As an intended parent (IP), you may wonder how you will manage after the surrogacy process. Getting ready for a new baby is no small undertaking. Like any expectant parent, the closer it gets to the baby’s due date, the more anxious you are likely to be about parenting, especially if it’s your first child. While everyone’s parenting journey is different, some tried, and true parenting tips may help. Don’t feel obligated to employ every recommendation; take the ones you like, and leave the rest! Be sure to check out our list of valuable resources for more help preparing for parenthood after surrogacy.
Getting Ready for Parenthood via Surrogacy
Do Your Homework
Do some online research and find a list of top-rated parenting books. Select a book (or two) that sparks your interest. If you don’t like to read, consider listening to record books on an app such as Audible. Books written for surrogate and adoptive parents may be helpful for situations pertaining specifically to surrogate parents (e.g., Breastfeeding Without Birthing, a guide for adoption and surrogacy).
Join a Parenting Group
There are many specialty groups for single parents, adoptive and same-gender parents, parents of multiples (if applicable), and more. A parenting group will help you learn the ropes from other parents while providing an invaluable support network. A good resource for the LGBTQ+ community is the National Network of LGBTQ Family Groups, with a network of nationwide support groups.
Learn to Effectively Manage Stress
Parenting involves many situations in which new parents are exploring uncharted waters. A certain amount of stress typically accompanies uncertainty and new transitions (i.e., adding a tiny human to the family mix).
Get ready for parenting by incorporating healthy de-stressing techniques (e.g., meditation, yoga, exercise, positive affirmations, or other measures) into your daily routine. A good resource is Mayo Clinic’s online Mindful Parenting course aimed at helping new parents cope with the stressors of parenting in the first year by using mindfulness skills. New parents in need of stress management tools can also consider consulting with a mental health professional such as a counselor or therapist.
As you probably know, there’s more to bringing home a new baby than preparing mentally. Here are some resources and books on essential action steps to ready yourself and your partner (if applicable) for the first weeks of parenting:
- Nesting. Nesting is a common phrase to describe the process of getting ready to bring home a new baby (e.g., making meals in advance, getting the baby’s room ready, and babyproofing the home). Taking these steps in advance will allow IPs to relax and enjoy spending time with their new family member after the baby comes home.
- Create “baby goals.” Consider using Pinterest boards with images of the nursery, baby food recipes, newborn outfits for the baby’s home debut, and more. Getting creative makes planning to bring the baby home a fun endeavor and promotes an emotional connection for IPs even though they are not carrying or delivering the baby.
- Research pediatrician options. Start looking for potential pediatricians in your local geographic area; make a list of your priorities and questions you will ask when interviewing likely pediatricians. You may want to look for healthcare professionals who embrace surrogacy and LGBTQ+ parenting. Learn more about identifying LGBTQ-friendly pediatricians here.
- Start a journal. If you like the idea of creating a written account documenting your parenting journey, consider the book, “Bringing You Home: A Surrogacy Journal for Intended Parents.”
Believe in Yourself
Perhaps the most important parenting advice is to believe in yourself. Your love for your child will guide you to make the right decisions; if you aren’t sure, you’ll know when to consult the experts. Remember, all parents make mistakes; this is where self-forgiveness is vital.
More Resources for New Parents
Baby on the Way. Trusted resources and helpful answers for expecting new parents.
The Bump. Baby advice (including what to expect each month) and parenting tips.
Nesting Dos and Don’ts for New Parents. A list of things to do to get ready for the baby’s arrival.
The Baby Book Everything you need to know about taking care of a baby from birth to age two.
Baby’s First Year for New Parents: A guide for caring for yourself and your baby.
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children. A book on tuning into your child and improving parenting skills (starting at birth) by listening to yourself.
The National Infertility Association. A resource page for IPs searching for a support group.
Locate a Leading Surrogacy Agency
Keep in mind that while navigating the uncharted waters of parenthood is undoubtedly challenging at times, it’s also one of the most exciting, fulfilling, and wonderful experiences in life! If you are considering a surrogate search, or have questions about the process, don’t hesitate to contact us at the world-renowned Reproductive Possibilities surrogacy agency today.