5 Ways to Deal with Infertility During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a time of good cheer and glad tidings, but for those facing personal struggles — like infertility — it can sometimes be difficult to get into the holiday spirit.

If you are coping with infertility, here are five things you can do to combat the holiday blues this year:

1. Be prepared.

 The holidays tend to go hand-in-hand with family gatherings, which means there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself surrounded by kids, happy new parents and even pregnancy announcements. It also means there’s a good chance that your own plans for starting or adding to your family might come up in conversation.

Try to prepare yourself for these scenarios. Decide ahead of time how you’ll react if a well-meaning relative plops a baby into your arms, and consider how you want to answer the inevitable “So, are you thinking of having kids anytime soon?” questions. You might develop some stock answers or use it as an opportunity to open up about your infertility — if you feel ready.

You are always entitled to your feelings, and it is always up to you to decide how you want to respond to nosy or insensitive questions and comments. But having a plan in place can help you better handle these tough situations and the emotions that may come with them.

2. Say no.

 You don’t have to accept every invitation, and if you do attend a party or gathering and start feeling overwhelmed, you’re not obligated to stay. Saying “no” to close friends and family members may not be easy, but it’s important to take care of yourself and to do what you think is best for you. If a particular family tradition or event seems like it might be too emotionally difficult for you, it’s okay to say so; don’t feel guilty about not participating.

If you do decide to opt out of certain gatherings, consider making alternative plans. Book a getaway with your partner, or host your own holiday celebration with adult friends (and no children).

3. Reach out.

 Feeling less-than-merry during the holidays can feel isolating. But, if you’re struggling this holiday season, know that you’re not alone. Even if you’re not quite ready to open up about your attempts to conceive around the Christmas dinner table, it’s important to talk to someone about the challenges you’re going through.

Don’t be afraid to lean on your support system, and consider reaching out to an infertility counselor for help. There are many infertility support groups and forums that may also provide the comfort and solidarity you need, as well.

4. Communicate.

 The most important person in your support network is your partner — and it’s especially vital that you keep communication open with him or her during the holidays. Don’t forget to check in with each other about how you’re handling things, especially if one of you is having a particularly hard time coming to terms with your infertility.

Also, make sure you both are on the same page about which events are musts and which you’d rather skip. Talk about your game plan for answering those sensitive questions. Develop a signal you can use if one of you needs to bail on a party early. Be a unified front, and you will get through the holidays together.

5. Celebrate.

 Again, you are always entitled to your feelings, and you should allow yourself time to feel sad and to acknowledge any grief, anger and other emotions you may be experiencing.

But, you should also take some time to try to find meaning in the holidays, too. Look for positive moments to celebrate — take part in the traditions that mean the most to you and bring you joy, or start new ones with your partner. Consider volunteering or donating to a cause that’s important to you. There are many ways to mark the holidays, so find what works for you.

21 Surrogacy Quotes to Share Today

Surrogacy is an emotional journey, full of ups and downs on the way to creating a family. Perhaps the best way to capture these feelings is through surrogacy quotes.

Many times, these surrogacy quotes and phrases capture exactly what intended parents and surrogates are feeling but can’t quite articulate themselves. They’re also easy to share — a way for you to express your own feelings about the beauty of surrogacy and what the process means to you.

To find surrogacy quotes, all you need to do is search for them on any social media site you can imagine. We’ve gathered a few of our favorites here for you to read and share.

For Surrogates

“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

“It is more blessed to give than receive.” — Acts 20:35
“The greatest good is what we do for one another.” — Mother Teresa

For Intended Parents

“Life has a funny way of working out just when you start believing it never will.”
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.”
“How your baby came into the world is far less important than the fact that she’s here.”

For Everyone

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
“Even miracles take a little time.”

“Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey.”
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

What are some of your favorite surrogacy quotes? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share our photo quotes!

5 Things to Be Thankful For During Your Infertility Journey

As Thanksgiving approaches, people around the U.S. will sit down to dinner with family and friends, expressing their gratitude for the wonderful things in their lives.

