents and gestational surrogates who were separated by countries and continents typically had little to no interaction with one another even before COVID-19. This experience creates less of a shared, emotionally-centered experience, and is more akin to a transaction.

The most commonly cited reason why U.S. women want to become surrogates is because they have a desire to help intended parents know the joys of parenthood. So getting to know the family they will be carrying for is an exciting and rewarding part of the experience.

Not only do intended parents and surrogates benefit when they forge a genuine connection, the child will one day have the opportunity to know a bit more about the woman who helped bring them to their parents.

3. Less traveling with vulnerable newborns

A newborn baby’s immune system is especially vulnerable. Traveling transcontinentally is stressful for a newborn, and a lengthy travel will increase the risk for exposure to illnesses, including COVID-19.

Intended parents who partner with surrogates within their own countries often have the option to return home by car after the birth of the baby, or at the very least will have a much shorter journey.

4. No language barriers

Intended parents must communicate with their surrogacy agency and relevant professionals in addition to communication with their surrogate. If there are language or cultural barriers standing in the way of any of these communications, it can have a number of concerning effects on the surrogacy process, including but not limited to:

  • Legal misunderstandings
  • Financial miscommunication
  • Travel complications
  • A less emotionally connected experience
  • A lack of information or confusion with updates regarding the baby and pregnancy
  • A lack of support for the intended parents and/or surrogate

5. Fewer legal concerns

International surrogacy has far more legal steps than a domestic surrogacy situation, similar to international adoption. Visas and passports must be obtained, agencies and professionals will need to jump through hoops in both the sending and receiving country and there may be legal citizenship issues now or in the future. Changes within a country’s policies on the matter can occur rapidly, leaving intended parents out of money and options in the middle of the process.

Although states within the U.S. are each going to have their own set of surrogacy laws, surrogacy within the U.S. is still much better regulated than it is in foreign countries. In such an important experience, the legal protection of everyone involved in the surrogacy process (especially the baby) is a primary concern.

6. Reduced cost

Without the high costs of international travel and lodging, intended parents will save money by choosing surrogacy situations within their own countries. Additionally, there are often more hidden costs in international surrogacy than the parents were aware of. Surrogacy can already be a costly process — adding international travel to the total is unnecessary when there are surrogacy situations available domestically, perhaps even nearby.

American Surrogacy exclusively works with U.S. intended parents and surrogates in an effort to avoid the aforementioned concerns. Want to learn more about domestic surrogacy within the United States? Contact American Surrogacy now, or start by viewing our available surrogate situations of waiting women located within the U.S.

Caring for Mental Health During COVID-19: Intended Parents

How to Practice Self-Care Throughout Your Surrogacy Journey

Becoming a parent through surrogacy is always an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. There is so much that is out of your control. Your baby’s health and safety are in the hands of a woman you may have only recently met (perhaps only virtually), and that can be a scary thought.

Now, with the global threat of COVID-19, there may feel like even more things to worry about as you try to grow your family through surrogacy. During these new and evolving times of social distancing and lockdowns, everyone’s mental health is feeling a little taxed. But when you’re in the midst of a surrogacy journey you’re even more stressed — and it’s important that you not neglect your emotional wellbeing.

Remembering to take time for self-care will not only help you mentally and physically, it’ll also help you be able to better emotionally support your gestational surrogate. We’re always most able to care for others when we first care for ourselves!

With that in mind, here are some tips to help you find some peace as you progress through the surrogacy process during COVID-19:

Find work-life balance when working from home.

If you’re able to work from home right now, it can be both a blessing and a curse. When you’re already stressed about your surrogacy process, it can be tempting to throw yourself into your work. You might find yourself replying to emails at 1 a.m., forgetting to have lunch when you’re trying to finish that project, or generally forgetting to “turn off” from work.

Try to establish your work routine and stick to it, so you can set your work down at the end of your day and be fully present in your home life. Set boundaries for yourself as to when you’re “at work” and when you’re “at home,” even if both are just in your living room!

Keep yourself healthy.

Not only will focusing on your physical health boost your immune system in the midst of a pandemic, you’ll also feel mentally and emotionally better if you’re taken care of physically.

