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.
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.
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.
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
• Legal consultation in her native language
• Workshops and guidance on physical health and
• Ongoing get-togethers for our surrogate team and their
immediate family members
• Complete health insurance coverage and
accompaniment for all medical screenings, visits and
• Daily access to doula care throughout pregnancy and the
• 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
• Developmental stages of gestation and what each
• Bodily changes and side-effects of pregnancy
• Constructive communication and relaxation tools
• How to share the surrogacy experience with friends and
• How to educate and involve your children in the
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.
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:
• Junk foods
• Unhealthy carbohydrates
• 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.
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.
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.
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.