The Surrogate and Baby: Questions to Consider on Bonding
Hello, potential surrogate mothers.
If you have found this blog, chances are you are concerned about becoming a surrogate because of the “risks” involved with bonding with the child had by surrogacy.
Also, parents who are undergoing the process of surrogacy or looking for a surrogate wonder how bonding with the child could happen potentially with their surrogate.
We want to address some of these concerns about bonding and how to deal with them.
Probably the number one response we get from good mother prospects is an immediate “Oh NO! I couldn’t do that!” When asked if she has considered becoming a surrogate.
The reasons for this is most likely due to the fact they could not see themselves having someone else’s children or baby because they are such loyal moms in the first place! Well, we want to address some questions about bonding with the surrogate child and whether you will still consider becoming a surrogate afterward.
#1 – Will breastfeeding the surrogate baby cause too much bonding?
Depending on whether or not your intended parents want you to breastfeed, will be the start of the answer to this question.
There are many parents who believe that breastfeeding the child could cause unintentional bonding and therefore create eating issues later on when they are feeding the child formula. This causes some parents to avoid breastfeeding the child or even accepting breastmilk from the surrogate mother.
For this we have three responses:
Consider that the baby has limited time with the surrogate mother who is breastfeeding
After the birth of the baby is when the surrogate will immediately stop being the caretaker of the child and you take charge of the responsibilities of the baby.
This means that you or your spouse will be taking the baby home in less than a few days if the baby is healthy.
To consider if the surrogate will be bonding with your child—it most likely would take more than a few days with the baby to bond in this way.
- Consider the health and immediate comfort of your baby
When a child goes through birth—it’s not only traumatic for the woman giving birth, but it’s also a traumatic experience for the baby.
Depending on how long the birth is, the baby could easily be trying to come out for up to 30 hours or more! Birth is not only hard on the surrogate, but it will also be hard on the baby. Which is why you may want to consider letting the surrogate nurse the child as the baby as soon as the child is ready for it.
This is the natural progression with pregnancy—her colostrum will come in just enough time to feed it when the baby is ready.
Also, consider the benefits of this colostrum—which is loaded with nutrients, vital antibiotics, and a literal power punch of baby food in just a small amount.
- You can ask the surrogate to pump her colostrum or breastmilk
If you’re too concerned about your surrogate bonding with the child through breastfeeding the child right out of the womb, you can have your surrogate pump her colostrum or breastmilk.
This is a great option for most couples or new intended parents since they want the benefits of the breastmilk but obviously are unable to provide that on their own.
You will have to pay the surrogate to pump her breastmilk as part of her surrogate benefit package, but this option is crucial to maintaining the health of the baby as well as make sure that you (the parent of the child) are the person feeding the child mostly.
Most parents we speak to have absolutely no issues with the surrogate mother holding the child. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, has some mixed feelings. Allow us to weigh in on the subject…
#2 – Will the surrogate bond with the child if we do not make the birth in time?
This is a subject that we want to address for parents having a baby through surrogacy. Some parents will be traveling for the birth of the child. We want to stress that it is crucial to make sure to leave a few days or a week between the planning on buying your tickets.
We will help you with some of this process of travel, but we always ask intended parents to make sure they buy travel insurance.
Because we do not know the exact time the baby will be born, we want you to be prepared to change plans if need be so you can be there for the birth or very soon afterward.
With that said, as an intended parent, you need to develop a birth plan. Plan with your surrogate on what your wants and needs are with the following:
- Will the baby do skin-to-skin with the surrogate after birth if you are not there?
- Will the baby receive their shots if you are not there for the birth?
- If the baby is a boy, do you want him to be circumcised?
- Newborn photos—if they are offered do you want them taken?
- Antibiotic on the baby’s eyes?
If you as a parent have a plan going into the birth of the child, you will feel much more comfortable with your decisions, and probably not be too worried about the surrogate bonding with the child if your wants regarding the child are being carried out on these factors.
#3 – If I’m a surrogate will I bond with the child like my own?
We have discussed a lot of this in depth with our other blogs, but parents and surrogates should not worry too much about the chance of bonding with the surrogate like they do with their own children. This is because naturally the child will not be theirs genetically—because of the process of gestational surrogacy.
If the baby does not share any genetic material, it’s a wonderful time to take this information and channel it into healthy thoughts of what your gift of surrogacy will do for the parents and the blessing that child will be when it is brought to life.
If you are a parent looking for a surrogate or you are in the process of finding a surrogate, don’t hesitate to fill out our parent inquiry form!