Having a baby as a surrogate mother is similar to a personal pregnancy in some ways. You will see your stomach grow, experience the baby kicking and feel heartburn and morning sickness, as well as the other symptoms of pregnancy. Of course, surrogacy also involves labor and delivery of the baby.
In many ways, however, surrogate mothers experience big differences with their surrogate pregnancy:
There Is a Process Before the Pregnancy
Before becoming a surrogate parent, you must reflect on and make the right choice. Make sure you’re ready for the journey and know you will generally get screened to ensure you’re healthy enough for the risks of pregnancy. In addition, the intended parents and surrogate mother closely communicate first to ensure everyone is on the same page. If you’re not comfortable with the intended parents in the delivery room, for example, you will get carefully matched with parents who are comfortable not being there.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment
One of the largest differences happens early in the surrogate mother process. Weeks before the pregnancy, you’ll get medications and go to doctor’s appointments to prepare your body for IVF. The embryo transfer then takes place, and the medications and treatment continue until about the 10th week of pregnancy. At that point, you will go to your OBGYN, just as you would with a personal pregnancy.
It’s Helping Someone Else
With surrogacy, there is another person or couple involved who are very excited to meet their baby. The intended parents attend appointments, get updates and take full part in the pregnancy, in many cases. Everyone is aware the intended parents are the parents of the baby, and you get to take part in their excitement and journey.
Communication Becomes More Important
Working with an intended parent means good communication with someone you may not have known before the surrogacy. Talking about expectations and staying on track together are important, so intended parents can be there for the milestones.
There May Be Special Considerations
Surrogates of celebrities, for example, may need to sign non-disclosure agreements or require added protection to ensure privacy. You also may need to explain your pregnancy to your children at home or others in your life. In many cases, you can expect a positive response. After all, offering someone else the opportunity to have a family is very generous, and many see it as a wonderful thing to do.
It Takes a Team
The team involved with a surrogate pregnancy can include IVF specialists, a reproductive endocrinologist and other experts who may not be involved with a personal pregnancy. This is especially true for the IVF part of the journey.
There Is Less Worry About Logistics
With a surrogate pregnancy, there is no need to buy baby items, prepare a nursery or attend a baby shower. You do not need to consider maternity leave, childcare and the other considerations parents need to focus on.
There Is No Motherhood
There is a significant psychological difference between a personal and surrogate pregnancy. With a personal pregnancy, a mother is preparing for a whole new role as a parent. She is getting ready for motherhood, telling her family, picking baby names and dreaming about her family and the baby’s possible future. As a surrogate, you do not see the intended parents preparing, however.
Legalities Are Involved
With a personal pregnancy, the legalities mainly surround the birth certificate. With a surrogacy, there are attorneys and paperwork involved.
The Rights Are Different
Courts protect the rights of the intended parents and the rights of surrogate mothers, which are different than the rights of a woman in a personal pregnancy.
Many Surrogates Experience Personal Reward
Many surrogate mothers note that one of the most exciting parts about surrogacy is helping another family enjoy the magic of becoming parents. This is often one of the most rewarding parts of the experience, and in some cases, creates an important bond.
Some Women Report an Easier Recovery
You do not need to stay up with a small infant or wake up in the middle of the night for feeding when acting as a surrogate. With less time focused on caring for a baby, you often have more time to focus on your recovery. Women who have had both personal and surrogate pregnancies often report recovery from a surrogate pregnancy is easier because of these factors.
There May Be Post-Recovery Emotions
You get support from a team to make sure you are ready to move on after delivery. It is not unusual to have some emotions involved in carrying an infant for nine months, and many surrogate mothers get to be celebrated and supported by others as they adjust to post-pregnancy life again.
What Is the Same With Surrogate Pregnancy?
Of course, the physical reality of carrying a baby remains the same with both a personal and surrogate pregnancy. You can expect your body to change and will need to follow OBGYN directions regarding diet, exercise and good care. Women who act as surrogates will need to take some time to attend appointments and for labor and delivery.
Are You Interested in Surrogacy?
Western Fertility Institute is your one-stop solution and offers a comfortable and kind environment for a healthy pregnancy. Our team includes top-tier physicians and healthcare professionals who fully support surrogate mothers and patients. If you’re ready to give the gift of life to a couple who has been struggling to grow their family, we can help.
Western Fertility Institute offers a confidential and easy online application that allows you to see if you qualify. Once you are accepted, you will create a profile and sign the paperwork. You will also meet with a program coordinator and undergo a medical consultation before you are matched, to ensure you’re ready.
To apply to be a surrogate, you can apply with Western Fertility Institute today.