Be Blog

Surrogacy: Health, Wellness and Defined Expectations

surrogacy health be parent

Wellness and
Pregnancy Care

Surrogate care and wellness should be the foundation of
any assisted family building framework and at Be Parent,
our surrogate team’s well-being is our prime focus.

Aside from valuing the gift of her time and physical and
emotional health, we strongly believe that every surrogate
partner, not only deserves the highest level of care along
every step of the process, but requires this support in order to
safely and ethically bring an intended child to light.

Should you be considering surrogacy to help build your
family or should you be considering joining our surrogate
team, we have outlined our process stages below so you
have an idea of what you can expect from Be Parent along
the way.

Early Pregnancy

Designated personal coordinators are devoted to accompany
both our surrogate team-members and our intended parents
during the surrogacy experience. These coordinators provide
consistent medical updates as well as relationship-building
and connection tools. Through mediated communication, a
relationship between the surrogate carrier and intended
parent is built as a team effort, and designed to respect the
needs and comfort level of all parties.

HCG

Pregnancy is first confirmed between 10-14 days post embryo
transfer via a blood test measuring the presence of the
pregnancy hormone HCG. An initial ultrasound scan is done 2
weeks later to confirm pregnancy beyond the chemical level.
Yolk sac formation, the number of fetuses and often
heartbeat are established at this time.

Early Scans

A repeated ultrasound is performed two weeks after the initial
scan and here we can safely celebrate heartbeat and early
pregnancy conclusively. Intended parent coordinators are
particularly in-tune during this time, to convey all details and
records relating to ultrasound videos and images, testing
results and medical reports. In contrast to European
standards, our surrogate team has access to double the scans
throughout the 3 gestational trimesters.

Being kept reliably connected is particularly important as
intended parents build a rapport of trust with their
surrogacy agency. Emergent situations or complications
demand up-to-date information in particular. With their
personal coordinator’s help, intended parents can be fully
involved in all aspects of the surrogacy journey, and should be
– whether it be for joyful news on the upswing of the
surrogacy path but equally, should more difficult moments
present themselves.

Respecting Mental Health

The psychological and emotional health of a gestational
carrier is as crucial as her physical health; the mind and the
body go hand-in-hand after all.

Be Parent’s triple-screening processes determine surrogate
eligibility for our program and this includes a full mental
health assessment at the very beginning. Even with the
soundest mental health, we all still benefit from extra
nurturing and encouragement. Supportive surrogate
team resources include:
• Be Parent personal surrogate coordinator availability at
all times, 24/7;
• Early consultations outlining IVF and legal processes in
detail
• Legal consultation in her native language
• Workshops and guidance on physical health and
nutrition
• Ongoing get-togethers for our surrogate team and their
immediate family members
• Complete health insurance coverage and
accompaniment for all medical screenings, visits and
processes
• Daily access to doula care throughout pregnancy and the
post-partum period
• Self-care initiatives to help surrogates feel pampered
• Outings and activities promoting surrogate team
togetherness and the benefits of shared experience
• Holiday and personal celebrations to highlight the
contribution of our surrogate team
• Unlimited access to counselling assistance to assist in
managing personal stresses, anxieties, surrogacy-related
fears and the post-birth transition

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

Both the surrogate carrier and the growing baby benefit from
a healthy lifestyle just as with any pregnancy. Be Parent
provides educational training for our surrogate team
promoting optimal health and wellness as well as
orientation on IVF processes and how they effect the body
and mind.

Topics discussed include:

• Avoidance of alcohol, smoking and narcotics;
• Importance of adequate sleep, rest and fresh air;
• Benefits of a nutritious diet;
• Safe mild to moderate exercise instruction;
• Self-care and personal hygiene guidance;
• Introduction to IVF processes and medical protocol
instruction
• Developmental stages of gestation and what each
trimester means
• Bodily changes and side-effects of pregnancy
• Constructive communication and relaxation tools
• How to share the surrogacy experience with friends and
family
• How to educate and involve your children in the
surrogacy experience

Our aim in discussing these topics with our surrogate team is
to ensure that each member is well-informed. Knowing
exactly what to expect along each step of the surrogacy
journey reduces anxiety and emphasizing personal well-being
lends to as safe and healthy a gestational experience as
possible.

Dietary Guidance

One of the most important components in leading a healthy
lifestyle is proper nutrition. Wholesome nourishment provides
much-needed nutrients to both surrogate and baby and is of
critical importance during any pregnancy. Dietary restrictions
are advised in regards to the consumption of:

• Caffeine
• Junk foods
• Unhealthy carbohydrates
• Sugar
• Potentially risky foods during pregnancy

In addition to preparatory guidance, our Be Parent nurses
and pregnancy care coordinators are checking in with our
surrogate team regularly, to monitor and assist with
hormonal protocols and vitamin intake as well as dietary
questions or concerns.