In addition to the standard COVID-19 precautions of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, there are simple things you can do every day to help keep yourself physically healthy:

Don’t forget to exercise.

If you were a gym person before the pandemic, you’ve likely had to adjust how and where you work out. But don’t let your routine slip just because you’re at home!

Now is the perfect time to try something new in an effort to properly socially distance, or to start exercising more regularly in general. There are plenty of ways to stay active while maintaining a safe social distance, like:

  • Going for a walk or run
  • Riding bikes
  • Playing your favorite games in the yard with your family
  • A long play session with the dog
  • Yoga or pilates

Engage in your favorite hobbies.

Some of the things you enjoy the most can help you unwind and take your mind off of worrying about the surrogacy process. Plus, many hobbies can be enjoyed from home while we all social distance.

Now is also a great time to explore some new interests that you’ve always put off, like:

  • Getting more into cooking or baking
  • Reading something new
  • Getting crafty, like learning to knit or sew
  • Hopping into new exercise routines
  • Playing games with friends remotely
  • Trying your hand at music, drawing, writing, etc.
  • Starting up a jigsaw puzzle

It might seem silly, but taking time for hobbies (whether small amusements or lifelong passions) can give your mental health a serious boost.

Set aside time to relax.

Many people are juggling work, kids being home and now a surrogacy journey. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

But try to make relaxation one of your priorities. Surrogacy is an emotional and often busy experience. Set aside even just a few minutes of every day to relax, slow your heart rate and calm your mind.

Find whatever works for you, but consider:

  • Meditation or prayer
  • Sitting outside and just taking in your surroundings free of distractions
  • Going for a walk
  • Taking a long bath
  • Treating yourself to a quick spa-style pampering session at home
  • Having a slow cup of tea
  • Trying breathing exercises
  • Stretching out any physical tension

Talk it out with your loved ones.

Whether you want to vent out some stress about surrogacy, or you’d like to chat about anything but surrogacy to take your mind off of it, calling up your friends or family can be helpful. If you’re married, continuing to openly communicate and strengthen your relationship will be even more important as you work to grow your family.

Now more than ever, it’s important to find ways to stay close and connected, even while we’re apart. A video chat with someone you haven’t caught up with in a while may be just what you’ve both been needing.

What’s better to calm your worries than hearing words of reassurance from someone you love and trust?

Get to know your surrogate from a distance.

When you’re not able to meet or spend time together in person, it can be hard for the reality of surrogacy and pregnancy to sink in for you. Additionally, the relationship between the intended parents and surrogate is important — you’re sharing an intimate and personal experience.

Feeling like you know your surrogate well and that you have a strong connection will help you to feel more at ease and trusting during a particularly scary time. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know one another through phone calls, video chats, texts, emails, photos or whatever everyone prefers.

You can talk about the process, the baby, what you’ve all been up to during quarantine, each others’ families, or just about your shared interests. Talking with your surrogate can be reassuring and fun, and it’ll help you remember to feel excited about this experience rather than stressed out!

Try not to obsess.

Having this child is going to be on the forefront of your mind. It can be easy for surrogacy to consume your thoughts, and it can even more easily spiral into obsessive worrying, especially with fears of COVID-19.

But if you’re spending too much time worrying about whether or not your surrogate and her medical team are taking proper precautions against the virus, or you’re focusing too much on the anxieties of surrogacy, then it’s time to take a step back. Your mind can be your own worst enemy right now.

When you feel like you’re starting to obsess, take a moment to breathe and refocus that energy elsewhere. Anything that gives you a mental vacation from surrogacy can be beneficial:

  • Call up a friend and talk about something other than surrogacy for a while.
  • Grab the remote and binge a new series.
  • Tackle a home project that you’ve been putting off.
  • Take a break from baby preparations.
  • Take a short road trip to your favorite park or camping spot.

Lean on your American Surrogacy specialist.

We’ll always be here to support you. Reach out if you have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 and your surrogacy process, or about your journey in general.

