If you are new to the surrogacy world, you probably have a ton of questions. Surrogacy is a complicated process, but it’s also a lot like a normal pregnancy and delivery in many ways. One question you may be asking yourself is, “What does a surrogacy birth plan look like?”
Having a birth plan is a great way to set expectations for your surrogacy journey and prepare yourself, whether you are the intended parent or the gestational surrogate. Of course, there are going to be some parts of a surrogacy birth plan that will look different from a non-surrogacy birth plan. At Fairfax Surrogacy, we’re here to support you in your journey, and that includes helping you create your desired birth plan.
Some additional people need to be considered when creating a surrogacy birth plan. There are also a few other things you should keep in mind. We’ve created this helpful guide for you to help you create the birth plan of your dreams.
What is a birth plan?
Before getting into the details of a surrogacy-specific birth plan, let’s start with the basics and explain what a birth plan is.
Essentially, a birth plan is a written document that outlines what you want to happen during labor and delivery. It helps those involved in the baby’s birth, like your OB/GYN, know what you want to happen throughout the process.
A birth plan doesn’t have to be highly detailed. A typical birth plan is about a page long and highlights all your major preferences for labor and delivery. At its core, a birth plan is a way to communicate your wishes to your healthcare providers, so they know what to do to give you the best possible care.
While many of these details may already be considered within the GSA (Gestational Surrogacy Agreement), there’s nothing wrong with making sure they are clear when getting into the weeds of establishing the birth plan.
What Makes a Surrogacy Birth Plan Unique?
With a surrogacy birth plan, communication is key.
When it comes to creating a surrogacy birth plan, you will need to consider input from all sides, including from the intended parent(s) and surrogate. Clear communication is an essential part of your surrogacy relationship. Be sure to share your preferences for the birth and what you expect from the experience with your partner (if applicable) and your healthcare team, and confirm that these choices are reflected in your surrogacy birth plan.
There are legal considerations too.
Creating a birth plan for surrogacy means that you must keep in mind legal considerations, too. There may be a lot of extra paperwork you’ll have to fill out since an additional person or people will be part of your birth plan. It’s essential to ensure that the intended parents establish legal parenthood and can make medical decisions for the baby during and after birth. It’s also important to prepare to have all of the necessary wristbands at the hospital or birthing center and confirm that the intended parents will have access during labor and delivery.
Birth plan checklist: What to include
A surrogacy birth plan should include a few key components. While everyone’s priorities and wishes may be different, no two birth plans will look the same, here are some helpful things that you may want to keep in mind when creating a surrogacy birth plan:
- Medical procedures: It’s important that the intended parents and gestational surrogate come to an agreement together regarding medical procedures and the actual birthing process. This part of the birth plan should include input from both the intended parents and gestational surrogate. Identify what delivery method and positions will be used, as well as what birth interventions you’re comfortable with, like the use of forceps or vacuum. Also, consider discussing pain relief options and any potential medical interventions you’d prefer to avoid, if any.
- Location: Decide where you want the birth to take place, whether that’s in a hospital or a birthing center. Make sure that the location is equipped to handle a surrogacy birth and has experience with the specific needs of intended parents.
- Support: Consider who you’d like to have in the room with you during the birth. This can include your partner, family members, or a doula. As an intended parent, make sure your surrogate is comfortable with your support team and that everyone understands their roles.
- Post-birth plans: Discuss what will happen after the birth, including who will hold the baby first, who will cut the umbilical cord, and how the baby will be cared for immediately after birth. Also, discuss when and how you’ll establish legal parental rights for the baby.
Remember that a surrogacy birth plan should be tailored to your specific needs and preferences, but it should also consider the needs of the other people involved in your surrogacy journey. Intended parents and surrogates should work in conjunction with their medical team and support system to create a plan that works for everyone. By being clear about your expectations and working together, you can ensure you have a smooth and positive surrogacy birth experience.
Take the next step
Considering starting your own surrogacy journey? Whether you’re looking to become a gestational surrogate or intended parent, we are here for you. Contact us today and we’ll help you every step of the way.