Written by Loretta Carey
Gestational surrogacy is undeniably a sensitive and difficult process for both parties. To make the process a bit easier, some intended parents purely treat it as a business arrangement. On the other hand, there are some people who find forming a relationship with the surrogate a rewarding experience. After all, the surrogate is carrying their precious baby in her womb.
While many surrogacy centres can handle all the physical and mental care essentials for your gestational surrogate, you too can be involved in the pregnancy. Surrogacy relationships can go deeper than a business transaction. It is also worth noting that some surrogates do not carry babies just to get compensated. They do it because they want to help people who struggle to make babies.
Your baby is connected to your surrogate and you can form a bond with her so in a way, you are also forming a bond with your baby during the pregnancy. You can offer support to the surrogate so your baby can develop in a healthy and happy environment. Here are some tips you can follow on properly caring for your gestational surrogate during the pregnancy.
Openly Communicate with your Surrogate
One of the upsides of gestational surrogacy is that you are free to communicate with the surrogate. You get to talk to potential surrogates and choose someone who you feel comfortable with. Once you’ve selected your surrogate and the pregnancy has been confirmed, you have to make sure that you treat her how you would want to be treated. Openly communicate with her and get to know her. Ask about her dislikes, what makes her happy and what worries her.
Early in the process, it is important for expecting parent/s and the surrogate to set clear boundaries. While this can be dealt with legally, there are still some things that can be settled out of the contract. For instance, you can ask them what kind of communication they would like to maintain after the birth. You can also ask them if they would be comfortable having you inside the room while she delivers the baby.
It would also be helpful if you can consult a therapist who specialises in fertility. There may be aspects of the process that you might feel awkward talking about with your surrogate. Since most surrogates’ purpose is to help people struggling with pregnancy, they become emotionally invested in the process. You might wonder what your surrogate will feel when she delivers the baby and when that baby is given to you. A therapist would be able to open the communication between both parties in topics such as the aforementioned.
Regularly Check on Her
An excellent way to show your support for your surrogate is by regularly checking on her. A phone call at least once a week would be enough. However, if you feel the need to visit her, ask her how often you can schedule meetings with her. On the other hand, no one enjoys being micromanaged. So, remember to keep a perfect balance between your concern and your surrogate’s personal space.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that the process requires a lot of trust. Surrogacy agencies make sure that they meticulously screen the potential surrogates and that they are educated about the process. It goes without saying that the person carrying your baby would have common sense and you just have to trust her to use it. Trust her to take care of herself throughout the pregnancy—that she’s careful with what she eats, she’s well rested and that she’s showing up to all her OB appointments.
Make the Pregnancy Comfortable for Her
Going through pregnancy is difficult enough, and carrying a stranger’s baby can be more challenging. Aside from the physical challenges, a surrogate goes through a lot of emotional and mental stress. So, it is also important for you to ask her how you can make the pregnancy a little more comfortable for her. Give her a gift every now and then to show her how much you appreciate what she’s doing for you.
Listen to her Special Requests
You can also ask her whether she has any special requests. For instance, some surrogates may have tried delivering a baby without an epidural and they did not like the experience. If she asks for an epidural for the delivery, then do not hesitate to allow her request. There are also some surrogates who do not like seeing the baby right after delivery. They do not want to have that first bond as they know that the baby is not theirs to keep. As long as the surrogate’s requests are reasonable then go ahead and fulfil them.
Offer Relief for Pregnancy-Related Aches
Lower back pains and aches are part of the pregnancy process for a surrogate. So, why not offer relief for your surrogate to make her experience a little less difficult? There are many options available for you and getting chiropractic care is one of them. You may think that it is not safe for a pregnant woman to see a chiropractor during pregnancy, but the truth is, complications from this treatment are rare.
There are many trusted chiropractic clinics in Perth and across Australia. Many of them are qualified to provide chiropractic treatment for pregnant women. Their treatments are safe and they do not involve surgery or drugs. What chiropractors do is maintain the health of a pregnant woman’s spinal column and adjust misaligned joints. On the other hand, it is still best to get a doctor’s approval before subjecting your surrogate to a chiropractic treatment.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for your Surrogate
During the pregnancy, your surrogate may experience physical and hormonal changes. Some of them can affect her posture and make her feel uncomfortable. As your baby inside her womb grows, your surrogate’s centre of gravity shifts and her posture accordingly adjusts. During the pregnancy, your surrogate may suffer from a misaligned spine or joints.
Regularly bringing your surrogate to a chiropractor frees her from the pain caused by the changes in her posture. Aside from that, chiropractic care also brings benefits for your baby. When a chiropractor properly aligns your surrogate’s pelvis, your baby gets enough space to grow. Moreover, having a balanced pelvis lowers the chances of the baby moving into a breech position.
There are a lot of things you can do for your gestational surrogate. What is important is you set clear boundaries with your surrogate so that both of you won’t go overboard. Respect your surrogate and try to make her experience comfortable. Sometimes, a simple gesture of appreciation can be enough to make her happy.