Remember that you’re not facing this on your own. You’re in good hands. Your specialist is doing everything they can to protect your child, and to make sure you and your surrogate have a safe, healthy and positive experience.

7 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy During COVID-19

How Gestational Surrogates Can Protect Themselves (and Stay Sane)

Becoming a gestational surrogate has always been an exciting, but stressful, experience. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more so.

How can you protect yourself, your family and the intended parents’ baby?

You already know how to have a healthy and positive pregnancy, but the coronavirus brings new challenges. Here’s how you can enjoy a healthy and happy pregnancy and surrogacy journey, even in the midst of global pandemic:

1. Follow the CDC Guidelines

This is a fairly obvious tip, but is nonetheless important for everyone.

Remember to:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Limit contact with people outside your household.
  • Wear your mask when in public.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Try to maintain a six-foot distance from others.
  • Immediately call your doctor if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19.

While it’s easy for you to control your own vigilance in adhering to the prescribed precautions, it’s harder to enforce it upon others. Remind your family members to keep up with the same safety measures, so they don’t expose you to the illness or become sick themselves.

2. Keep Up With Your Prenatal Appointments

You’re probably a little hesitant to go to the doctor’s office or the fertility clinic right now. But skipping necessary appointments isn’t really an option, either.

Ask your doctor to arrange telemedicine appointments whenever possible to help limit your risk of exposure. There will, of course, still be plenty of appointments that you must attend in person. When you do go into a clinic or hospital, always follow the CDC-recommended precautions and adhere to your doctor’s new COVID-19-related policies.

Your doctor’s office will likely ask you to keep your mask on and wash your hands before and after entering the building, and they’ll probably take your temperature before you come in. It’s also a good idea to call ahead and ask about their policy regarding people accompanying you. If your spouse or the intended parents wish to be at an appointment, you’ll want to know whether or not they’ll be permitted to go with you before you all show up.

3. Designate a Person to Help With Groceries and Errands

To help reduce unnecessary potential exposure to COVID-19, you may want to ask your spouse or another trusted loved one to handle the shopping and errands for your family for a while.

You might consider grocery delivery when possible and try to limit trips to necessary shops. You might also remind your designated shopper to be extra careful with the standard COVID-19 precautions — remind them to wear a mask in the store, to wash their hands before and after their shopping trip and to try to stay six feet away from others. Wiping down shopping carts before use is also a helpful prevention measure.

Because you can’t control how well your designated helper protects themselves while they’re out and about on your behalf, ask someone who you trust. You might even consider organizing a person to bring the essentials to your elderly or immunocompromised neighbors, too, so you could all help to pay your shopper while getting what you need and staying safe.

4. Get Your Exercise In

Many gyms are still shut down, and it can be hard to find new ways of exercising while social distancing. However, it’s important to keep moving. Exercise is necessary for your mental and emotional health, as well as your physical well-being.

Regular, low-impact exercise is even more important for women who are planning to become pregnant or who are already pregnant.

A few simple ways to get active while staying cautious during COVID-19 could include:

  • Taking the kids or pets for a long walk or bike ride
  • Going for a jog on a quiet trail
  • Trying out some YouTube workout sessions in the living room or yard
  • Playing some casual sports with your family in the yard or in a spaced-out area of the park

Even just 20 minutes of activity can keep you (and your family) feeling healthy, strong and positive.

5. Continue to Hydrate and Eat Healthily

A lot of us are succumbing to unhealthy snacking and are getting sick of cooking during the pandemic! Even though you’ve been cooped up, try to focus on eating healthily and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

If you need some help, rope your family members in for meal preparation. It’s hard to remember to eat healthy when you’re busy caring for children and handling daily tasks, so it’s alright to ask for some help.

Your physical, mental and emotional state will benefit from it, and staying healthy will boost your immune system.

6. Take Time to Care for Your Mental Health

These are stressful times. And while becoming a surrogate has always been a very emotional experience, those natural worries and feelings are now intensified by the threat of the pandemic.

It has always been important to reduce your stress if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. But with more stressors at hand, it’s even more important for you to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Your mental and emotional state also has a large impact on your physical health.

