Parents who become parents through surrogacy have some unique challenges that other parents don’t face. One of these might be worrying about bonding with a baby born through surrogacy, but it’s important to remember that all families need time to bond when a new baby is born. Still, taking time and care to bond with a new little one from the very beginning is a great way to ensure a positive start for the new family, and parents-to-be can help to make sure the bonding process goes smoothly in many different ways, some of which can begin before a surrogacy relationship even begins.
Before you start
Make sure you match with a surrogate or gestational carrier who wants you to be involved to the same degree that you want to be. Having the level of engagement you’re hoping for, whether that’s meeting in person several times, hearing from her after checkups, or just the occasional chat on the phone, can help you start to feel secure in the connection you’re building from the start.
Going to appointments when you can, seeing the images of the progression of the pregnancy, and hearing the heartbeat (either in recordings or in person) can be a great way to get involved before your little one is born. If you’re matched with a surrogate or gestational carrier who isn’t nearby, following the pregnancy via app can be a great way to feel connected to the pregnancy as it progresses. Nesting in your home, by setting up a nursery or by doing some early baby-proofing, can also be a great way to start to feel prepared to bring your baby home.
When your baby is born, you’ll be able to kick-start bonding through physical contact. Skin to skin human contact is powerful, which is why it’s becoming more and more commonly included as a part of the post-delivery routine. Skin to skin contact with a newborn helps them start to regulate their own temperature, and to bond with the person holding them. Skin to skin contact helps the body release oxytocin, the ‘love hormone’ that helps build that feeling of emotional connection.
Once you’ve brought your baby home, taking some time just for yourself, your baby, and your partner if you’re parenting with a partner, is a great way to help to establish your little family’s bond before inviting family, friends, and other loved ones in to meet the new arrival.
In the end, it’s time that is really going to make the difference in helping you bond with your new baby, but going into the experience feeling prepared is a great way to get off on the right foot with the newest member of the family!