It sounds like a simple transaction: you carry the baby, and then you give it to the couple that you know deep well in your heart will be amazing parents. However, this situation does meet the emotional and physical challenges of a surrogate pregnancy.
Nevertheless, there is no need to worry. Here we explain the postpartum surrogate pregnancy challenges and how to deal with them.
Your relationship with the intended parents and the baby
You should have an idea of what to expect from what your contract said about contact and communication terms after childbirth. Some parents ask for no contact, others opt for limited contact — share pictures, letters, have an occasional visit — while others want to continue to have the surrogate in their life.
Even if you understand the motives behind intended parents asking for limited or no contact, this sudden change might make you experience a little bit of sadness.
Why is that? Because by the end of your term, you’ve probably built a close relationship with them. After all, you spent almost 9-months communicating with them. Unfortunately, after birth, this relationship may become less personal or completely stop. Even if parents allow regular visits, keep in mind that newborns are a lot of work, don’t take it personally if they become a bit distant.
Leaving the hospital empty-handed after your surrogate pregnancy
You are having a baby, and your body is asking you to prepare for its arrival. However, in this pregnancy you are not setting up the nursery, having a baby shower, or thinking of baby names.
Just because you’re mindfully aware that this is not your baby that you are giving away, it doesn’t mean your body knows too.
It might seem silly, but the response from your body towards separation — from the intended parents and the baby — can be emotionally challenging during the first weeks after childbirth.
Dealing with your emotions
About 70%-80% of new mothers experience the ‘baby blues’. Baby blues cause fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, or drastic mood swings.
Here is the advice from surrogate mothers about how to deal with baby blues and postpartum emotions:
Friends and family
Surround yourself with family or close friends that bring you support, encouragement, reassurance, and love. This includes your children; the tiny people that you can endlessly hug and will keep you busy enough from overthinking.
Reaching out to the intended parents may be helpful. If possible, kindly ask them for a brief update about themselves and the baby. This will reassure your maternal instinct that the baby you carried is well taken care of — even if you knew this already! Separation triggers an emotional response, and in your case, reassurance will be incredibly helpful to ease those postpartum emotions.
Note: To avoid legal issues, you must respect the terms established in your contract about contacting the intended parents or the baby.
One of the most common regrets from surrogates is to not have reached out to a support group sooner. These are women who understand what you are going through and may be able to provide advice about similar experiences to yours.
Postpartum Anxiety and Depression are real issues. If you suspect that the end of your surrogacy is affecting your mental health, reach out to a therapist as soon as possible. Love & Kindness Surrogacy focuses on providing an overall good surrogacy experience. We offer many benefits, including psychological support for your surrogacy journey. Reach out to us. We are here to help you!