Pregnancy can be such a wonderful thing for most families. Being pregnant really takes a toll on the mother’s body which varies from pregnancy to pregnancy. It truly takes a special person to be a surrogate, to be willing to go through all that effort for another family.
The risks with a regular pregnancy scared me enough but with surrogacy, all the pregnancy risks are elevated and a couple more risks are involved. If you would like more please visit my Surrogacy Road Map post, I outline the whole surrogacy process, at least the process here in California, but I believe the science behind surrogacy and IVF is so exact that it doesn’t vary much from location to location.
That being said, there are 3 critical things every pregnant woman and surrogate needs to have a good pregnancy experience.
# 1 You need the support of family and friends.
This is probably by far the most important thing on this list. Pregnancy is hard, and it is a whole lot harder when you are pregnant and alone. You need at least one person give you support throughout the pregnancy. This is even more so important in being a surrogate because some of the procedures and medications are near impossible to go through alone.
My wife had to take injections in her rear every day while she was going through her IVF cycle. Yes, she probably could figure it out and give herself the shot, but not without difficulty. just me being there in that way helped out tremendously.
As the pregnancy progresses pregnant women tend to not be able to do as much physically, being limited to how much she can lift, what she can clean and some are even put on bed rest for the entirety of the pregnancy. Surrogates are more often than not restricted to carrying no more than 10 lbs. Think a gallon of milk and the big block of cheese together. You will most definitely need someone to help you carry that grocery haul in, or to set up the new baby’s room.
No matter what it is, being housework, heavy lifting, or just help with childcare you will need someone’s support to help make your pregnancy as easy as it can be.
Not to mention you will need emotional support as well. As it is well known that a pregnant woman can and most likely will experience surges of hormones that can take a toll on your emotional health. You need someone that will be level headed that you can talk to and trust to help you through whatever struggle you are going through.
You need someone that will be able to leave work in the middle of the day because a fish jumped out of the aquarium and you struggled to get the fish back in the tank and now it is floating belly up and you are freaking out and crying because you don’t know what to do and you don’t want the stupid….I mean poor fish to die. This actually happened. The fish ended up living just FYI.
Support equals less stress on you, a happier you, and a safer you so that you can focus on giving that life inside of you the best possible start you can.
#2 You need a Plan
Actually tied for the number one spot is having a plan. If you are a surrogate going through an agency for your surrogacy then this is usually 95% covered because before you even get matched with intended parents there is so much discussed on what the surrogate wants and by the time you get to signing contracts your whole plan for the surrogacy what it entails is outlined in that contract, the only thing being flexible is the dates at which certain things happen.
Both surrogates and regular pregnant women need to have a birthing plan in place to tell everyone your exact wishes for the birth of the child. It stands as your one true advocate if you are not able to stand up for yourself and serves as a reminder to you and everyone involved if you become unsure.
There are plenty of resources out there that will help you create your own birthing plan so I feel no need to go into any detail, but in addition to a birthing plan, there are some other things that should be planned out in order to have a smooth pregnancy.
If you are a working you need to make plans for how much time you are going to be missing work, save for the wages you will be losing, figure out what you are going to need to buy, save for, and want when the baby comes.
Also think of details like if you have kids, where are they going to be when you deliver? Are you going to do any prenatal yoga, or get prenatal massages? Some businesses have limited schedules for their prenatal classes so you would want to know that ahead of time to plan accordingly.
You also need to think of house logistics, like where are we going to put the baby’s room, do we paint the room, what furniture to buy, and is the house baby proof, those sort of things should be thought about and decided on and completed before the due date swings around. You don’t want to worry about any of that when you should be bonding with your child.
If you are a surrogate, sigh of relief, you don’t have to worry about anything that is brought on with a new child in the home, go down and grab that margarita, chug that beer, pop that cork, or whatever! You do you! Just obey your doctor’s direction on postpartum care.
Each pregnancy is different and will require different planning but whatever it is the best thing to have is a plan for it.
#3 Realize that before the baby comes, YOU are most important.
I’m not saying this as a free pass to do whatever you want but to tell you that your health and well-being is the most important thing during the pregnancy. You are the one carrying the child, you have to deal with the progressive weight gain, you have to deal with losing pregnancy weight afterward, and you are responsible for safely delivering a new blessing into the world.
You need to take care of yourself. Eating healthy and exercise is just the start of it. The more you take care of your body during the pregnancy, the less “catching up” you will have to do after, and we all know that some people just can’t catch up.
Besides eating well and exercise take care of those aches and pains properly. This is where it is helpful to have that support system in place. There are products out there that help with pregnant pain management depending on what kind of pain it is.
Combat stretch marks now before they start to appear and just maybe they won’t show their face at all. If they do show it’s not the end of the world, it’s just more proof that you are a badass.
Feeling good about how you look is just as important as physical health because it fosters good emotional health. Avoid just buying bigger clothes that end up making you look frumpy and grab some maternity clothes. If you are on a budget Ross and Marshall’s are two great stores to check out if you have them in your area.
You can also get hand-me-downs from friends and family that have been pregnant and have no more use of their old maternity clothes. Usually, these clothes are less worn than regular hand-me-downs because they are only worn for about 6-9 months and most still look brand new.
Know your limits, physically and mentally. Don’t ever exert yourself and put your body through more stress than you should. Also if it is avoidable don’t make any big commitments while pregnant, especially late in the pregnancy. You might not be thinking like your normal self and could end up regretting a “spur of the moment” decision. Decision making also can bring additional stress that does not good for mother or child.
Paying attention to what your body is telling you and then acting to take care of it is critical if you want good postpartum results, your body will thank you later.
I hope you find this article helpful and wish you the best on your journey be it a normal pregnancy or a surrogate pregnancy. All questions and comments are welcome in the section below or you can Contact Us.