With kids at home and day-to-day tasks to deal with, it can be hard to set aside “you time,” but start considering it as part of your health routine. Even 15 minutes of relaxation per day can make a difference in your mood and overall well-being.

Try to make some time for whatever recharges and relaxes you, whether that’s:

  • Taking a soothing bath
  • Reading someplace quiet
  • Going for a walk
  • Listening to a podcast or some music
  • Engaging in your favorite hobby
  • Getting some exercise
  • Taking time for meditation or prayer
  • Or catching a quick nap

Try to limit your stress as much as possible, and try to make some extra time for rest and relaxation.

7. Remind Those Around You to Adhere to the Appropriate Precautions

This is something you have less control over, but it is still vital for minimizing your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and illnesses in general.

You may need to limit the number of people you come into contact with during your surrogacy journey. Try to stay within your “quarantine bubble,” and when you are around people outside of that “bubble,” ask them to follow the CDC’s recommendations for coronavirus prevention. Now may not be the best time to have people over for a backyard barbecue, but you and your family still have to go out into the world to function sometimes!

It can be awkward to ask others to wear their masks, wash their hands around you, or ask them to keep a six-foot distance — but you have the perfect (and very valid) excuse of being a gestational surrogate who must be overly cautious of her health.

It’s even more important for the people in your “quarantine bubble” to adhere to precautions when they leave the home, so they don’t expose themselves and then spread the virus to you. It can be tough to get your children to take the necessary precautions or for your spouse to completely eliminate risk of exposure if they’re back at work. Just ask that they all do their best, and encourage them to continue to use caution as much as possible.

It’s still safe to become a gestational surrogate or to continue your surrogacy journey during this pandemic. Just remember to take care of yourself and exercise reasonable caution! You can always contact your American Surrogacy specialist with any questions or concerns about how the coronavirus may affect your pregnancy and journey as a surrogate.

A Guide to Virtual Surrogacy Meetings During COVID-19

How to Strengthen Intended Parent-Surrogate Relationships During COVID-19

In the midst of this global pandemic, people are having to find new ways to connect and communicate. Despite these scary times, families are still being created — intended parents and prospective gestational surrogates are beginning to move forward in their surrogacy journeys again.

If you’re a hopeful parent or a prospective surrogate who is still in the early stages of the process, the “match” experience of meeting and getting to know one another is probably going to look different as a result of COVID-19. It’s harder for people to travel, and safety should always be the first priority. Getting to know one another face-to-face will have to wait.

Surrogacy is a very personal and intimate journey shared between two families, so it’s important to grow a connection with your surrogacy partner, whether intended parent or surrogate. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to share this life-changing experience across distances.

Whether you’re “meeting” your prospective surrogacy partner for the first time, or you’d like to find ways to stay in touch throughout the process while still social distancing, here are some easy tips for navigating your virtual surrogacy chats:

Remember that your specialist will be there to help.

The first time the intended parents and surrogate talk is always a little nerve-wracking for everyone involved. But don’t worry about things feeling awkward — your American Surrogacy specialist will be ready to help guide the conversation so everyone feels comfortable and confident moving forward.

Once you’re past the first introductions, conversations in a good match will come easily. Earlier “meetings” are a great time to get to know one another in a lighter, casual, friendly way — it’s important that both surrogacy partners feel that they can trust one another, and feel excited to share a surrogacy journey with one another.

Your surrogacy specialist will always be available if you need help navigating your surrogate-intended parent relationship, but that first virtual meeting is a good time to exchange contact information for more informal talks in the future.

Establish a schedule.

Even if the intended parents and/or the prospective surrogate are working from home right now, it can still be hard to find a time when you’re all available to talk. Many people are juggling work and kids at the moment.

Talk with your surrogacy partner and see if you can find a day and time where you’re all available. After the first few initial virtual meetings, you may find that even a quick 15 or 20-minute check-in chat is enough to keep one another up-to-date.

The frequency of your scheduled meetings will vary based on everyone’s availability and comfort level. Some intended parent-surrogate partnerships have a virtual meeting every couple of weeks, while others may just set up a monthly call.