However, when you’re coping with infertility during the holiday season, especially on Thanksgiving, it can be hard to find something that you’re thankful for. You’re probably more focused on the things you don’t have rather than the things you do. And, while that’s completely understandable and normal, it’s also important to take this time to think about all the good things in your life during this difficult time.

While everyone’s situation is unique, there are several things that you likely can be thankful for at this time in your life.

1. That You Have Loving, Supportive Friends and Family

The infertility process is incredibly difficult and facing it alone is impossible. Whether you’re still in the acceptance period of your infertility struggles or moving forward with an infertility treatment like surrogacy, you likely have friends and family that you can turn to for support.  It may be a large group or a few close people, but they are instrumental to your coping with this difficult period in your life — and you should be thankful for each and every one of them.

2. That You Can Afford Fertility Treatments

When you’ve already attempted several rounds of fertility treatments, it’s normal to feel frustrated and upset at the medical process involved. However, there are many people in the world that may also be dealing with infertility but don’t have the methods or the financial ability to further pursue their parenthood dreams. Intended parents can be grateful that they not only have the advanced medical options like surrogacy open to them but that they can also afford the process that will bring them a child.

3. That There Are Many Family-Building Options Available to You

Hopeful parents in the United States have so many different ways they can build their family, from adoption to assisted reproductive technology to foster care. Others in different parts of the world aren’t so lucky. The U.S. also has laws that protect LGBT and foreign parents looking to grow their family, unlike in other countries where single, LGBT and non-nationals cannot complete the family-building process. While the family-building process can be frustrating and slow-moving at times, you can be grateful that you actually have this opportunity in the first place.

4. That There is a Large Community of Support Available to You

Thanks to the growth of online communities through social media and the internet, those who are struggling with infertility can gather more information than ever. While prospective parents before the internet had to rely on their doctors and local support groups to learn about the process awaiting them, now you can easily get in contact with others who have been through your situation — no matter where they live. A support system is incredibly important during the infertility and family-building process, and many hopeful parents are thankful for the opportunities for support and information provided through these online communities.

5. That You Are Moving Forward in Your Process, However Incrementally

It can be difficult, especially around the holiday season, to find hope in a process that may have left you many heartbreaks and losses. However, it’s helpful to find the silver lining. After all, you’re likely farther along in the process than you were last Thanksgiving. Perhaps this is the first Thanksgiving since you’ve started taking advanced steps toward creating your family, or you’ve moved forward from last year’s treatments to a different family-building process that holds a better chance of success for your family. No matter what, you’re likely in a better position that you were before — and moving closer to success is always something to be grateful for.

Infertility can be a hard process, especially around the holidays, which is why we encourage those coping with infertility to acknowledge their feelings and reach out for love and support from others. Remember, as tough as it may seem, there is always something in your life you can be thankful for.

FertilityIQ Releases Annual List of Most IVF-Friendly Employers

In the United States, 1 in 8 married couples struggle with infertility issues. It’s no wonder, then, that the annual IVF cycle volume in the U.S. has increased 70 percent in the last decade, meaning more people than ever are completing more IVF cycles than ever — and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the family-building process.

Fortunately, employers have started to recognize the importance of infertility treatments to their employees, and many have started offering infertility-specific benefits to those who need it. More than 60 percent of patients undergoing infertility treatments don’t receive any coverage but, to help you be more aware of your options, FertilityIQ has compiled a list of the companies who do provide the best infertility benefits in its annual report.

For the second year in a row, employers within the technology sector placed highest in the 14 categories FertilityIQ studied. Companies like Facebook and Salesforce offer benefits well over $100,000 in value to their employees, and several employers offer unlimited coverage for employees who meet certain requirements.

The consulting and accounting and banking and finance industries placed second and third, respectively, in an analysis of more than 250 employers who offer infertility benefits in the United States.

For a full list of the factors impacting FertilityIQ’s study, as well as listings of employers by benefits and industry, check out more of the annual report here.

