If you’re a fan of being pregnant, it’s often not long after your last delivery that you start thinking about doing it again. But, while you can get pregnant naturally as soon after childbirth as your body allows, the same rules don’t apply when it comes to gestational surrogacy.
If you want to become pregnant right away again as a gestational carrier, you’re going to have to wait.
Surrogacy professionals, including American Surrogacy, want to ensure all surrogates and intended parents are protected during the surrogacy journey. That starts with giving a woman ample time to recover postpartum before becoming pregnant again.
To learn more about pregnancy gap requirements at our agency, we encourage you to call our specialists anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, learn a bit more about this topic below.
Why Most Professionals Require a 12-Month Gap
Before jumping into surrogacy, a woman should always be 100 percent physically and mentally ready for the challenges of the process. Postpartum recovery can delay that significantly.
A woman’s body naturally slows the return to fertility after she gives birth. It makes sense; she is typically giving a great deal of her time and energy to the care of a baby and, to best do that, she should give her full attention to that child only. Breastfeeding is one factor in this; the act of producing breastmilk during your baby’s first six months of life often prevents you from becoming pregnant.
Your body goes through a lot during the pregnancy and childbirth process. You may have stitches or other tears from delivery that need to heal, and your body needs to build up its supply of nutrients that were depleted during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The microbiome of your birth canal needs to be reset, and your body overall needs to heal from inflammation and potential infections. Jumping into pregnancy right away is simply not advised.
That’s why many medical professionals advise women to wait at least 12 months after delivery to get pregnant again. The World Health Organization even recommends a minimum of 18 months.
Therefore, to ensure a surrogate has the best chance of success in passing her medical screening and eventually getting pregnant, surrogacy professionals follow these same recommendations. While they may be frustrating at first, remember that these rules are created with your safety in mind.
American Surrogacy’s Policies on Pregnancy Gaps
So, if most medical professionals recommend a 12-month gap between pregnancies, why does American Surrogacy allow prospective surrogates to start the process at only six months postpartum?
That’s a good question. Here at American Surrogacy, we are just as dedicated to your safety as any other surrogacy professional. However, we recognize that your time is precious — which is why we maximize it as much as possible.
The surrogacy process can take a year or more to complete. The preliminary screening and matching stages by themselves can take a few months; therefore, we allow our surrogate candidates to apply six months postpartum to start tackling these ahead of time.
When the time comes around that a candidate is 12 months postpartum, she’ll be ready to start the medical process right away — having already completed the preliminary logistical steps and screenings. She can jump right back into trying to get pregnant again, and our specialists already have the knowledge to support her through this journey.
For more information on our pregnancy gap policies, please contact our specialists today. They can answer your questions and help you decide when you are eligible to start the surrogacy process.
What to Consider Before Becoming Pregnant Again
It’s one thing to adhere to a professional recommendation about time between pregnancies — but it’s even more important to evaluate your personal situation. You may be excited at the possibility of being pregnant and helping to bring a child into the world, but have you really thought about what this process will demand from you?
Pregnancy and childbirth is a major medical experience, and it’s not something that you can get up and walk away from the day after. You’ll feel the effects of pregnancy and delivery for months after. You may feel like your body is not your own, and you may struggle to get back to the physical condition you were in prior to your last pregnancy. This is totally normal.
Whether you are six months postpartum or later in your recovery process, you should ask yourself whether you are really ready to become pregnant again. Start with these questions:
- Are you ready to stop breastfeeding? Because breastfeeding delays a woman’s return to fertility, prospective surrogates must stop breastfeeding before they can begin the medical process. They must resume their regular menstrual cycle, which can take a few months after breastfeeding stops. Are you ready to wean your child in order to become a gestational carrier?
- Can you care for a newborn on top of your surrogacy responsibilities? Being a surrogate is no joke — and neither is being a new parent. They both require discipline, time and energy. Handling both together is not impossible, but it can be difficult. Think about your current schedule and everyday routine; can you handle the added responsibilities of being pregnant and maintaining a relationship with your intended parents? There’s no shame in waiting until your child is a bit older to start the surrogacy process.
- How emotionally ready do you really feel? You may feel like you have to put on a brave face after pregnancy, saying how everything is OK — but your postpartum time will be an extremely emotional one. And don’t forget the risk of postpartum depression. You need to be 100 percent honest with yourself about how emotionally ready you are for another pregnancy and the commitment of surrogacy. All prospective surrogates must undergo a mental health evaluation prior to approval, but it’s a good idea for you to see a professional on your own after pregnancy. That way, you can honestly evaluate your emotional state before you get started.
Ultimately, you are the only one who can decide when the best time to start the surrogacy process will be. If you are excited and prepared for being a surrogate six months after delivery, great — our team will be happy to help you get started!
Whatever you do, don’t rush yourself into a decision you’re not ready for. American Surrogacy will always be here for you, no matter how long it takes.
Contact our specialists today to learn more about becoming a surrogate with our agency.