Write down questions ahead of time.

You probably have plenty of questions for each other, ranging from serious to casual and light:

  • Why did you choose surrogacy?
  • What kind of intended parent-surrogate relationship are you envisioning?
  • What do you need from me throughout this journey?
  • What’s your family like?
  • What are your interests?

However, in the excitement of the moment, you may forget to ask something you were anxious to know! Write down questions or things you’d like to mention as you think of them, and have that list handy when you “meet.”

Hopefully the conversation will flow easily, you’ll learn a lot about each other and you won’t have to worry too much about checking questions off of your list.

Perform a trial run with your tech.

There are few things more frustrating than a spotty internet connection, laggy video or fuzzy audio when you’re trying to talk with someone. You don’t want to “show up” at your appointed time only to find that your FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom isn’t working correctly. Here are a few tips to help prevent technological difficulties the day of:

  • Make sure you know how to confidently use the platform you’ll be talking through.
  • Check that you’re getting a sufficient WiFi signal.
  • Test-call a friend or family member the day before, to make sure that they can hear and see you correctly.

Modern methods of communicating have revolutionized the way we’re able to connect with others, but only if they work as they should! It can take a few practice runs before you get the hang of it.

Embrace video calls.

There are a lot of advantages of virtual meetings via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts calls, etc.:

  • You’ll be able to see one another — being able to see each others’ faces as you speak is an overlooked, but important, aspect of communication between people.
  • You can virtually meet each others’ families.
  • You can take little home tours, so surrogates can see the baby’s future nursery and intended parents can see where their baby will be staying in-utero.
  • As the pregnancy progresses, the intended parents can see the physical changes that their surrogate is experiencing, so you can all be a part of the journey together (even while apart).

Virtual meetings can be fun, as well as helpful!

Feel free to mix up communication methods.

Some surrogates and intended parents are comfortable with sticking to consistent, established meetings through video chat or phone calls. Others prefer to keep in touch less formally, but with the option to check in more frequently through quick texts or emails. You can even send one another photos or letters from your side of the surrogacy process.

Virtual meetings through video can be great, but feel free to explore other methods of communication and find what works best for you.

Despite the necessary limitations that COVID-19 has imposed on the world, we’re all still finding ways to remain close to one another. Your American Surrogacy specialist will help you and your surrogacy partner communicate however you can during these changing times. You can always contact us if you need help navigating this new aspect of your surrogacy journey.

How COVID-19 May Impact Your IVF Journey

6 Questions Intended Parents Should Ask Themselves Before Resuming Surrogacy

As IVF and surrogacy procedures slowly resume with new precautions and policies, intended parents are more nervous than ever about restarting their journey to parenthood. There are new physical, emotional and financial concerns to consider.

Whether you’re eager to get back on track as soon as possible or you’re unsure if now is the time to start the IVF and surrogacy process, you’ll need to ask yourself some important questions. When considering how COVID-19 might affect your IVF and surrogacy journey and deciding whether or not you’re ready to resume it, you should ask yourself these six questions:

1. Are your fertility savings still stable?

Aside from the devastating health toll COVID-19 has taken throughout the world, it’s also had an economic impact. If you or your spouse lost your job, or if you took a financial hit as a result of coronavirus, then you may not be as financially ready to begin IVF and surrogacy as you were before.

Your total costs of IVF and surrogacy are going to be fluid, due to medical factors. You may find that your embryos are not viable, it may take several rounds of IVF to produce a viable embryo, or your surrogate may need several rounds of embryo transfers before a successful implantation. All this may mean that you’ll spend more or less than you anticipated.

You’ll need to examine how your IVF and surrogacy savings have been affected by the pandemic and then decide if you’re able to move forward right now, given any financial changes you may have experienced. Has your budget for IVF and surrogacy remained the same?

2. What are your fertility clinic’s policies regarding COVID-19?

In the early days of the pandemic, fertility clinics ceased operations in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. IVF procedures were temporarily suspended. Now, clinics are opening back up and resuming IVF — but with new policies in place to keep everyone (including your embryos) safe.

