Not everyone will be lucky to carry a baby in their womb. It could be due to an illness or infertility and inability because of gender. Others may be unwilling to subject their body to considerable change. Many believe that carrying a baby is a gift and a blessing. And for some women, it’s an act that will make their womanhood whole. But women and couples who can’t conceive shouldn’t lose hope because there’s a choice of surrogacy.
What Is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is having someone else carry and give birth to your child following some legal and medical guidelines. The first gestational surrogacy, wherein a woman carried the child of a couple not biologically related to her, occurred in 1985 via in vitro fertilization. The intended mother had her fallopian tubes removed because of an illness, thus her inability to carry a child.
There are many misconceptions about surrogacy. Many believe that some women only do this for money. But for many surrogate mothers, this is an act of kindness. Being able to help out those who are unable to conceive is an act of sacrifice, and subjecting your body to a massive change is a huge deal.
What Is A Surrogate Mother?
Surrogate mothers can be classified into two: traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy uses intrauterine insemination (IUI). It means that the surrogate mother is also an egg donor, which is then inseminated by the intended father’s sperm. In contrast, a gestational surrogate mother acts merely like a vessel, wherein the fertilized egg is planted in her womb via in vitro fertilization. The gestational surrogate mother will have no genetic ties with the child.
Becoming a surrogate is not easy, and you will need all the support you can get for the entire duration and even after childbirth. There are organizations offering support groups if you want to become one. Here are some other tips if you want to become a surrogate:
- Do Your Research
Becoming a surrogate is a life-changing decision. You don’t wake up one day and decide you want to be one. It will take considerable pondering and researching before you finally reach this conclusion.
Becoming a surrogate entails a lot of things. You need to know the requirements, the steps to become one, and if you’re qualified in the first place. These are some of the requirements you need to comply with:
- 21-45 years of age
- BMI of 30
- No smoking or drug use
- Have at least one successful pregnancy
- Currently raising your children at home
- No history of postpartum depression
- Have a stable lifestyle and support system
- Can travel as needed
- Have no felony convictions
- No more than five vaginal births or three caesarean deliveries
- Have no significant complications from previous pregnancies
- Be free of STDs for a year
- Discontinue use of antidepressants for a year
Agencies handling surrogacy are comprehensive. After the initial application, you will undergo rigorous physical, medical, mental, and social examinations and background checks, which can happen in several stages.
- Establish Good Communication With The Intended Parents
One of the best-kept secrets of any relationship is trust, and this is vital in surrogacy. A relationship between the surrogate mother and the intended parents can be established and strengthened in the beginning by the agency. After the initial stages of communication, both parties must be able to define their preferred method of communication, the frequency, and the boundaries that need to be respected by both parties.
What’s great today is that there are various methods by which you can communicate because of technology. If both parties live from different parts of the world, they can still get regular updates from each other via video conferencing and instant messaging.
Another essential thing in surrogacy is honesty. A surrogate mother’s mental and physical health can impact the baby in her womb, and the intended parents need to know this every step of the way. Addressing concerns and issues openly and honestly will bring about a healthy pregnancy that will benefit both parties.
- Know The Legal Aspect Of The Surrogacy
Surrogacy requires a legal contract. You need to know all details before signing any document. Before you begin any medical evaluation, a legal agreement will be drafted so you can review it. Here are some of the legal aspects it can contain:
- Possible risks
- You and the intended parents’ responsibilities
- Relinquishment of the child
- Connect With An Experienced Surrogate
The pregnancy journey may be complex, emotional, and challenging, and you need all the assistance you can get. Aside from support groups, you can connect with an experienced surrogate who can offer you advice. You can find experienced surrogates online in relevant channels, and your agency may offer to connect you with one.
- Practice Self Care
Physical, emotional, and mental health is vital during this nine-month journey. It would be best to practice self-care for your and the baby’s sake. Drink your vitamins, have enough sleep and nutrition, and get just the right amount of exercise to prepare your body for delivering a life meant as a gift to others.
Becoming a surrogate is a selfless act. To become one, you need to be one hundred percent committed. Knowing that you can gift couples a life they can nurture can be uplifting and rewarding for many surrogate mothers. Follow the mentioned tips to become a successful surrogate on your first try.