Setting yourselves up for success: Conversations to have with your surrogate or gestational carrier now

Baby is on her way! You and your surrogate or gestational carrier have probably had a few different big conversations over the course of your surrogacy journey, but as your baby’s soon-to-be birthday approaches, there are a couple of things that right now is the perfect time to talk about – even if you’ve talked about them before. Your thoughts and feelings, and your surrogate or gestational carrier’s thoughts and feelings may naturally have evolved over the course of this pregnancy, and you can help keep track of these changes by having a more detailed version of a few key conversations as your baby’s birth approaches.

Where do you fit into your surrogate or gestational carrier’s birth plan?

There are a lot of factors that go into the question of exactly when you’re first going to meet your little one. Depending on whether your surrogate or gestational carrier ends up having a C-section or delivering vaginally, and depending on the policy of the hospital or birthing center when she plans to deliver, you may or may not be able to be in the delivery room as your baby is born, or there may be a restriction on the number of people who can be in the room during the birth. Beyond the question of whether you’ll be allowed into the room, though, there is the question of what you and your partner feel comfortable with, and what your surrogate or gestational carrier and her partner feel comfortable with.

Giving birth doesn’t always go according to plan, and any birth plan comes with the “unless we need to do something else in the moment” clause, but by talking through the plan with your surrogate ahead of time, you’ll all have a better idea of the priorities of everyone involved, so that if changes have to happen without warning, you’ll all have a better idea of what to expect.

Does your surrogate want to hold the baby after the birth?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether your surrogate should hold the baby when she is born, there’s only the answer that both you and your partner and your surrogate all feel the most comfortable with. It’s natural to want to be the first person to hold your new baby, and it would be natural for your surrogate not to feel comfortable being the first person to hold a baby she won’t be raising or taking home with her. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible for anyone in either of your families to have conflicted feelings, and that’s natural – the important thing is to talk it through honestly, and to figure out something you can all be comfortable with. Having this conversation now, significantly before the birth, is also important, so everyone is on the same page on the big day.

Are either of your families interested in breastfeeding?

You will probably already have discussed whether your surrogate or gestational carrier will pump breast milk to give to you to feed your baby after delivery, but if you’re planning on feeding your baby pumped breast milk from your surrogate or gestational carrier, now is a great time to check back in. Pumping is, after all, a huge commitment. You and your surrogate can connect about whether she’s still up for pumping for a while, and how long both you and she are interested in doing so. You should also be aware that inducing lactation is possible even in moms who haven’t given birth.

What level of involvement are you hoping for as the baby grows?

You’ve probably already talked about this in a general way before your surrogate or gestational carrier’s pregnancy began, but the things both of you want out of your relationship may change and evolve as you get to know each other better. Now is the time to be very honest about the kind of relationship your family would like to have with your surrogate or gestational carrier and her family after your baby is born, since not being on the same page at this point can lead to hurt feelings later.

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