Surrogacy is a generous and selfless act. You have chosen to give a precious gift to those who cannot start a family on their own. However, this does not mean it comes without its challenges. To start you on your journey, Physician’s Surrogacy has come up with the following insider surrogacy tips.

Mental and legal preparation

Once you have decided to become a surrogate, many factors come into consideration. First, is whether to choose an agency or take the independent route.

Surrogacy agency

Surrogacy agencies will have the responsibility of matching you with a suitable couple. The agency will guide you through the entire surrogacy process, including the application and contract agreement. However, there is less freedom with an agency.

Independent Surrogacy

Independent surrogacy means you will not be working with an agent, instead you would work directly with the intended parents. It gives you more freedom as a surrogate. But you will have to find the intended parents yourself. Also, it may increase the risk of problems with protection and legalities.

Surrogate Pregnancy Types

Next, you have to decide what type of pregnancy you want to carry.  There are two types of surrogate pregnancies:

Traditional Surrogacy

You will have a genetic connection to the child.  Your own egg will be used with the sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor.

Gestational Surrogacy

You will have no genetic connection to the child. The egg will be retrieved from the intended mother and the sperm of the intended father will be used for most cases. However, in some cases, the intended parents may also use a donor egg and or donor sperm.

Legal Aspects of Becoming a Surrogate Mother

Every state has a different set of laws when it comes to surrogacy. It is crucial to understand them clearly, so no unwanted issues come up. Make sure to have a lawyer who is familiar with or has experience with the surrogacy process, whether through an agency of your choice or a personal lawyer.

Medical preparation

When becoming a surrogate, you will have to prepare your body for accepting and carrying a developing embryo. It is also recommended to discuss risks and side-effects associated with surrogacy with your physician.

Blood Draws

Should be done at the beginning of your surrogacy journey to ensure that you are completely healthy to become a surrogate. There will be minimal discomfort.

Surrogate Injections of Hormones

This is possibly the least pleasant part of being a surrogate. You must take hormones and surrogacy meditations to prepare yourself to receive an embryo. There are three injections taken over the course of several weeks to prepare you for the embryo transfer.

The Surrogacy Process 

Once the hormone treatments are completed and your body is ready to receive the embryo, the exciting journey of the pregnancy process can begin.

  1. Implantation: An appointment is scheduled for the implantation process so the intended parents can be present when it takes place. The procedure takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and both intended parents can see the complete process. After nine days, the surrogate must return to the doctor for blood tests to confirm the pregnancy.
  2. Regular check-ups:  Invite the intended parents to your regular check-ups if possible. The consistency of visits changes based on the weeks of pregnancy.  The intended parents will want to attend the ultrasound appointments as well. The first ultrasound will be performed between four- and six-weeks post transfer and the second is approximately after 20 weeks.

Emotional Support

Surrogacy is emotionally draining throughout, from getting matched with a couple until giving birth. Surrogates will go through the side effects of the pregnancy while still attending work or other activities. Finding emotional support is especially important since you will experience the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy (morning sickness, etc), knowing that you’ll give the baby away at the end. Find a support group of surrogate mothers or even one another surrogate mother you can chat with. Here at Physician’s Surrogacy, we make this easy by providing a surrogate support group and a case manager just for you. You will be able to talk to other ladies who are in the same process without having to search for them yourself.

Pregnancy Exercises

As a surrogate, it is even more important for you to stay fit and healthy, since you have a legal obligation to do everything you can for the health of the baby.  Not all exercises are recommended for pregnant women. Routine exercises for a pregnant woman should be fun yet simple. Walking, swimming, stretching & yoga are highly recommended exercises for a pregnant woman.

Postpartum Depression After Delivery for Surrogates

According to Infertility Answers, 10 to 20% of all women (not only surrogate mothers) experience postpartum depression. It is usually caused primarily by hormones followed closely by mental health issues.  Postpartum depression usually starts within a few months of delivery and can last for a few weeks, several months, and sometimes up to a year.

How to reduce symptoms of postpartum depression

Set realistic expectations for your recovery and don’t try to isolate yourself during that period of time. Surround yourself with family and friends. You can talk to other surrogates about their experiences, they might be going through the same thing.

Becoming a Surrogate

Surrogacy is a unique and joyous experience but does come with challenges. Physician’s Surrogacy can assist you in becoming a surrogate and guide you throughout your journey. If you are interested in becoming a surrogate you can apply here.