She’s strong. She’s courageous. She’s powerful. She is a surrogate!
Incredible women are out there, willing to make miracles happen through gestational surrogacy. They come from all walks of life—the stay-at-home mom raising toddlers, the executive who loves being pregnant, the fertile woman who simply feels compelled to help a couple in need. Their motivations and personal interests all vary, but they share a common thread. Surrogates are human beings who are willing and able to do something incredible for someone else. We thought we’d take some time to educate you on — and clear up some common misconceptions about — what it takes for a woman to be a successful surrogate.
She ought to be…
A surrogate should be honest about everything. Throughout pregnancy, unexpected questions and concerns will arise, and absolute transparency and communication will be key. The simplest way to address newly developed issues or worries is for intended parents and surrogates to establish an open and honest relationship. Moreover, being truthful encourages communication. This will help to foster the surrogate-intended parent relationship and make the experience all the more worthwhile and meaningful.
Surrogacy is a huge commitment. With travel, screenings, evaluations, treatments, and — last but certainly not least — the actual pregnancy, the surrogate has a lot going on. That’s why it’s vital she be on top of her game and know how to efficiently manage her time. And, it’s important that she understands that surrogacy may need to take precedence over other commitments. A woman who decides to become a gestational surrogate needs to be all in— head and heart, as well as womb!
It’s of the utmost importance that a surrogate have a clear understanding of what’s going on at all times. After all, it is her body. The more knowledge a surrogate acquires, the smoother the journey will be. Those interested in surrogacy can learn by asking questions and conducting research. From the first day of screening to the day she leaves the hospital after delivery, she should fully know her role.
Beyond being well informed, a surrogate should be smart and even savvy. We’re not talking Einstein here, but it is important that she have a solid education or a longstanding career that yields opportunity for growth.
Women who are becoming gestational surrogates need to be in good shape. That’s not to say that she needs to be rocking six-pack abs, of course, but she should be in a excellent overall health to ensure that both she and the baby come through the process safe and sound. Additionally, prenatal care is very important for any woman who is expecting to conceive.
A successful pregnancy requires that the surrogate not consume alcohol, not smoke, eat a well-balanced diet, cut out certain foods, get enough sleep, be active and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Weight plays a role because the levels of body fat can affect conception as estrogen is stored and produced in fat cells.
As anyone who has given birth before knows that there are a wide range of physical and emotional aspects that result from pregnancy. Having a positive and supportive personal environment is just as important as having the proper medical care when it comes to getting through the journey. A great surrogate should have more than one person in her support system and be willing to talk openly about her involvement in the program. When a surrogate tells her family and friends about the journey, the experience is that much more rewarding.