It’s probably not the first time you’re hearing that every surrogate needs to have support. But you still may be wondering ‘why is it so important to have a surrogate support system, exactly?’ And that’s a fair question!
As you wrap yourself in the excitement of literally bringing someone’s dream to life, it can be easy to forget that pregnancy is a taxing experience under any circumstance. The journey for gestational surrogacy also means fertility treatments, additional doctor’s appointments, and a natural range of emotions. Your surrogate support system helps to ease the burden, so you only remember the joy you made happen when you look back on the journey.
What Does a Surrogate Support System Do?
Well, that varies depending on your family’s needs and this unique pregnancy, but the intention is to have a network of people who are ready to provide both emotional and practical support.
At the core of your team, you’ll have your partner, your case manager (who is always available to offer guidance, advocacy, or just an understanding ear), and the intended parents. You’ll also have a team of doctors and mental health professionals looking out for your wellbeing. However, when we talk about your emotional and practical support teams, we’re talking about those friends and family members who are ready and willing to step in as needed.
Emotional Support Team – Every surrogate finds herself in a moment when she needs to talk with someone who isn’t directly invested in the journey. Maybe it’s to vent about something specific or simply to think about something other than what’s happening with her body. That’s where your personal emotional support team steps up.
Practical Support Team – Similarly, while your partner is doing everything possible to support you, you still have a lot going on in your life. The family and friends on your practical support team step in to help with things like transportation to appointments, childcare while you’re at appointments (or simply in need of some downtime), chores, grocery shopping, etc.
You may find that some members of your personal surrogate support system are great at either emotional or practical support but not both. And that’s okay! That’s one of the reasons we encourage you to have a system not just a person.
Who Should Be in My Surrogate Support System?
Now that’s a very personal decision. For some surrogates, it’s an easy choice, and for others, it takes more thought. Some want to bring all of their friends and family with them on the journey, and others want to be strategic about who they open up to and rely on. There is no “right” answer.
As you start to think about who you want to have in your surrogate support system, here are a few things to consider:
- You’ll need positivity and reliability.
- You want people who understand your decision or are willing to learn about, support, and accept your decision.
- You’ll want to feel respected and acknowledged as you experience a wide range of emotions.
What Do I Do Next?
Once you’ve figured out who you trust to accompany you on this amazing journey (aside from that core team that’s already on board), it’s time to have some conversations. Don’t feel like you need to do this all in one short period of time. You’re in control of who you want to open up to and when. Also, your case manager can offer guidance to help you navigate those discussion – just ask.
Realistically, you may find that when you share your decision to become a surrogate or that you’re already pregnant, some of your surrogate support system will naturally fall into place – with the people who love you stepping into support roles without you needing to ask.
The Most Important Takeaway…
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The reason we encourage surrogates to build and define a surrogate support system is that most surrogates, by their very nature, are generous and altruistic women. So, they are often hesitant to “put someone out” or “be a burden” or any of the other phrases we often tell ourselves. With a support system in place, you know where you can turn – where your needs will be met with enthusiastic support.
Learn More About the Surrogacy Journey with Surrogate Parenting Services
Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.