The journey to become a surrogate takes careful planning, timing and, most importantly, patience. With so many steps involved in the process, it’s so important to make sure that the baby you’re carrying receives only the best care.
But going to the OBGYN as a surrogate is a bit different than your average doctor’s visit. As you can imagine, things will be a little different when it’s not your baby you’re carrying. Because this process is so unique, you may have a hard time imagining what your visits will look like.
To help answer some of your pressing questions, we’ve created a guide to prenatal appointments for surrogates below:
Your First Visit
Initially, you and the intended parents will be working with a fertility clinic. But after that, you’ll likely be working with your OBGYN.
For many women, surrogate or not, the first visit with an OB can be a little stressful. But the good news is that this visit won’t differ much from one for a traditional pregnancy. It normally takes place between 8 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and your doctor will likely ask you some general questions about the surrogacy process and how you’re doing as well.
Because there’s so much to do during the initial visit, it’s often one of the longest.
Here are some additional things that might happen during your first visit:
- You might have your first ultrasound.
- You should expect a urine test, blood work and a pap smear.
- Your health and vitals will be checked, and your doctor will ask questions about your first trimester.
- You’ll likely receive a thorough physical, which will include a pelvic and breast exam (after the intended parents have left the room).
- You’ll be asked to fill out some important paperwork.
Involving the Intended Parents
Both parties will have the opportunity to ask plenty of questions, if they have any. And, more than likely, you’ll be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the very first time!
If the intended parents aren’t able to attend the first visit, that’s okay. You can share how it went with them at a later point. And if you do receive an ultrasound, you can send them some exciting pictures in the mail.
How to Handle the Unexpected
As you can imagine, surrogacy is new for a lot of people — even doctors. You may run into some awkward situations.
During your initial visit, you’re going to be asked a lot of questions that may not be applicable to the surrogacy process (like questions about your partner’s health). Some surrogates get called “mom” during their appointments. And sometimes, doctors may ask the intended parents to leave the room during your appointment. When something like this happens, you might be unsure of what to do.
The best thing that you can do is to provide as much information about the surrogacy process as you can — as early on as you can. Although your OB might not understand the uniqueness of your pregnancy or your relationship to the intended parents, they should be someone you already know and trust. Even if they’re new to the process, your doctor should have a clear understanding of how to treat everyone in this journey.
If you have any trouble during your visits, or if you have an OB who isn’t understanding of surrogacy, don’t be afraid to look for a different doctor. You deserve to receive the care that you need and feel comfortable doing so.
We’re sure you have plenty of other questions about your first OBGYN visit as a surrogate, the medical process for surrogacy, and much more. For answers, reach out to your surrogacy specialist at any time.