The culmination of every complete surrogacy journey is, of course, the delivery of the baby. For many surrogates and intended parents alike, the actual delivery day tends to sneak up on them after months of appointments, check-ins, and (often) remote communication from a distance. But rest assured, GSHC Surrogacy Agency can help everyone best prepare for the big day through a simple and effective surrogacy birth plan.
What is a surrogacy birth plan?
In its simplest form, a surrogacy birth plan is an agreement between all parties as to the ideal scenario before, during, and just after delivery. We recommend committing this birth plan to paper so that everyone attending the birth receives a copy and everyone is clear on the expectations.
It’s recommended that a surrogacy birth plan be specific but brief. This allows the birth team – nurses, midwives, doctors, doulas, and support people – to follow the plan as closely as possible.
Think of the surrogacy birth plan as a map to guide everyone through the experience of childbirth.
What are the benefits of having a surrogacy birth plan?
The primary benefit of creating a surrogacy birth plan is clarity. Childbirth is a complex medical process and things can occur suddenly that require quick decisions and agreement. Unlike a biological delivery, there are multiple stakeholders involved in a surrogacy delivery and everyone must work as a team to agree on common steps, actions, and preparation. Intended parents and surrogates must agree on possible pain relief methods, medications, and other protocols in order to be on the same page.
Every hospital operates a little differently. Some hospitals may have extensive experience working with surrogate deliveries while others may not. A succinct surrogacy birth plan helps the hospital staff know exactly how to proceed in various scenarios without spending unnecessary time checking with various people to provide answers.
Connecting with the delivery hospital
Prior to delivery day, GSHC Surrogacy Agency will contact the social worker at the delivery hospital to get the necessary HIPPA paperwork in place so that everyone is clear that the intended parents are responsible for baby’s medical decisions. The social worker will also provide details on the hospital’s protocol regarding who is allowed in the delivery room, how they can accommodate the intended parents with baby after delivery, and what the visitation policy is.
Whenever possible, intended parents will have direct contact with the delivery hospital social worker to answer any questions about policies and procedures.
What should a birth plan include?
The surrogacy birth plan should be approximately 1-page in length and should address the following:
- The hospital where the surrogate will deliver
- The type of birth surrogate and intended parents are planning (birthing method & position)
- What kind of medication the surrogate would like to use during childbirth including an epidural or pain medication
- Who will be in the delivery room with the surrogate including in the event of a C-section
- Where the intended parents will stay (for example, in a hospital room or at a local hotel)
- Whether the surrogate will breastfeed or pump milk for the child after birth
- Who will hold the baby after birth, and for how long
- Whether delivery photos/videos will be taken
- The use of interventions (vacuum extraction, forceps) to assist in the birth
- What medical procedures are expected to be completed on the child after birth
What should surrogates bring with them to the hospital?
Surrogates have been through the birthing process before and generally know what to bring with them for the delivery. However, GSHC Surrogacy Agency also provides the following helpful list:
- Birth plan
- Legal and Insurance Documents: ID, medical cards, and insurance documents.
- Comfortable Hospital Clothes: a bathrobe, slippers & flip-flops, nightgown, bras & underwear, and maternity clothes.
- Toiletries and Hygiene Items: shower materials, toothbrush & toothpaste, moisturizer & lip balm, heavy-duty maternity pads.
- Entertainment: books, tablets, music, magazines, phones, and chargers.
What should intended parents bring with them to the hospital?
Below you will find a starting point for items to prepare for the delivery day:
- Car Seat/base
- Baby carrier
- Clothes for the baby
- Travel Bassinet
- Receiving Blankets
- Burp cloths
- Wash cloths
- Baby Towels
- Travel bottle wash setup
- Dishwasher Tabs
- Dishwasher tray for bottle pieces
- Infant Tylenol
- Diaper disposal bags
- Bottle sanitizing bags
- Baby Documents
- Medical history
- Clorox wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
Each surrogacy delivery is different but strong preparation can help surrogates and intended parents plan for any eventuality. And remember, GSHC Surrogacy Agency is by your side to help in every way we can.
If you are an intended parent interested in starting your surrogacy journey, click HERE to get started.
If you are interested in becoming a surrogate with GSHC Surrogacy Agency, click HERE to apply.