To learn more about financing your infertility treatments and what American Surrogacy’s fee structure looks like, you can contact a surrogacy specialist today at 1-800-875-2229.

3 Tips for Dealing with Loss of Control as Intended Parents

Being an intended parent when your surrogate is pregnant is certainly an exciting time. The baby you’ve been dreaming about for so long is finally on their way, and you’re closer than ever to finally becoming parents.

However, just as there is great deal of excitement for you throughout this process, there is likely a degree of stress and concern, too. After all, you’re not there with your surrogate 24/7, and you may not be able to be there for every milestone that you have been looking forward to.

This will be an emotional time for you, and dealing with the loss of control over your baby’s development and your own infertility struggles can be hard. Fortunately, you’ll have your surrogacy specialist to listen to your concerns and answer your questions at every step along the way.

Still, you likely want to know exactly how you can cope with some of these difficult emotions, especially feeling helpless and out of control during the surrogacy process. Whether it’s while your surrogate is pregnant, or during your infertility struggles or the embryo transfer process, here are some tips we offer to help cope with those emotions.

1. Acknowledge and accept your loss of control.

Surrogacy is a partnership; you will not be in charge the whole way through. Therefore, you must trust that your surrogate will do everything she’s agreed to, including ensuring a healthy pregnancy and lifestyle to protect your baby. Remember, surrogates are just as dedicated as you are to bringing a healthy, happy baby into the world — and are honored and excited to help you create your family.

However, when you can’t be there for the entirety of your baby’s development in utero, it’s normal to feel helpless and worry about your surrogate’s pregnancy. However, rather than constantly contacting your surrogate to find out how things are going, it’s important to give her space and channel these emotions into something more positive. The first step for doing this is to acknowledge and accept these emotions — to help you move forward from them and be more comfortable with your surrogate’s pregnancy.

It may take extra effort to acknowledge these feelings in a positive way, which is why we encourage intended parents to speak with their surrogacy specialist and other infertility counselors to work through these emotions in a healthy way. Recognize that this process may take time, but it’s incredibly important to make sure you’ve moved forward from these emotions to have a successful surrogacy experience.

2. Keep yourself busy.

When it comes to coping with feeling like you have no control over your surrogacy, one of the worst things you can do is sit around and ruminate about these emotions. Just as a watched pot never boils, a pregnancy will take forever if it’s all you’re thinking about, all the time.

Instead, it’s encouraged that intended parents try to go about their lives as normal, enjoying their free time before their baby is born. Stay busy with activities, and give yourself time to do things completely unrelated to your surrogacy and upcoming parenthood experience. The more you try to live your normal life during your surrogate’s pregnancy, the less stress and concern you’ll have about your baby’s development. While it’s normal to have periods of time when you worry about how your surrogate’s pregnancy is developing, keeping your mind and body busy will go a long way to making you feel happier during this process.

3. Create a strong relationship with your surrogate.

With American Surrogacy, you can know that any surrogate you’re matched with is fully screened and ready to commit to all the responsibilities of the surrogacy process. She understands what is expected of her during the process and is completely prepared to give your baby the healthiest development in utero possible.

While this screening can certainly help relieve some of your fears, it’s normal for feelings of worry and concern to still remain. Building a strong personal relationship with your surrogate can be very helpful when dealing with these emotions. When you have a strong relationship, you learn to trust your surrogate at a deeper, more authentic level. You can also more easily set up a communication schedule to keep up to date on your baby’s growth.

Remember, women become surrogates to help people like you reach their parenting dreams — and they’re willing to make this process as easy and as positive as possible for you. While it’s important to establish boundaries and give your surrogate her space, you can create a relationship that’s beneficial for both of you and helps you move past feelings of losing control over your own baby’s development.

These are just a few of the tips that our surrogacy specialists recommend to intended parents who are experiencing a loss of control and constant worry over their surrogacy’s progression. We are also happy to sit down with you and your surrogate to discuss these feelings in greater detail and find a compromising solution that works for you both. To learn more about what kind of support we can offer you through this complicated process, please call us today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

3 Must-Know Tips for Financing Your Surrogacy

When it comes to financing surrogacy, you may be overwhelmed with the costs presented to you as an intended parent. Where are the affordable surrogacy options? What are the options for how to pay for surrogacy?

