WHEN TO ARRIVE FOR THE BIRTH: INTERNATIONAL IP
Planning to arrive in your surrogate’s hometown in time for the birth of your child can be especially difficult when you’re traveling from another country. While it is important to arrive in town early, international intended parents also have to plan accordingly for the time they’ll need to be stateside following the birth as well. This can turn your stateside visit into a lengthy one.
First of all, understand that most babies are not born on their due dates. In fact, studies estimate only about 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates, the rest falling within two weeks to either side of the due date.
For this reason, we strongly urge our international intended parents to arrive in town no later than 38 weeks gestation for a singleton, and 36 weeks gestation for a multiples pregnancy. Many intended parents will choose to arrive even earlier as, in many cases, the travel time from their home to their surrogate’s home can be in excess of 24 hours, leaving little chance to make it in time for delivery if labor begins earlier than expected. If you are unable to travel this far in advance of your expected due date, we advise that you’re able to “drop everything and go” when you receive the call that your surrogate is in active labor.
In the final weeks of pregnancy your surrogate and her OB will be paying very careful attention to your surrogate’s body as it prepares for labor and child birth. Her OB will be monitoring her swelling, blood pressure, and the heart rate of the baby to ensure that no one is in distress. Elevated levels could lead to a medical induction. The OB will also be performing internal exams on your surrogate’s cervical opening to check for softening, thinning, or dilation, as these can mean labor is approaching.
Some women who have experienced childbirth many times say that they are able to tell when labor is nearing and may be able to share her instincts with you in the final weeks. Of course, there is no exact science and false alarms can happen to anyone.
A defined plan of action leading into the final weeks of the pregnancy can provide the most relief possible as you await the birth of your child. Whatever your plan is, due try to relax and enjoy the final weeks and days of your journey as much as possible.