What Can a Surrogate Expect in the Delivery Room?

As a surrogate, you’ve been through pregnancy and delivery at least once before. This time, however, it’s going to be a bit different. The baby that you will give birth to will be going home with the intended parents, not you. What can you expect as a surrogate in the delivery room? Although hospitals may vary on their policies and rules, these are some general rules of thumb when it comes to surrogates giving birth.

Plan Your Delivery Before It Occurs

Before you are pregnant, you will be drawing up a Surrogacy Agreement between you and the intended parents. Many questions that you have about your pregnancy and delivery experience can be addressed within this important document. Just about everything that you can think of regarding your delivery can be spelled out within the delivery plan in your Surrogacy Agreement. This will ensure that you know exactly what to expect on the day you deliver.

Things that you and the intended parents should discuss and include in your delivery plan are:

  • In which hospital will you deliver the baby?
  • Can you choose your own obstetrician or will the intended parents choose?
  • What kind of medication, if any, would you like to use during the birthing process?
  • Who would you like to be in the delivery room with you?
  • Will you allow any photos or video to be taken of the delivery?
  • Who will cut the baby’s umbilical cord?
  • What medical procedures will be performed on the baby after its birth?
  • Will you breastfeed the baby after its birth?
  • Will you continue to breastfeed or pump for the intended parents after birth?
  • Will you hold the baby after its birth?
  • Will the intended parents stay in the room with you while you are at the hospital?

There are many more questions that you might like to have answered within this plan. A representative from Simple Surrogacy can help you to address these questions and more in your Surrogacy Agreement. This should help to eliminate any last-minute surprises on delivery day.

On The Day of Delivery

No matter how well you plan your delivery, as you know, things can change on the “big day.” It’s important to remember this and be flexible when the momentous day of delivery arrives.

When your water breaks, or when you are scheduled to be induced or have a c-section, the intended parents will likely accompany you to, or meet you at the hospital. From then on, your delivery plan should be followed. The hospital’s staff should be told ahead of time that you are a surrogate delivering a baby for the intended parents. Simple Surrogacy will make sure that everyone at the hospital who needs to know about your situation is fully informed, so this is one less detail for you to worry about.

In the majority of deliveries by surrogate, hospitals will allow at least one intended parent to remain in the delivery room during birth. This person (or persons) may support you during labor and be the first to hold the baby once it is born. They will also likely cut the baby’s umbilical cord. (If you want anyone else in the delivery room for extra support, such as your partner or a family member or friend, specify that in your delivery plan). The rest of the process, such as whether or not you breastfeed or hold the baby, should follow strictly according to your delivery plan.

After Birth

After the baby is born, your delivery plan should specify the next steps. The baby will be medically tested shortly after its birth. You may recover in a private room while the intended parents stay with the baby in another room. There are some instances, however, in which intended parents and surrogate agree to stay with the baby in the surrogate mother’s room while she is in the hospital. It all depends on the comfort of each party with this situation, and this should be spelled out months ahead in the delivery plan.

You, the surrogate mother, will remain in the hospital for 24 to 72 hours after the baby is born, just as you did in your other deliveries. You may have family and friends visit you during this time. It is likely that the baby will be discharged from the hospital before you and will go home with its intended parents. Before anyone leaves the hospital, the lawyers and Simple Surrogacy representatives will ensure that all necessary paperwork has been signed. Depending upon what you and the intended parents have determined in the Surrogacy Agreement, even though you might tell the intended parents and the baby goodbye at the hospital, you may maintain a relationship with them after birth. It all depends upon your comfort level with the situation and your desires, as well as those of the intended parents.

Once you have been discharged from the hospital, go home and enjoy your maternity leave as you recover. (Yes, you should still take the maternity leave that your job offers. Even though you aren’t caring for a newborn, your body is still recovering from childbirth!) You may notice some residual sadness due to your ever-fluctuating pregnancy hormones. If you feel that you need to talk about your conflicting emotions, a representative from Simple Surrogacy will be available to help you and provide emotional support. You should also rely on family and friends during this adjustment period, as they will be more than willing to help.

Every pregnancy is different, and every surrogate mother’s journey will be different as well. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to deliver a baby for the intended parents. There are just ways that work best for you and for them. The most important thing to remember is that, by being a surrogate, you are performing a great service for the intended parents and giving them a gift that they will value for the rest of their lives.

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