While it is true that surrogacy can seem an expensive process at the beginning, it’s not as unachievable as it may have seemed to intended parents years ago. There are many surrogacy financing options available to you today to make your surrogacy and parenthood dreams come true — and American Surrogacy will always work with you to help find the financing you need to successfully become parents via surrogacy.

Surrogacy financing may take some foresight and preparation, but when you take the time to locate proper resources, you can and will become parents in a way that doesn’t bankrupt your family.

To learn more about how American Surrogacy can help you with surrogacy financing, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229. In the meantime, here are some of the more popular ways of how to pay for surrogacy in an affordable manner:

1. Surrogacy Grants

Surrogacy grants are a key resource for many families who are looking for affordable surrogacy options. By providing funds that don’t have to be paid back, surrogacy grants can make a huge difference for intended parents who are wondering how to pay for surrogacy without breaking the bank.

These grants are usually available for families going through the surrogacy process and other infertility treatments and, like other grants, are awarded based on many different qualifications. Some organizations may have different requirements than others, so it’s important to do your research to find out which grants you’re eligible for based on your individual situation. The last thing you need is to apply to a grant program which you’re ineligible for.

Your surrogacy specialist can always provide examples of grants you can apply for, but here are some of the most common organizations:

  • Journey To Parenthood: This organization offers grants to families going through advanced infertility treatments as well as adoption. Any U.S. citizen living in the U.S. and being treated by a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist may apply. Grant amounts vary.
  • Tinina Q. Cade Foundation Family Building: This organization offers up to $10,000 per funded family to help with infertility and adoption costs.
  • Pay It Forward Fertility: Grants are available for U.S. citizens who do not have insurance coverage for IVF and are awarded several times a year in varying amounts.
  • Life Grants: The Life Foundation offers grants to individuals and couples to help with the cost of infertility treatment, adoption or third party reproduction.
  • Family Formation Charitable Trust: The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys offers grants for families who can benefit from assistance with adoption and ART methods, as well as financial aid to help children who are in need of placement with a forever family.
  • Baby Quest Foundation: Grants are provided to those who cannot afford the high cost of infertility treatments like IVF, surrogacy, gamete donation, egg freezing and more.

It’s important to recognize that many of these grants and organizations rely on donations, so if you or someone you know has been affected by infertility and is able to give back, we encourage donations to help other intended parents achieve their dreams, too.

2. Surrogacy Loans

Another popular surrogacy financing option is surrogacy loans. Like traditional lines of credits, these loans must be paid back with interest, so it’s important to find the most affordable surrogacy loans that will work for you and your family.

We encourage you to speak to a financial advisor before you take out any surrogacy loans to pay for your infertility treatments to discover what options are available for you.

Traditional loan options include:

  • Home equity loans
  • 401(k) plans
  • Credit cards
  • Loans from family members

In addition, there are financial organizations that specifically provide surrogacy financing for those going through the infertility process:

Many surrogacy professionals may also create a specific payment plan for you based on your financial situation. Talk to your surrogacy specialist today to find out what options are available to you.

3. Surrogacy Fundraising

Finally, another surrogacy financing option is raising money for your surrogacy expenses yourself. There are many ways you and your family can raise your own funds for your infertility treatments, either with simple methods or more creative ones that extend beyond your own community.

Here are some examples to help you start your fundraising process:

  • Use an online fundraiser like YouCaring.com or GoFundMe.com to reach out to friends and family for donations.
  • Ask for donations to your surrogacy fund rather than gifts for holidays.
  • Use your skills to sell handmade products (like your crafts on Etsy).
  • Host a garage sale.
  • Partner with a direct sales consultant to see if they would donate their commission from a party you host.
  • Organize a fundraising event like a car wash or silent auction.