Each hospital, doctor’s office and fertility clinic will have their own COVID-19 policies. What are the policies at your clinic? How will those policies affect you and your surrogate?

Work with your American Surrogacy specialist to learn about your clinics’ policies before you move forward. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the precautions that they are taking.

3. What happens if someone within your surrogacy partnership contracts COVID-19 mid-cycle?

The health of those involved in this surrogacy journey always comes first. So if you, your spouse, your surrogate, or an immediate member of either or your families were to contract COVID-19 during the process, what happens? Would you still move forward once that person had recovered? Can you wait that long?

This is something that you’ll all need to discuss with your American Surrogacy specialist. In this changing world, it’s important to talk about this scenario together and create a concrete plan of how you will want to proceed.

4. Are you comfortable having a woman become pregnant with your child right now?

It always takes some faith when allowing someone else to carry your baby. Are you prepared to trust someone in protecting themselves (and your baby) against COVID-19?

The woman who will be carrying your child will need to spend a good amount of time in doctor’s offices and hospitals throughout the surrogacy process and pregnancy. Even though all surrogates take the health and safety of themselves and the baby very seriously, and yours will be taking all the prescribed precautions to avoid exposure to illnesses, she’ll still need to have quite a few in-person visits at medical facilities.

Whenever possible, telemedicine appointments may take place. However, there are some doctor’s visits that will, of course, need to occur in the office.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider if you’ll be comfortable with a number of scenarios:

  • What if she’s an essential worker?
  • What if her children or spouse are back to school or work?
  • What if she lives in a coronavirus “hotspot”?
  • What if she and her family need to travel?

Your surrogate will do her utmost to protect herself, and by proxy, your baby from COVID-19. But there will always be moments when all of us must go out into the world to function.

Would you be able to accept that and trust her to protect herself, her family and your baby?

5. Are you prepared to miss some important moments with your surrogate and baby?

In an effort to maintain social distance and prevent the spread of the virus, you probably won’t see your surrogate in person as much as you would before COVID-19.

Additionally, hospital and medical clinic policies may prevent one or both of you from being with your surrogate during milestones like embryo transfers, sonograms, or possibly even labor and delivery.

For some intended parents, surrogacy is a chance to experience pregnancy alongside their surrogate. You’ll need to decide if you’re willing to miss out on some of these moments in favor of growing your family more quickly.

6. How do you think your emotional and mental health will handle egg retrieval and/or IVF at the moment?

Right now, everyone is under more stress than usual. The early stages of surrogacy’s medical process are always stressful for everyone involved, but in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s understandably even more so.

Consider how you’ll feel during your contributions to the IVF process and as you await the results of your surrogate’s embryo transfer. With the added stressors of COVID-19, you’ll want to make sure that you’re emotionally ready to move forward — so that you can be the best support person for your surrogate.

If you have any questions or concerns about resuming the IVF and surrogacy process, contact American Surrogacy now. Your specialist will help you consider your readiness and can walk you through how COVID-19 will and won’t affect your journey.

How COVID-19 May Impact Your Prenatal Visits and Hospital Plans

A Surrogate’s Guide to Changing Policies & Recommendations

Beginning or continuing the surrogacy process as a gestational surrogate is still very possible for you, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there will be a few changes. Social distancing and safety measures may affect your hospital experience, interactions with the intended parents, prenatal checkups and surrogacy-related medical appointments, and more.

It can be upsetting to have your carefully made plans and excitement marred by an experience that isn’t quite what you imagined. But the health and safety of everyone involved, especially you and the baby, are what come first.

Here are some changes you may notice as you move forward in your journey as a gestational surrogate, as well as quite a few things that won’t be changed by COVID-19:

Your Time with Your Intended Parents

If your match is long-distance and the intended parents live in another city or state, many of your day-to-day interactions wouldn’t have been in-person anyway. Gestational surrogates and intended parents most commonly communicate through phone calls, video chats, texts or emails.

