Like all pregnancies, gestational surrogates (and intended parents/physicians) go into the delivery with a game plan. Highlight things to consider (like whether the IPs will be in room) and different approaches to birth (natural, etc.).
Thinking your birth plan through ahead of time and committing it to paper is the best way to ensure your wishes, and those of the intended parents, will be adhered to. As you know, labor and delivery do not always go as planned. Cool heads don’t always prevail in the heat of the moment. If you have your partner or labor coach, intended parents, and medical staff in the room, things can get confusing quickly.
No detail is too small if it’s something you or the IPs care about, so include every medical and legal consideration, as well as any comfort issue that’s important to you.
Consider and discuss the following:
- Where will the baby be born? Hospital, birthing center or home birth? Which hospital, and doctor or midwife?
- Who will be permitted in the room for labor and delivery?
- Will labor be induced to make sure the IPs are in attendance or will you wait for labor to occur?
- What medications if any will be administered during labor and delivery?
- Will a doula or midwife be in attendance?
- Who will the baby be handed to first?
- 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 IPs to use?
- Will photography or videotaping allowed?
- If a cesarean is required, who will be able to view the cesarean birth?
Take care to include legal issues:
- Inform the hospital staff 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.
- State who will make decisions regarding the baby’s health.
- Sign a HIPAA waiver so the IPs can be informed of your condition and the baby’s.
A bit of forethought can prevent last-minute scrambles and confusion, ensure a healthy delivery and that no one’s feelings are hurt. It’s an emotional time for everyone, so it’s best to spell out decisions in advance when everyone has a cool head.
Don’t hesitate to ask for input from your surrogacy agency, attorney and doctor to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.
If you have questions or concerns anywhere along your surrogacy journey, contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions. As Surrogacy experts in the United States, they are here for you every step along the way.