In addition to these surrogacy financing tips, it’s important that you start saving for your surrogacy as soon as you start considering it as an option for your family. Again, speak to a financial advisor to determine the best ways allocate your funds to create an affordable surrogacy process for your family. Ask other intended parents for saving and fundraising tips, and don’t be afraid to use all of the options available to you during this fundraising process.

Surrogacy may seem like a daunting process when it comes to the costs involved, but with proper surrogacy financing, it can be an option for you. To learn more about American Surrogacy’s cost schedule and how we may help you find affordable surrogacy for you, please contact us today

7 Tips for Creating an Intended Parent Profile

When you work with American Surrogacy or another surrogacy agency, you’ll usually be asked to make an intended parent profile as part of your search for a prospective surrogate. But what exactly is an intended parent profile, and how do you make one?

An intended parent profile is an important part of finding the perfect surrogate for your family. It’s a way for prospective surrogates to learn more about you before you even have your first conversation, giving a woman a chance to feel more connected to you and help her determine which intended parents might be best for her. Just like you’ll be required to make an intended parent profile, all prospective surrogates will create a surrogate profile that you can view as well.

Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be available to help you through the process of making an intended parent profile, offering suggestions and answering any questions you may have. Here are some of the tips we recommend to intended parents going through this process:

1. Include important information about who you are.

An intended parent profile is designed as a way for a prospective surrogate to get a little peak into a prospective family’s life and personality to gauge whether they might be a good fit for her. Therefore, it’s important that you include information and photos in your profile that accurately describe who you are. American Surrogacy will work to protect your personal information; all of our profile information is kept within our company.

While every profile is unique depending on what certain intended parents wish to communicate about themselves, a good intended parent profile includes:

  • A written introduction of you and your family
  • Information about your home, neighborhood and community
  • A personal letter to prospective surrogates explaining why you’re pursuing surrogacy
  • Photos of your everyday life, including you, your family, your home and your hobbies and interests
  • Any other information you think makes your family unique

2. Be descriptive with your profile.

When a surrogate is looking at your profile, she wants to learn more about exactly who you are and why you might be a good fit for her. Therefore, the more detail you can include, the better she can determine if you might be a good partner for the next year or more. A vague intended parent profile may not be enough for a prospective surrogate to feel a connection with and show interest in you.

3. Share your emotions.

For many intended parents, it’s been an emotional journey toward the surrogacy process. It’s these emotions that motivate prospective surrogates to help families like you, so you shouldn’t shy away from including them in your intended parent profile. Be honest about how you got to your surrogacy decision, and use your letter to a prospective surrogate to express just how much her consideration means to you. The more honest you are with your emotions, the more likely that a surrogate will feel a connection with you.

4. Choose photos carefully and include captions.

An important part of your profile is the pictures that you choose. Pictures are perhaps the best way to connect with prospective surrogates, so you should choose a variety of photos that show off you, your family and your lifestyle. They should be high-quality, recent photos that represent what your family and your life is like.

5. Always edit.

Whether you’re making a profile on your own or through American Surrogacy’s media specialists, always take the extra time to edit your profile for written errors and design flaws. While surrogates are interested in who your family is, a clean and polished profile makes it easier for them to view and stay engaged with your information.

6. Ask for help if you need it.

When you work with American Surrogacy, you will have a media specialist who will help you create this profile. Your surrogacy specialist will also be there to offer suggestions and support through this process. If you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to reach out; these professionals have experience crafting these profiles and can give you experienced advice about what kind of photos and text to use.

7. Always be honest and be yourself.

There is no “right” way to make an intended parent profile; they are all so different based on what each family wants to share. Therefore, there is no benefit for anything but honesty. Trying to make your family look better by omitting or altering facts is not only unethical but also unnecessary. Surrogates show interest in families for many different reasons, and it’s impossible to say exactly why a surrogate will choose intended parents. If you’re making your profile, it’s important to just focus on accurately representing yourself and your life, and you will find the perfect prospective surrogate for you.

To start the process of making your intended parent profile today, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). Our 20-year experience in crafting profiles like this can help you find the perfect prospective surrogate for you.

