What You Should Know About Your Surrogate Mother

Gestational surrogacy is a third party assisted reproduction method where a surrogate mother carries a pregnancy for another couple or individual. Chances are, you have already heard about or read a news piece about a famous personality who used surrogacy to grow their family. But celebrities are not the only ones whom surrogacy has helped. About 750 babies are born via surrogacy each year only in the US.

The gestational carrier or surrogate mother plays the most important role in the entire process. These women are driven by compassion and the altruistic desire to help someone become a parent. Intended parents should also be very thoughtful when choosing a surrogate mom so that they both are comfortable with each other throughout the journey. Let’s see what qualities make a good surrogate.

The Surrogate’s Health

It’s essential that the surrogate is in sound physical and mental health. The success of the pregnancy and the baby’s growth hugely depends on the surrogate’s own health. Make sure that the surrogate passes all the medical and psychological screenings run by your IVF clinic.

Almost all surrogacy agencies and IVF clinics rely on the below attributes to select surrogates. These can certify if a woman is physically fit and emotionally ready for the surrogacy journey.

  • Aged 21 to 37
  • Previous uncomplicated births
  • BMI below 32
  • Does not smoke
  • No drug abuse
  • Healthy living standards and home environment
  • Had less than three C-sections
  • Had no sexually transmitted diseases
  • Good mental health report
  • Lives with a supportive family

The BMI Concern

BMI is an important factor because a gestational carrier with a high BMI (being overweight) has been associated with pregnancy complications. On the other hand, a low BMI bears the risk of preterm delivery and underweight babies. Also, a high or low BMI can take twice to four times longer for the surrogate to become pregnant.

Previous Pregnancy History

The surrogate must have had a successful pregnancy of her own with any complications. The pregnancy history is important because it is a proof that the surrogate is able to carry a pregnancy safely to term.

Almost all surrogacy agencies mandate that the applying surrogate has a positive pregnancy and delivery history.

Where Does She Lives?

Having your surrogate reside in the same locality or the same state is a big advantage since you can meet her more often and be at her side easily if any complications arise. Being nearby also means you can be present on the due date even on a short notice.

The Surrogate’s Relationship Status

Surrogacy journey is full of emotional rollercoasters and the surrogate must have at least one reliable support person she can lean onto during difficult times.

Some gestational surrogatescould be married or be in a committed relationship. This ensures she has a partner as their support person which is very important for the journey. Or she can be a single mom and have family and friends as their support system.

The factor here is that your surrogate should have a solid support system throughout the journey.

Her Lifestyle

Every person has their own lifestyle that they are comfortable with and the same goes for surrogates. The key factor to check is whether her lifestyle is healthy or not. A healthy lifestyle implies she and her family maintain good hygiene, and in a healthy state of mind.

If you have any special request regarding the surrogate’s lifestyle, such as switching to organic foods, increasing sleep time, limiting exposure to heat in the kitchen or workplace, make sure to let her know and be ready to  bear the expenses for that.

A Few More Words

Once you’ve selected a potential candidate, set up a meeting at the earliest. If she is married or committed, then ask her partner to be present at the meeting too. Talking to both of them will give you a better picture of her life and background.

While at the meeting, consider the following:

  • Does she appear to be what you expected based on the telephone conversations, e-mails, and photographs?
  • Does she look overall healthy?
  • Does she act maturely and appear responsible through her manners?
  • Do you get a “good feeling” about her and her family?

Perhaps it’s best and easier to work with your friends or family when assessing a surrogate.

Look carefully at her attitude regarding surrogacy, how is her dedication, what motivates her to become a surrogate, and her sense of responsibility.

But please don’t be harsh on this woman. Keep in mind that this person may have volunteered to help a hopeful parent out of the kindness of her heart. She may have felt the same pain you are in and wants you to taste the joys of parenthood as she does with her own children.

Also, once in mathed, there will be an agreement that all parties must follow.

Take Away

The decision of becoming a surrogate is a big commitment itself and the journey takes a lot of time and energy to result in success. Your surro mama should realize that it’s a significant financial commitment on your side.

The surrogate herself is a person and she may not live upto all of your expectations. But once you enter this life changing journey, everyone needs to remain dedicated to the process.

What finally matters is that you and your surrogate mother are comfortable moving forward together.

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