Developing Healthy Communication with Your Surrogate Mother
Matching with your surrogate mother is one of the most meaningful and exciting steps of the surrogacy process. Your agency will facilitate the pairing—ensuring intended parents match with a surrogate mother that shares their same views, morals and desired communication structure throughout the surrogacy process. Finding a surrogate mother that shares your vision of the journey makes everything run more smoothly for both sides. As this is a highly personal experience, it’s perfectly normal to wait to find the most ideal surrogate mother match before making a final decision.
As you and your potential surrogate mother finish up the surrogate process, you’ll also have the assistance of a legal team to clear up any confusion of how the next year will go. Solidifying these details means that no one ever needs to question when or how communication is appropriate. It also allows both the intended parents and surrogate mother to balance a healthy life and pregnancy with the role they play in the surrogacy process.
The Legal Agreement
Once you’ve made your match, your surrogacy contracts will lay out the best plan for communicating throughout the pregnancy and after the baby is born. Specificity is key—your legal team will determine the number of times to speak each week, the best form of communication and how often intended parents should be present at doctor appointments.
These boundaries help balance the relationship between intended parents and a surrogate mother. Though you’re embarking on a personal journey, both sides need to feel that they can focus on their own priorities to put the baby first.
The Surrogate Mother Interview
On the whole, you’ll want to make sure your communication arrangement balances your comfort with hers. All surrogate mothers have had healthy pregnancies in the past and often need to tend to their daily life while maintaining a calm and happy pregnancy.
Your surrogacy agency will facilitate a lengthy interview process between the intended parents and potential surrogate mothers to ensure a perfect fit. This normally begins with a phone call and later moves on to an in-person meeting. These chats are a good opportunity to get a feel for your potential surrogate’s lifestyle. A few questions may include:
- How many children do they have in their home and what are their ages?
- What is their weekly schedule like? Do they have specific days they’d like to avoid chatting?
- Do they prefer to communicate by phone, text or email?
Whenever possible, work these questions into the discussion naturally. After all, the interview is two-sided and can be treated as a way to get to know each other without pressure. If more constant communication is important to you, it’s important to get a sense for this now.
How much should you reach out?
For the most part, your agency and legal team will recommend reaching out to your surrogate mother at least once a week, unless otherwise specified during the contract process. This allows the intended parents and surrogate mother to support one another during the pregnancy, checking in about how everyone is feeling, what they need and plans for the upcoming birth.
Try switching up forms of a communication by using FaceTime or Skype if you can’t meet in person. As this is more of a commitment, it should be a mutual decision, but can be more personal than texting and even speaking on the phone.
Intended parents often join the surrogate mother for the 20-week ultrasound, but more visits are welcome. Determine these details with your legal team at the start of the process.
Topics for Discussion with Surrogate Mothers
When you truly mesh with your surrogate mother, relaxed conversation should come naturally. Still, it’s normal to feel hesitant about what is appropriate to ask or discuss so everyone feels on the same page. Find out more about her week, plans with her family or things she’s enjoyed doing as the pregnancy advances.
As a general rule of thumb, try to steer clear of any questions that could be handled by their doctor, legal team or your surrogacy agency. Questions about what she’s eating, whether she’s been exercising, or any other health-related decisions are determined between her and her medical team. This professional support provides peace of mind to the intended parents and allows you to focus on celebrating the upcoming birth.
It is quite normal to have anxieties throughout the pregnancy, especially if you feel separated from the process. Since pregnancy can be an elevated time for handling emotions, try to create an outlet other than your surrogate mother for these concerns. On the whole, weekly check-ins should quell these concerns. Anything that arises outside of your chats can be discussed with your agency point-person.
Toward the End of the Pregnancy
As the big day draws near, you may even start planning some of the traditional events of new parenthood. When throwing a baby shower, it’s up to you and your surrogate mother to determine how much she will be involved in the celebration. Many parents invite surrogate mothers to the baby shower as the guest of honor while others throw a separate, more private event down the line. If you choose to keep the shower private, another kind gesture is buying your surrogate mother a gift that is both personalized or supportive to a comfortable pregnancy. Postnatal spa packages or a sentimental gift marking your gratitude are popular choices.
You will obviously have more questions and feel the need to reach out more frequently in the final weeks. Lean on your surrogacy agency for additional logistical help arranging all your final plans. Since babies often come at unexpected times, you’ll want to be ready to head to the hospital with little notice.
If you find yourself asking your surrogate mother a long list of questions during your weekly check-in toward the end, make a list on your own before the call. This helps you determine which questions can be delegated to your agency or legal team.
As you move ahead in your surrogacy journey, be sure to check in with your agency with any questions about communicating with your surrogate mother. They can provide expert advice on the best way to make everyone feel comfortable and supported throughout the process.
At Simple Surrogacy, we aim to build a strong network help intended parents expand their families. Reach out today to speak with one of our team members about beginning the surrogacy process.
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