3 Tips for Teachers Explaining Surrogacy to their Students

It’s October, which means that the school year is finally in full swing. Teachers and students have adjusted to their new relationships in the classroom and are finally ready to get down to work.

As a teacher, you spend a majority of your time with these students and have likely grown to love them as your own. However, if you’re expecting a baby via surrogacy or will be carrying a baby for another family, another child will soon become a part of your classroom (whether physically or not), and it’s important to address this with your students and their families.

Surrogacy is a beautiful way to build families and should be something that you’re proud announcing to anyone who’s interested. But, when the tiny humans you’re telling about your surrogacy may not comprehend the logistics involved, it can be a tricky situation.

No matter whether you’re an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, there are some steps you can take as a teacher to help share your exciting news:

1. First, address the topic with your students’ parents.

Every student is at a different point in their understanding of how the human reproductive system works, and it’s usually not your responsibility as a teacher to give them all the details. This will be up to their parents — which means they should be the ones that you share your announcement with first.

You may choose to write a letter explaining your situation to your students’ parents and then leave it up to them to address the topic with their children. You can use this letter to explain how surrogacy works and how parents can talk to their children about this topic, as well as suggest books and other resources to learn more about the surrogacy process. Make yourself available to parents who might have questions and, if you’re planning on announcing your surrogacy to your students in class, let them know what you’re planning to say.

The specialists at American Surrogacy are happy to provide you a letter like this to share with your students’ parents.

2. Be prepared for questions, and answer them age-appropriately.

If you decide to address your surrogacy with your classroom, your surrogacy specialist can help you create a list of talking points that are appropriate and should answer most of your students’ questions. Again, the detail and information you give will be determined by your students’ ages; what first-graders and what seventh-graders need to know about surrogacy are completely different.

You’ll also need to recognize that when you announce your surrogacy to your students, you will open yourself up to questions from curious minds. Be prepared to answer these questions in an age-appropriate manner, and try to make your surrogacy just a normal part of your classroom. Your students will eventually move on past the topic of your surrogacy as they find more interesting and new things to talk about.

3. Make surrogacy information readily available in your classroom.

While surrogacy may not be a constant topic of discussion, you can still take steps to provide more surrogacy information for your students to normalize the process. You can choose to include books about surrogacy in your classroom library, like:

If you have an older group of students, you might provide books about in vitro fertilization and surrogacy in your science resource section instead. If a student ever approaches you and wants to learn more about your surrogacy, you can refer them to more informational resources, too. Typically, any information you find about “telling your children about surrogacy” can be tweaked for conversations with your students.

As with every other part of your surrogacy journey, your surrogacy specialist will also be available to help you prepare for and navigate this conversation with your students and their parents. It’s natural to be excited and want to share your parenthood journey with those who are most important in your life — and just because you’re involved in the surrogacy process doesn’t make it any different.

Remembering Lost Pregnancies and Infants this October

Oftentimes, the path to surrogacy is filled with emotional ups and downs — including devastating heartbreaks. Whether that’s from an inability to get pregnant, a miscarriage or other infant loss, many families who work with American Surrogacy experience a tragedy in their family-building journey before they turn to our agency for help.

That’s why we’re recognizing the month of October as Pregnancy, Infant Loss and Miscarriage Awareness Month. Far too many families grieve in silence, never having the opportunity to come to terms with their loss of an infant or a pregnancy — so we’re encouraging all families (whether they’ve dealt with this tragedy or not) to take time this month to recognize those who have experienced this loss. No one should have to grieve alone, and this month of remembrance helps those to live with their loss in a healthy way.

President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed this month of remembrance back in 1988, saying:

“National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, 1988, offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems.”

While the entirety of October is an awareness month, Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. “Remembering Our Babies,” an organization to spread awareness of this issue, encourages everyone to light a candle at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 to represent the pregnancies and infants that were lost too early.

The organization also offers guidance for coping with grief of a lost pregnancy or baby throughout the year. Friends and families can view suggestions on how to support and counsel loved ones going through this grief process.

