It’s a beautiful decision to make to help someone who can’t have children fulfill their dream of becoming parents. It’s a generous gift, but it’s also something that you have to prepare for in order to ensure your pregnancy is successful and you’re really ready for what you’ll experience. There are a number of things to do to prepare for surrogacy. Here are some tips for how to prepare for a successful surrogate pregnancy.
1. Ensure You’re Healthy Enough
As a surrogate, you have an enormous responsibility because you are carrying a baby for someone else. One of the most important things to do to prepare for surrogacy is to make sure you’re healthy enough to do that first. Different agencies have different requirements regarding surrogate health, but usually require that you visit a specialist infertility to ensure you’re fit enough for pregnancy. That means checking your personal and sexual history as well as lab testing of your blood and urine and a general examination. This will determine if you are physically ready for the fertility treatments and subsequent pregnancy.
2. Get Support from Family and Friends
While you’re the one who has to make the choice to be a surrogate, it is an enormous benefit to have your family and friends supporting that decision. For a lot of people, surrogacy is something they’ve never experienced, so it requires patience as you explain your reasons for wanting to do this. You may very well have to educate them about the process, and if you have children, this will require a delicate touch.
There are a number of sources that can help you explain the process to both your friends and family along with your child/ren. Remember to keep an open heart to show them how much you want to help those who cannot have children of their own. Also, be sure to reassure your own children that you love them so much that you’ve decided to help someone else have children of their own to love that much. It’s helpful to include them in the process so they can work through the varied emotions they will experience.
3. Talk with a Surrogacy Agency
What can also help prepare for a successful surrogacy is to talk with a surrogacy agency about the process and how they support their surrogates. Much of the stress you might experience as you’re making this decision comes from not fully understanding the process. By talking to a surrogacy agency, it will clear up any misconceptions you might have about the process, and it will give you additional information you need to prepare for a successful surrogacy.
4. Prepare Your Mind
It’s as important to prepare your mind for surrogacy as it is to prepare your body. There are a number of emotional stressors you’ll experience related to the physical demands of pregnancy and the fact that you’ll be giving the baby up. You’ll want to learn to recognize your emotions and process them so you can feel good about what you’re doing and reduce stress. Activities like yoga and meditation can help you realize the stress you’re experiencing and process it. Even doing things you love like taking a walk in nature can help to relieve the stress that will inevitably arise during this process. Family, friends, and therapists can also help you deal with the myriad emotions you’ll experience.
5. Prepare Your Body
Beyond ensuring you’re physically fit enough for pregnancy, you’ll also need to do a few other things to stay fit both before and during your pregnancy. You want to already be practicing a healthy diet and exercise regimen before you get pregnant, and you should strive to be at your ideal weight. You’ll also want to take a multivitamin each day and add in folic acid to make sure your body is getting all the essential nutrients it needs to support a growing child. Additionally, before you become pregnant, you’ll want to ensure you’re up-to-date on all of your vaccinations. You won’t be able to smoke, drink, or take any unprescribed drugs both before and during the pregnancy. You should discuss the effects of any prescription drugs you’re taking on a developing child. All of this will help ensure the child will be born healthy.
6. Get to Know the Intended Parents
This is something that can really help you emotionally prepare for a successful surrogacy as these are the people who will be caring for the child you’re carrying. Getting to know them can help you see just how important this is to them. That will ease your mind when it comes time to give them the child with whom you will undoubtedly have developed an emotional bond. Your surrogacy agency will have screened them to ensure they are a good match according to your plans and preferences, but it will help you to get to know them as people and to understand their dreams for their family.
7. Take Care of All Legal Issues Prior to Pregnancy
You don’t want to have to worry about any legal issues once you’re pregnant. That would just be an unnecessary stressor. That’s why it’s important to get all of that out of the way before you even become pregnant. There are some specific legal requirements that can vary by state, and it’s important that you understand them and have them resolved so that they don’t interfere with a successful surrogacy pregnancy. It’s also important for you to have your own legal representation to make sure your interests are considered prior to taking on this enormous responsibility.
8. Create a Safe Environment
Just as it’s important to prepare your mind and your body for a successful surrogacy pregnancy, it’s also vital to create a safe environment. Not only should you avoid ingesting toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol, you also want to make sure you aren’t exposed to those substances while pregnant. So, you’ll want to prepare your environment to make sure it is safe for you and the developing child.
You not only want your environment to be free of toxins, it should also be a relaxed, stress-free area where you can happily live and/or work while the child is developing. Stress can definitely affect an unborn child, so it’s an important factor to address as you prepare for a successful surrogate pregnancy.
Make sure your home and workspace are comfortable and emotionally appealing. Also, check to see if you’re entitled to maternity leave. In many places, you should be legally entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. This can help you stay relaxed as the big day gets closer and it can help with your recovery after the baby is born.
9. Ensure All Required Medications are Safe for You
This refers to the medications you may need to take prior to becoming pregnant and during your pregnancy. There are a number of medications you may need to take. Some help prevent or treat low-grade infections, while others prepare you hormonally for the pregnancy. You’ll want to get a list of the required medications and check with your doctor to see if they are safe for you to take.
A surrogacy pregnancy can be a wonderful journey and a tremendously generous, heartfelt gift to parents who are unable to have children of their own. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to prepare for a successful surrogate pregnancy. You need to be physically and mentally prepared for the experience, and you need to be legally protected as well. What’s also important is for you to know the child you’re carrying is going to someone you feel good about, and that the process will be safe for you. The tips listed here can help you ensure this is truly the beautiful journey you intend it to be.