How to Prepare for the Hospital When You’re an Intended Parent

Although it can seem in the impossibly distant future, we promise the week will actually arrive when it is time to go to the hospital and prepare to meet your bundle of joy!

When it does, your mind will likely be full of questions like:

  • What is it like to be the intended parents on delivery day?
  • How can you best interact with the hospital staff and with your surrogate in that busy, fraught time?
  • What should you bring with you?

We’ve got you with answers to all of the above.

Embracing the Excitement and Navigating Emotions

Let’s start with a giant “HOORAY!” It’s really happening; you are adding a new tiny family member (or two!).

OK, now that we are all happy and giddy, let’s take a breath and walk through all of the emotions that you – and the surrogate and your loved ones – will be experiencing once delivery time is near. Of course, excitement is at the forefront for all involved. With that can come some worry and anxiety that everything will go all right. Medically and health-wise, we want the surrogate and baby to be safe and comfortable at all times. Please remember that giving birth is a significant medical event, even for your surrogate, who has previously given birth. Every delivery is different, and your surrogate likely is feeling a swirl of emotions, including anxiety, about the delivery.

Here is where you come in as the intended parents. One of the best things you can do for the surrogate is to stay positive and root for her at every step. Remind her of the truth, which is that she is surrounded by professionals and people who care about her and her well-being. Everyone is aiming for the same goals: a healthy surrogate, a healthy baby, and a smooth delivery.

What is the intended role of the parents in the delivery room?

Your pre-birth plan with your surrogate likely outlines who will be in the delivery room. Regardless of whether you are, you should make a point to communicate calmly to the medical team that you are the intended parents. Use clear, simple language that *your surrogate’s name* is your surrogate and that you are the intended parents. Inform the medical staff of your arrangement with the surrogate and tell them who will be present and who needs to be informed and updated along the way.

Try your best to keep any strong emotions, good or bad, in check when you are communicating with the medical team. Keeping interactions professional will work to everyone’s benefit as the delivery unfolds.

Packing for the Hospital: Essentials and Comfort Items

As you get ready for your new baby’s big arrival, packing for the hospital will be one of your highest priorities. This list is designed to make sure you’ve got all the must-haves for your stay. It includes both the essentials and additional items that can make your stay more comfortable. Being well-prepared can significantly ease your mind so you can focus on the incredible moment of meeting your new little one.

The necessities:

  • Contact information for all related parties: you, your partner, your surrogate, your surrogate’s emergency contact, your emergency contact, etc. Both a hard paper copy and digital information are ideal.
  • All of your legal paperwork for the surrogacy, with extra copies. Most hospitals won’t ask for these, but it’s comforting to know you have them just in case.
  • Your surrogacy birth plan
  • Daily prescription medications
  • Chargers for all your devices
  • Insurance information
  • Snacks and beverages for the hours you await delivery
  • An approved car seat/carrier
  • Outfits for the baby in a couple of different sizes
  • Your camera! This is a moment you’ve been waiting for and one you’ll want to capture and remember forever!

Things you’ll probably want:

  • Comfortable clothing to wear while you wait long hours
  • A travel pillow and books, magazines, and entertainment to help you relax and pass the time
  • Personal hygiene items like your toothbrush and toothpaste, lotions, or soaps for long hospital stays
  • A shirt that buttons in the front so that you can have skin-to-skin contact with your newborn
  • A blanket or other outdoor clothing to help transition the baby to the car and welcome them home
  • Bottles and pacifiers
  • A personalized gift for the surrogate to show your gratitude

In the days after the birth

Once the baby is born, the newborn likely will stay in the hospital for 1-3 days for observation. Everyone will be thrilled! And also relieved. Although it is officially an end to the surrogacy process, it is also a gigantic and fantastic beginning for all.

During that time, the surrogate may want to spend time with the baby and introduce them to her own family. This can be an important part of the process for the surrogate, providing closure and a sense of fulfillment. It’s a chance for her to share the incredible gift she has given and to say her own personal goodbyes. The intended parents and the surrogate should discuss and agree upon these interactions in advance, ensuring that everyone’s feelings and boundaries are respected.

As you prepare to head home with your newborn, there are several key things to keep in mind. First, ensure you have a car seat that is properly installed for the baby’s safe transport. It’s a good idea to practice installing the car seat and adjusting its straps before the big day.

At home with your newborn

Once at home, the first few days and weeks will be a period of adjustment for everyone. It’s important to create a calm and soothing environment for the baby. Establishing a routine for feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes, although challenging at first, will gradually become more manageable.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends during this time. Whether it’s assistance with household chores or simply having someone to talk to, support from your loved ones can be invaluable. Your surrogate may need help and support, too. The postpartum period can be both physically and emotionally taxing, and it’s important to check in on her well-being. You might consider arranging for practical help, such as meal deliveries or housekeeping services, to ease her transition back to everyday life as she recovers from the birth.

Remember to schedule a follow-up appointment with your baby’s pediatrician shortly after discharge. This visit is crucial for monitoring the baby’s health and development and addressing any concerns you might have.

Finally, take time to bond with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact, gentle rocking, and soothing lullabies are great ways to connect. These moments are precious and form the foundation of your lifelong relationship with your child. Embrace each moment, and don’t forget to take care of yourself, too, in this new and exciting chapter of your life.

Your new chapter has begun

As you navigate this new chapter, remember that you’re not alone. Fairfax Surrogacy is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you have questions, need guidance, or simply want to share your experiences, our team is always ready to assist. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any support or information you may need as you embark on this wonderful journey of parenthood. Contact Fairfax Surrogacy today, and let us help you make this transition as smooth and joyful as possible. We’re excited to be a part of your journey!