In addition to the worldwide candle lighting, you can also see if an organization near you is hosting an awareness walk or activity within the month of October. You can also submit information about an event you’re hosting for advertising on their website.

For those who are dealing with an infant or pregnancy loss, it’s important to commemorate this day and acknowledge what you’re feeling. Some ideas include:

  • Releasing balloons or butterflies
  • Planting a tree
  • Having a memorial service
  • Giving to a charity that supports infants and children and their families

Whatever you decide to do on this day, it should be something that makes you feel better, even if it that feeling is bittersweet.

The surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy are also available to provide counseling and support to our intended parents who are coping with their grief during this difficult month. We can also refer you to trusted professional counselors for more support, if you need it.

You may wish to reach out to others who have experienced an infant or pregnancy loss. Try these support groups and resource centers for more suggestions on coping with your grief:

You can also find a full list of infertility and infant loss groups in the United States here.

While this month can be difficult, remember that you are not alone. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and appropriately cope with your grief, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support from others if you need it.

Considering a Non-Traditional Birth in Surrogacy? What to Know

While the majority of women choose to give birth in a traditional hospital setting, there are also women who choose to give birth in a non-traditional way. This may include a home birth, a birthing center or birthing rooms in a hospital — and studies show that more and more women are choosing this option when they give birth.

The option of a non-traditional birth is not limited to women giving birth to their biological children, however; today, non-traditional births are also available for those involved in a surrogacy process. Whether a non-traditional birth is suggested by a surrogate or an intended parent, it is a suggestion that must be accompanied by a detailed discussion to make sure it’s in the best interest of all involved.

The Different Kinds of Non-Traditional Births

Usually, when a woman gives birth, she elects to have the process overseen by her OB/GYN in a hospital setting. She will likely have a vaginal birth or a Cesarean section depending on her individual health situation.

However, some women can choose to have a non-traditional birthing experience, which can include:

  • Home Births: A woman gives birth in familiar surroundings at home, without drugs or episiotomies. A midwife attends the birth to assist and to transfer the woman to the hospital in case of emergency.
  • Freestanding Birthing Centers: Women who want a more natural birth without being at home may choose a birthing center. These centers promote natural births without induction or stimulation to start labor and utilize no C-sections or drugs. However, they are equipped with medical equipment just in case. Freestanding birth centers offer prenatal care throughout the pregnancy and postpartum checkups, eliminating the need for a hospital.
  • InHospital Birthing Centers: Birthing centers within hospitals offer the same natural birth experience, although prenatal visits will probably be conducted at your caregiver’s office. These centers are usually available to any midwife or doctor with admitting privileges to the hospital.

Within these general settings for a non-traditional birth, women may choose methods like water births, hypnobirthing and other alternative methods for a more natural, drug-free birth.

These non-traditional birthing methods are not for everyone, so it’s important that a woman meets specific health requirements before she can be cleared to give birth in a more natural way with less access to medical intervention. If you have questions about whether you can complete a non-traditional birth, it’s best to speak with your OB/GYN and your surrogacy professional.

If You Want a Non-Traditional Birth

Whether you’re an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, you have the right to suggest a nontraditional birthing experience. However, it’s important to recognize that your desire for a nontraditional birth may impact how long you wait for a match in the surrogacy process.

At American Surrogacy, we make matches between intended parents and surrogates based on mutual desires — which includes the manner in which the surrogate will give birth. Therefore, this is decided before the medical procedures even start. Your surrogacy contract will include the method of birth, so if you’re interested in the idea of a non-traditional birth, this is something you’ll need to make known from the start.

There certainly are surrogates and intended parents who are comfortable with and excited about the idea of a non-traditional birth, but the number is definitely lower than those who desire a traditional hospital birth. Be prepared for a longer wait before you are matched with the perfect prospective surrogate or intended parent. Remember, there always is a perfect match for you, and we will help you find them.

To learn more about American Surrogacy’s matching process and how you can find the perfect intended parent or surrogate for your surrogacy goals, please contact our surrogacy specialists today.