A loving support system makes it easier to cope with the challenges that come with becoming a surrogate. Any pregnancy requires a lot of decision-making, flexibility and preparation. But this time, you’ll also be joined by the intended parents and your surrogacy professional – all while keeping this baby safe and healthy.
You’re going to have a lot on your plate. But you don’t have to go through it alone. When you’re surrounded by a group of people you trust, going through the process from start to finish will be that much easier.
If you have any questions, you can always contact a surrogacy specialist to get more information on building a reliable support system. But in the meantime, here’s what you need to know about including a group of people you can count on.
Why You Need a Surrogacy Support System
No man is an island, especially when it comes to surrogacy. Right now, you’ll already be working with the intended parents and your surrogacy professional. So, you might be thinking, “Why do I need to involve anyone else in my surrogacy decision?” But the impact of becoming a surrogate is much bigger than you might realize. And there’s likely more people in your life you can count on than you might realize.
Your surrogacy decision will have a strong effect on the people closest to you. If you are married or in a relationship, you’ll likely need to lean on your partner more as you get through the next nine months. And you’ll need to explain what’s going on to your children, too. It’s not just about you when you become a surrogate, and you’ll need to work with everyone in your life to make sure everything goes smoothly. A good support system provides guidance and wisdom. Below are two reasons why it’s so important to have people you can count on.
Emotional Support: Sometimes, it’s just easier to talk to people who already know you so well. While you’ll always have the support of the intended family and your surrogacy specialist, having a spouse, parent, friend or extended family member there to listen can be just what you need.
Practical Support: Becoming a gestational surrogate is going to take a lot out of you, both emotionally and physically. While you’ll have your spouse there to lend a hand, it’s always nice to have more people to fall back on. When you include friends and family in your surrogacy journey, you’ll have that many more people who are there and ready to support you.
It’s always your choice who to include during your surrogacy journey. But even having just a few people in your circle who are sensitive to what you’re going through and ready to lend a hand will make a world of difference. If you’re anxious about who to tell, you can always reach out to one of our surrogacy specialists for advice and support.
When Codi went through her surrogacy journey, she knew that she could rely on her husband to get through it:
“My support system was great,” she said. “My husband had always known that I wanted to be a surrogate. Even before we had our son, his mindset was just, ‘As long as you’re safe and you’re healthy and we have one of our own, I will support you.’”
Who to Add to Your Surrogacy Support Team
As a gestational surrogate, it’s up to you to decide who you want to support you during the good times and the bad. Right now, you likely have an idea of who you might decide to ask. People like your spouse or your parents might already be involved from the beginning. But no matter who you choose, it’s important that you’re joined by people who only have a positive effect on your well-being during this process. They should be people you’re close to who you trust dearly and who are willing to learn about what you’re going through.
The people you might consider can include:
- Your spouse
- Your parents
- Your siblings
- Your extended family
- Close friends you can trust
- Others in the surrogacy community
- Your surrogacy professional
When Alicia went through her surrogacy journey, she had an awesome support system to help her:
“I had an awesome support system,” she said. ”My mother was very supportive – she told everybody. She still tells everybody and shows pictures everywhere we go.”
How to Keep Everyone Involved
Finding a good support team is just the first step. For everyone to help you effectively, they all need to be on the same page about what your needs are and how you want everyone involved. There are many ways that you can keep everyone in the loop. You may discover that certain people can only fulfill certain roles, and that’s okay.
A few ideas are:
- Asking them to join you for appointments
- See if they are willing to babysit your children during your medical procedures
- Allow them to help with your list of chores like housework, cooking or running errands
- Ask them to spend time with you when you just need a self-care day
- Call them just to chat about what you’re going through when you need someone to lean on
More likely than not, the intended parents will feel over the moon if you include them as much as possible. When Lindsey and Shiloh went through their surrogacy journey, they were ready to support Megan, their surrogate, every step of the way:
“Megan was open to us going to doctor’s appointments, so we were able to, on a monthly basis, see her and see how she was changing, see her belly grow and see all the sonograms,” Lindsey said. “That helped more than anything.”
And now, their relationship is closer than they ever imagined. A caring, supportive group of people can change your life in ways you never expected.
Finding a good support system takes work. But the innumerable benefits make it worthwhile. If you’re worried about who to add to your support system, or if you have questions about the surrogacy process in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist.