Self-Care Tips for Parents of Surrogate-Born Babies
You have been trying to have a child for months (if not years), and now it seems your dream is about to become a reality. But while you eagerly await the birth of your surrogate-born baby, there are some ways you can make the best use of this time to get ready for parenthood. In the following piece, we will discuss some self-care tips on how you can give yourself the best possible care while waiting for your baby.
Why take self-care
Surely, you have been on a difficult journey. You have faced a lot of challenges and disappointments. After such an experience, it is crucial that Intended Parents use their time judiciously. Deal with your difficult emotions, find a support group, and take time to look after yourself, and you will be happy you did when your baby finally arrives.
1. Look for your “own people”
There are many other people who are passing through or have gone through the exact same thing. At this time, you need those who have been in your shoes and understand your situation.
Contact a local support group or go online to speak with others who are passing through the same thing. By getting in touch and being there for other people, you will find that you aren’t alone.
2. Get answers to your questions
For peace of mind, it’s important to ask your surrogacy agency all the questions that may be bothering you. Examples of questions to ask include:
- Will the Surrogate develop an emotional attachment with the baby?
- Where will we go after childbirth?
- What kind of relationship will we have with the Surrogate after delivery?
It is good to be completely honest with the agency and Surrogate Mother if you are worried or anxious. Communication and transparency are very important.
3. Consult a therapist
You can benefit from a professional, relaxing space where you won’t be judged—a place where you will feel free to express your difficult emotions.
Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is an excellent way to get rid of your fears, deal with your emotions, and grieve over the pregnancy experience you will never have. It can help improve your mental health, allowing you to be the best parent you can be when your child arrives home.
4. Practice mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness – being fully aware in the present moment – has a lot of health benefits, including calming your body and mind. A brief 5-minute meditation can make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Guided meditation may be a great option if you are just beginning meditation. There are plenty of websites, applications, and audio files that can guide you through each step of medication.
Moreover, there are lots of breathing exercises that can relieve stress within a few minutes, so you can do these even when you have limited time. Although they don’t take much time to do, a few deep cleansing breaths can help calm your mind and body.
Yoga is an excellent way to incorporate mindfulness meditation into your daily schedule, which may help improve your physical health, not to mention the mental and physical benefits.
5. Eat healthy and do a lot of exercises
The food we eat can have a significant effect on our mood. When you don’t have the right nutrients, you may feel more anxious, depressed, lethargic, and foggy. Consume a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and eat a lot of dopamine-boosting foods like eggs, fish, poultry, legumes, and leafy greens to increase the levels of happiness hormones.
Additionally, exercise can help release endorphins into the body, which induce positive emotions that can help you feel extremely happy, energized, and hopeful.
Research shows that exercise relieves stress, boosts sleep, raises self-esteem, and prevents feelings of depression and anxiety. It also improves heart health, reduces blood pressure, helps burn body fat, improves muscle strength and tone, and increases your energy levels.
You need to be as healthy as possible for when you have a baby to cater for!
6. Maintain a journal
As an Intended Parent, you might experience loads of complex emotions that are hard to express.
Writing down your feelings in a journal can help you heal both mentally and emotionally.
Research has shown that people who maintain gratitude journals sleep for a longer time and have good-quality sleep. And the best part, it takes only a few minutes to write in a gratitude journal and does not cost you money.
7. Practice gratitude every day
Maintain a daily gratitude list in that same journal.
It’s very easy.
You just have to write a list of things you are grateful for every day. It may be your car, your partner, your cat, the beautiful weather, your job, and the opportunity to build a family through surrogacy.
Studies indicate that practising gratitude enhances mental health, mental strength, self-esteem, and the ability to feel for others – all of which helps during a surrogacy journey.
8. Reconnect with your spouse
The surrogacy journey can take a lot out of you and your partner (if you have one). So, it is important that both of you take some time to reconnect with each other. You should try to go on a date, go on a holiday, or spend quality time together doing what you love. This will help deepen your connection and give both of you a more solid foundation to deal with anything that occurs along the way.
Bear in mind that: you are a team! You are both in this together! It is possible that your partner is also experiencing the same feeling as you are doing. Go out and have fun together. Both of you should focus on being a couple for some time. It will help a great deal.
9. Have empathy for your Surrogate mom
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective and feel what they are feeling. Putting yourself in your Surrogate Mother’s shoes will be good for your mind. This will enable you to see the bigger picture – that both of you are trying to achieve the same thing – to bring a child into the world.
Practising empathy reduces stress, enhances general health, relieves pain, and helps you feel connected with your Surrogate. It will also strengthen your relationship by reducing the negativity between you two.
10. Have adequate sleep
It will be difficult to maintain good physical and mental health if you don’t get adequate sleep. Having a good night’s sleep prevents depression, improves heart health, enhances brain function, reduces the chances of being hurt in an accident, raises your mood, strengthens relationships, and enhances your sex life.
11. Incorporate self-care into your schedule
When on a surrogacy journey, it is very easy to forget self-care because it may seem like other things are more crucial than caring for yourself.
Note: nothing is more crucial than caring for yourself. How can you take care of your baby if you cannot take care of yourself? Begin your parenthood journey right by taking care of yourself and becoming the healthiest, happiest version of “you.” That is the best gift you can give to your baby!
12. Savor something
Chances are that you don’t usually savor something if you are always in a hurry. Make sure to savor something every day. Whether you wish to savor your first cup of tea in the morning or those bonding moments when you’re playing with your kid, try to practice mindfulness.
Remember the most basic parts of self-care: eat healthily, sleep for 7-8 hours every night, and do regular exercise. You shouldn’t expect perfection when it comes to keeping a clean home, but try to maintain the basics, like doing the dishes, vacuuming, and washing your clothes.
Also, incorporate these regular self-care tips into your day-to-day routine.
Note: the times when you feel like you don’t have time to care for yourself are probably the times when you need to take care of yourself the most.
If you are feeling stressed and anxious or think that you might be depressed, speak with your doctor as soon as possible. You can also benefit from a referral to a mental health specialist. But before that, your doctor may want to check and make sure your feelings are not due to physical health issues.
Physician’s Surrogacy has helped many Intended Parents fulfil their dream of having a family through gestational surrogacy. For any questions about the process, schedule a free consultation using the given link.Schedule A Consultation