Planning For Postpartum Recovery as a Surrogate

Published on Wednesday May 25th, 2022 by WCS

The surrogacy process is a very eventful journey filled with many milestones, starting with becoming a gestational surrogate, getting matched with intended parents, embryo transfer cycle, pregnancy, and finally culminating in labor and delivery. Although there is a lot of information about what to expect during the surrogacy process itself, you might be wondering about what comes next after the journey is over.

After a surrogate gives birth, she enters into a postpartum period as she would with any other pregnancy. However, instead of raising a newborn baby, surrogates return to their normal daily activities and responsibilities. Because surrogates are required to have given birth before even being accepted into a surrogacy program, the pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum experience will already feel familiar, yet different and unique.

Practical Planning Tips for Postpartum Recovery

In the weeks and months leading up to the birth, surrogates are typically very focused on the journey itself. With all the planning and coordination involved in a surrogacy cycle, thinking about postpartum recovery can sometimes slip through the cracks. However, as you get closer to the delivery day, it’s important that you make your postpartum recovery strategy a priority and make a practical strategy ahead of time so that you can focus on getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Some things you should consider include:

  • Arranging for maternity leave from your job, if applicable
  • Arranging for childcare so that you can rest during the first weeks following delivery
  • Preparing a stash of frozen prepared meals
  • Putting together a self-care kit that addresses postpartum discomforts (pads, over-the-counter pain relief medication, pain relief spray, witch hazel wipes, stool softener medication, etc.)
  • Making sure you have everything you need within reach close to your favorite resting spot (medications, a large water bottle, sleep mask, reading material, a tablet, chargers, snacks, etc.)
  • Breast pump and supplies, if you will be pumping milk for the surrogate baby
  • Asking your most trusted friends and relatives to check in with you from time to time to see how you’re doing

Planning all these details ahead of time will make it so much easier for you to recover peacefully.

Emotional and Mental Selfcare for Postpartum Recovery

Although surrogacy removes some of the physical, mental, and emotional challenges that come with postpartum recovery, it’s important to remember that this period of time is full of deep hormonal shifts that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable to high-intensity emotions. Just like anyone else, surrogates can experience negative thoughts and feelings during the postpartum period.

There is no one-size-fits-all way to prevent experiencing these emotions. Whether you need to talk to a doctor or simply talk to someone, find whatever works for you. Some ideas include:

  • Talking to your doctor about postpartum depression, especially if you have experienced postpartum depression in the past
  • Continue talking with your mental health provider through your surrogacy agency. If your agency does not provide this support for you, call your doctor, or you may call West Coast Surrogacy and we will provide referrals for you
  • Joining a support group, either online or in-person. There are many surrogate support groups online. Your agency may offer this as well
  • Talking to your partner before the delivery about your concerns
  • Engaging in calming activities, such as meditation or yoga
  • Using a creative outlet, such as writing or painting, to help you channel your emotions

Ultimately, it’s important that surrogates take care of themselves before, during, and after their journey. There are plans that can be put in place and resources utilized to help ensure that every former surrogate has a smooth postpartum experience. If you are thinking about becoming a surrogate and have any questions about any part of the process, we encourage you to reach out to us at West Coast Surrogacy directly.