Surrogate pregnancy is a very emotional journey. On one hand, there are intended parents who have finally fulfilled their dream of becoming parents. In most cases, they have already gone through a lot of stress, disappointment, fear and struggle. On the other hand there is a surrogate mother, who independent from her motivation goes on a complicated journey of pregnancy and makes the dream of intended parents come true.
Surrogacy agency is responsible for informing intended parents about every single aspect of pregnancy : results of prenatal tests, condition of a surrogate mother, overall evaluation of course of pregnancy. While the information exchange process has to be regular, surrogacy agency should not be the only one having communication with surrogate mother. Intended parents too, should be involved in the pregnancy process. We have provided several reasons why parents might want to have communication with surrogate mother:
During pregnancy, surrogate mother may not be feeling well. She might have nausea, lack of energy, change in appetite and mood swings. While this kind of discomfort is common during pregnancy, intended parents should express their appreciation that surrogate goes through this for them and their baby. Surrogate mothers need to be supported, know that their commitment is not taken for granted and that their health and condition matter a lot too. People are always more encouraged and motivated when their dedication has a value.
Why not double check?
While intended parents are getting all essential information from the agency, it is a good practice to ask surrogate directly. Intended parents might want to know how is she feeling, whether she has everything she needs. It is important to trust a surrogacy agency, however, hearing the same from surrogate is more calming and sometimes more valuable.
Discuss postnatal issues
After the delivery surrogate can be experiencing discomfort and weakness. This is not the best time for discussing issues that are needed to complete the surrogacy journey. For example parents might want a surrogate to breastfeed a baby for even a short period of time. This has to be clarified in advance because surrogate might be planning to dry up her milk with medication.
On the other hand, in some countries, completing the journey is only possible when the surrogate gives her consent and signs documents that confirm the parenthood rights of intended parents. For example in Russia,where surrogacy is not regulated by law , there have been several court cases because of a surrogate refusing to abandon her parenthood rights and her role as a mother. Earlier communication with surrogate can help to avoid similar issues.
Often there establishes such a strong bond between parents and surrogate, that they stay in touch even long after the delivery.
There are several factors that may hinder the communication with surrogate mother. For example, it happens that surrogate is several countries away and intended parents can not visit her often. Parents should not be scared of distance and should arrange Skype/phone calls with their surrogate. Another issue that may arise is that surrogate and intended parents do not always speak the same language fluently. However, this should never be an obstacle. Sometimes just seeing and feeling that surrogate is doing good and baby is gradually growing in the belly can be as exciting as an hours of conversation and communication.
Intended parents should trust their surrogacy agencies, request and clarify all the information they need. However, at the same time, they should remember that establishing a communication with surrogate is always a step forward to having a good surrogacy experience. One more advice would be to keep the agency posted about the relationship with surrogate mother and arrange meeting through their mediation.