Writing a comprehensive birth plan can ensure that the birthing process goes as smoothly as possible. Labor and delivery can be unpredictable and it’s tough to make decisions in the moment, especially because so many people can be involved in a surrogate birth. Committing your plans to paper well in advance of the surrogate’s due date can ensure peace of mind for all concerned.
Many of these items may seem to be common sense, but the hospital or birthing center may have no protocol for handling surrogate births, so it’s vital to spell every detail out so that the experience meets everyone’s expectations. Both legal and medical issues should be covered.
Birthing and Labor Considerations Include:
- Where will the baby be born?
- Who will be in attendance for the birth?
- Will labor be induced to accommodate schedules or allowed to begin naturally?
- What medications will be administered during labor and birth?
- Will a doula or midwife be expected?
- Who will the baby be handed to first?
- What are the labor and delivery room preferences?
- Will the surrogate agree to an episiotomy?
- Who will cut the cord and will the cord blood be retrieved?
- Will the babies be formula or breastfed?
- Will the surrogate pump breast milk for the IP’s usage?
- Will photography or videotaping allowed?
- If a cesarean is needed, who will attend?
- What anesthesia is preferred?
- Who will be able to view the cesarean birth?
Legal factors to consider:
- Be sure the hospital staff understands that the IPs are the parents of the infant.
- Establish how the parents’ names will appear on the birth certificate. Laws regarding this vary from state to state.
- Note who will make decisions regarding the baby’s health.
- Sign a HIPAA waiver so the IPs can be kept abreast of your condition and the baby’s.
When creating a birth plan, the surrogate and IPs should work together closely, but they should also seek advice from their agency, attorney and medical professionals to ensure that every variable is accounted for.
If you have questions about becoming a gestational surrogate or working with a surrogate to create your family, or if you have concerns anywhere along your surrogacy journey, contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions today.