Managing Post Surrogacy Relations for Surrogates

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The moment you give birth a lot changes. In an instant the whole world changes for your intended parent(s). They go from planning a family, to creating a new one or growing a larger one. Their attention shifts and you go from being the star of the show to a very important supporting actress.

This shift can hit some surrogates hard, especially as it is compounded with hormone surges and emotions of your own. So how do you manage all of these emotions while preserving this bond you’ve spent the last nine plus months building? As with every other step in your journey, this step takes compassion and patience.

Empathy is important. Try to remember those first moments when the doctor handed you YOUR newborn baby. You were likely engulfed in adoration and emotion and, more likely than not, consumed with tunnel vision for that little person. Cut the new parents some slack if they aren’t as attentive to you immediately following the birth as you may like them to be. They’ve also got overnight feedings and dirty diapers to master, while you get to sleep blissfully in the next room.

Honesty is also important. Understand that sometimes new parents can be adorably clueless to anything else going on around them, including your feelings. Don’t be afraid to tell them, in a kind way of course, what you would like. A statement like, “I’m feeling a bit left behind, can I sit with you during the next feed?” Can go a long way in helping them understand how you’re feeling. In many cases they just haven’t had the time to stop and take stock in the whole picture and will happily oblige.

However, you might not always get your way. The new parents have the right to deny your requests of them and the newborn. Be OK with that outcome as well.

Know that no matter how the new parents and you choose to navigate the next several hours, days, and weeks, there is no wrong way to feel. Also know that they are very, very grateful for your gift. You just changed their lives and the course of their family tree forever. You did that, no one else. Be proud of yourself.

If you find yourself in a place where you need help managing your post birth relationship or emotional needs, this is the perfect time to call Dr. Kim Bergman. Lean on the Growing Generations family, use the support system that has been put in place to help you through this moment.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.