However, due to social distancing measures, you and the parents may not be able to have as much face-to-face bonding as other surrogate-parent partnerships might have had before COVID-19. Do your best to get to know one another and build that connection through other means — start a casual Words With Friends game with one another, swap a couple recipes to try out or send them letters “from” their baby throughout your pregnancy in addition to your virtual conversations. It can be fun, and you’ll hopefully get to know one another a bit better, even when you can’t meet in person.

Having the intended parents present for the baby’s birth is one of the most rewarding moments for a gestational surrogate and one of the most exciting moments for the new parents. But some hospitals may have policies about how many people can be in the room with you during your labor and delivery. This may mean that only one intended parent may accompany you, or neither of them, so that your spouse can be with you. This is something that we’ll touch on more momentarily, but that you’ll want to ask your hospital about in advance.

Your Prenatal Medical Care and Surrogacy-Related Medical Appointments

Contact your OB-GYN and your fertility clinic to ask about their COVID-19 policies. Do they prefer minor check-ins to be conducted virtually? Are you allowed to bring the intended parents or your spouse? If they do have new policies regarding COVID-19 prevention, you’ll want to know about it before the intended parents or your spouse come with you to these appointments and have to wait in the car!

Of course, in-person visits will be unavoidable throughout your surrogacy process. For these, you’ll want to bring a mask and sanitize your hands before and after your appointment. The doctor’s office or clinic will likely take your temperature before you enter, in addition to other precautions.

Your Hospital and Delivery Experience

Hospital policy regarding labor and delivery during this time will vary. Some hospitals, for example, will limit the number of visitors you may have during your labor, delivery and recovery. At other hospitals, they’ll simply take more precautions — like taking the temperature of visitors and asking that everyone wash their hands and wear masks.

In more extreme situations, surrogates have had to choose just one intended parent to have with them in the delivery room, or just the surrogate’s spouse was in the room to support them. This can be tough for everyone involved if your hospital has this type of policy. While American Surrogacy hasn’t encountered this yet, policies simply depend on the hospital and the rapidly changing pandemic situation.

Check in with your American Surrogacy specialist and your intended parents. Together, you’ll communicate with your chosen hospital to determine any changes that might need to be made to your ideal birth plan. It’s best to talk about these plans in advance, so you aren’t caught off guard when you go to the hospital and discover that they have a new COVID-related policy that affects you.

Your Precautionary Measures for Health and Safety

You already know how to stay healthy and safe when you’re planning to become pregnant (or are pregnant), even before the coronavirus became a factor. And everyone, not just pregnant women, should be taking appropriate measures to reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home as much as possible, social distancing, frequently washing hands and wearing masks when around others.

But now, carefully adhering to preventative measures regarding COVID-19 is especially important for gestational surrogates and the people around them.

The CDC states that “pregnant people appear to have the same risk of COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant. However, much remains unknown. We do know that pregnant people have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses that are similar to COVID-19, as well as other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza.

“We also know that pregnant people have changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. Therefore, if you are pregnant, it is always important for you to try to protect yourself from illnesses whenever possible.”

As for increased risks to newborns, very little is known at this time, but they may be more likely to suffer from severe illness stemming from the virus, similar to pregnant people.

The main takeaway: Protect yourself from illness just as you would with any pregnancy, but continue to:

  • Stay home when possible
  • Wash your hands often
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear your mask when around anyone outside of your “quarantine bubble”
  • Remind your immediate family members to do the same in order to protect one another

You’ll need to be cautious about who you, and your family, come into contact with. Your family will need to practice the same safety measures as you to prevent them from contracting the virus and potentially spreading it to you. You probably aren’t at any greater risk than anyone else, but everyone should take reasonable precautions, regardless.

You can’t keep yourself in a bubble throughout the entirety of your surrogacy journey, and no one is expecting you to do so. However, being extra vigilant about reducing your exposure and increasing hygiene steps can help mitigate the risk of contracting or spreading the virus during your surrogacy experience.

If you have any questions about how COVID-19 may affect you as a surrogate — including through IVF, pregnancy, delivery and more — don’t hesitate to contact your American Surrogacy specialist. Remember: Becoming a surrogate or continuing your surrogacy process is still safe, as long as you continue to practice the prescribed basic health and safety measures.