Staying connected

It is understandable to wonder how a relationship with a
surrogate partner can be formed from a distance, develop
and be maintained so intended parents feel actively involved
during a surrogacy journey abroad.

While we always welcome in-person visits, and this is the
ideal, it’s not always feasible for intended parents to make
multiple trips.

The good news is, since Covid 19, it feels much more natural
communicating from a distance. Messaging and video
platforms have now been globally normalized as standard
means for connection, even with loved ones and those closest
to us.

As well as intended parents, our surrogates are also all
assigned personal coordinators of their own. This is vital in
keeping communication free-flowing. These personal support
members work in tandem together, using various
communication strategies so intended parents can stay as
involved as they want to be.

Connection Tools

Given the challenge of various time-zones, the availability
and responsiveness of the entire coordination team is one
of the most important aspects in smoothly maintaining a
relationship with the surrogate carrier assisting, so
everyone can participate in journey updates in real time;
missing as little as possible in the process. Prompt
feedback, in regards to questions and, of course, updates
from the clinic side, are essential in keeping connection and
helping all parties feel safe and present on the journey.

· What’s App – Coordinators use this is an instantaneous
and easy means of text, phone or video communication

· Zoom calls – This is a fun and casual way to bring
everyone together and have a scheduled video catchup.

· Synchronized pregnancy apps and calendars – These
are great downloadable apps – for parents, surrogates
and coordinators to keep everyone on the same page

· Scan images, reports and milestone screening videos –
These are very important records in order to feel secure
in surrogacy from a distance

· In-utero musical and voice recordings – These are sweet
options that allow intended parents to share bits of
themselves with their growing baby during pregnancy

· Be Parent Pregnancy Scrapbook – This is a souvenir we
put together including photos, scans, letters from our
team and surrogate partner, which can be a great tool
to use in teaching children about the surrogacy
experience.

Planning for Delivery

As every surrogacy journey is unique, it makes sense to work
with various clinics and hospitals to accommodate for
differing needs and unpredictable circumstances (eg. Covid
19). For this reason, Be Parent cooperates with more than one
choice medical centre in Georgia and Cyprus.

Cesarean Section, is the preferred mode of delivery if there is
medical indication as well as in the event of multiple birth;
however, whether vaginal or c-section, mode of delivery is
discussed during the surrogate matching process to ensure
that intended parents and their surrogate partner are on the
same page as to the best way for baby to enter the world.

Babies don’t always arrive on schedule. The estimated due
date is provided and updated throughout each trimester in
the medical report provided for each ultrasound scan. When
planning for a c-section, intended parents’ arrival window is
clearer but even so, the exact date is only confirmed 3-5 days
before delivery. For this reason, intended parents are
requested to be on standby for the month prior to their
baby’s due date.

Every intended parent has their own personal rationale for a
comfortable arrival time to Georgia / Cyprus. This depends
largely on the parent’s personality and work schedule. Some
arrive 2 weeks ahead of the estimated due date in order to
prepare accommodation and supplies for welcoming baby
home, while others prefer to be informed once delivery has
started and arrive the very next day.

Our Be Parent Doulas prepare Intended Parents from the
20th week of pregnancy for the life-change ahead as well as
practical guidance on recommended gear and equipment for
baby’s first year.

Birth

While an exciting and joyous time for intended parents,
our sole focus on delivery day is the health and safety of
the surrogate partner and the long-awaited little one. We
have in place various options for intended parents to be as
involved in their baby’s birthday as possible while respecting
the well-being of the surrogate assisting and hospital
regulations. Our surrogate team-members will have advised
their expectations ahead of time and have the option of a
supportive birth partner during delivery.

Intended parents, the surrogate carrier and newborn baby
play starring roles in the surrogacy experience and the day of
birth has a different meaning for all three. In most cases,
birth represents the end of the journey for the surrogate
carrier as she has fulfilled her role. For intended parents, birth
is in many ways the realization of a dream and the start of a
new chapter and, for the newborn, the beginning of an entire
life ahead. For everyone involved, this day can be extremely
emotional and is discussed in detail ahead of time with both
intended parents and the surrogate partner. Our team is
always on hand to ensure the well-being of all parties.

Babies are commonly discharged from the hospital 1-3 days
after delivery, provided there are no complications. Should
NICU treatment be necessary the length of stay will be
advised by the medical team.

A surrogacy journey is a unique model, combining IVF,
pregnancy, childbirth and legal parentage, as well as a lot
of love, understanding and teamwork. Whether for an
intended parent or surrogate partner, paying close attention
to personal wellness and health, and clear expectations of all
the stages involved along the way, are at the root of a smooth
experience for all

Author

oto mekhashishvili