Although surrogate mothers have given birth to their own children before, it often feels like the first time when you bring a surro-baby into the world. Plus, there’s generally a few years between births, pregnancy comes with its own distractions, and some of what you’ll need to bring really is new, so it can be helpful to have a refresher course on what to bring along with you to the hospital when the little one is ready to make his or her debut. Although your list may be a little different, you can use the list below as a base and tailor it to your unique needs.
1) Legal Documents
Here in California, intended parents can establish their rights before the baby is born. Bring along copies of this, your surrogacy contract, and anything else that pertains to the legal agreements you have. Keep a copy of your ID with this if you have a spare or double-check that it’s in your purse ahead of time.
2) Insurance Info
It probably goes without saying, but you should have a copy of your insurance card or any other important insurance-related documents in the bag.
3) Two Copies of the Birth Plan
Intended parents, surrogate mothers, the delivering physician, and doula if one has been retained, should all come together in advance to create a birth plan if one is desired. When everything is hammered out, each party should have a copy for their records. You’ll want to bring along at least two copies for the hospital; one for you to have and one to give to the staff upon your arrival.
4) A List of Important Numbers
There’s no telling if/ when tech will fail you. Bring along a list of numbers for the intended parents, doctors, family members, or friends you may need to be in contact with.
5) Cell Phone Charger
Remembering the phone is easy; remembering to grab the charger while you’re in labor, not so much. If you have a spare, toss it in the bag.
6) Entertainment and Relaxation Gear
While most will bring along a phone with activities, movies, and music, but you may want to bring along non-techy stuff too, such as books or a knitting gear and other craft items if you’re into that, puzzle books, cards, and a paper and pencil or pen. Some also like to bring along their own pillows and/or blankets for the sake of comfort.
7) Comfy Clothes to Wear in the Hospital
If you’re the type who isn’t fond of hospital gowns, bring along a couple of gowns to wear during your stay. The hospital will likely insist upon gipped socks, so bring along your own or a pair of slippers with grips if you want something that’s more comfortable or suits you better.
8) Maternity Clothes to Wear Home
You won’t fit into your pre-baby clothes just yet, so make sure you’ve got an outfit that will comfortably fit you. Some suggest choosing an outfit that fit around 6-7 months, but it’s tough to predict sizing in advance.
9) Hygiene Items
The hospital will likely offer you some larger pads, though you can bring your own if you have a brand or style you prefer. Other items to include:
- Hairbrush and styling products if desired
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nursing pads (even if you’re not nursing, you’ll want them to catch overflow)
- Lip balm
Being along a few of your favorite snacks to have during labor and recovery. Although the hospital will provide meals, they’re rarely what you’d hope for and you may want snacks between meals.
If you’re using a traditional camera and not just your phone’s camera, pack it, some batteries, and extra film in the bag.
12) Door Sign
Every hospital has unique policies, but it’s quite common for hospitals to provide a room for the baby and intended parents, so they can stay together. If this is the case in your situation, you can plan ahead and bring a door sign that directs medical personnel to the other room for any baby-related questions.
13) Nursing Supplies
If you’ll be providing the baby with breastmilk or plan to donate your milk, bring along your favorite nursing bras, cream, pump, bottles, bags, and any gear you might need.
Surrogate Mothers: Begin Your Journey with SPS
If you’re considering being a surrogate and have not yet signed up with an agency, let SPS guide the way. We’ll help ensure you’re matched with intended parents who share your values and that your needs are seen to throughout the process. Visit our section for gestational surrogates to find out if you meet the guidelines for surrogate mothers and for more information on getting started.
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