How to Have a Strong Relationship With Your Gestational Carrier

Married couple holding hands next to a pregnant woman

When you're considering using a gestational carrier to help you have a baby, one of the most important things to focus on is building and maintaining a strong relationship with your surrogate. She'll be part of your lives for the next nine months, and you want to make sure your gestational carrier feels comfortable and supported throughout the process. Here are some ways to establish and maintain a healthy relationship.

Communicate openly and frequently

To ensure a successful surrogacy journey, open and honest communication is essential. In any relationship, good communication is vital, and that's especially true when you're working with a surrogate. Intended parents and their surrogates need to be able to discuss everything from the expectations for the pregnancy to their feelings about the surrogacy process. Check in with each other regularly and make sure everyone is on the same page.

By sharing their hopes and fears, gestational carriers and intended parents can develop a strong bond built on mutual respect and understanding, two cornerstone values of open and honest communication. Every relationship between intended parents and a surrogate mother is unique and intimate. The gestational mother is carrying and giving birth to the intended parents' child.

It's crucial to establish clear boundaries early on in the surrogacy process to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings down the road. Boundaries can include frequency of communication, level of involvement in pregnancy updates and appointments.

Establish trust

You may not feel like family yet, but building a trusting relationship with your gestational surrogate is key in the surrogacy journey. Showing up for appointments, responding to her questions and concerns in a timely manner, and being respectful of your surrogate mother’s time are ways to build trust.

While trust is essential to any relationship, it is especially true when it comes to something as sensitive as carrying someone else's child. Remember, this is the carrier's body, and she has the right to make decisions about her own health and wellbeing. If you have serious concerns, contact your surrogacy agency.

Give your surrogate space when she needs it, allow her to make decisions regarding things like appointments, and try not to micromanage every part of the process. This is a big decision for both of you, and it's essential you support each other throughout the process. Be there for each other emotionally and physically, whether that means being available to talk or just lending a listening ear

Be involved

As the intended parents supporting your surrogate throughout the pregnancy, you should be aware of your role and how to best help your gestational carrier. Stay in close communication with her throughout the whole process, offering encouragement and support.

While it's not always possible for intended parents to attend every one of their surrogate's doctor's appointments, it's good to try to be there as often as possible. Not only will this help you feel more involved in the process, but it will also give you a chance to ask the doctor any questions you may have. Even if you can only attend virtually, that is okay, your presence will be appreciated. Discuss with your surrogate her comfort level in helping you be present virtually through FaceTime, What’s App, Zoom or whatever digital platform works best for all of you.

These things will help you feel more connected and engaged, which can be especially important if this is your first surrogate pregnancy.

Show gratitude

A gestational carrier is an amazing woman who has selflessly chosen to help you have a baby. She already has a full life with her own children, employment, relationships and is offering to be a gestational surrogate for you as well. Make sure she knows how much you appreciate all she's doing for you and your family.

To go from not knowing someone to the intimate relationship of having this new person in your life actually become pregnant with and give birth to your baby is kind of awesome to think about. Show your gratitude towards your gestational carrier often. Offer to help her in whatever way possible, whether with errands, childcare, or even taking the dog for a walk. Of course, it is likely that you live a few states away from your surrogate, in that case, you could hire help with anything she may need assistance with during the pregnancy.

Your surrogate should feel appreciated. Express your gratitude towards your gestational carrier often. Write her a heartfelt letter simply saying "thank you" to express your appreciation for all she's doing, or send her a small gift. This is an incredible act of kindness and selflessness, and your carrier deserves to be thanked for everything she's doing.

Express a genuine interest

It can be easy to get caught up in the surrogacy joy and only talk about baby-related topics, but showing interest in your surrogate's life outside of pregnancy will help create a more intimate relationship. This will also help her feel more comfortable talking with you about anything that might be on her mind.

Getting to know your surrogate or gestational carrier's own children can also be a great way to get to know the family as a whole – and maybe even to get some practice babysitting in! Find your common ground, whether it's through your children, interests, or hobbies.

If you're within a reasonable driving distance and her children are involved in sports or activities, attend events. Plan a family fun day for everyone to get together to learn more about each other. Let her know you care deeply about this experience for her family.

Keep in touch

After the baby is born, keep in touch with your gestational carrier. Thank her again for her compassion. Let her know how the baby is doing. Share photos and updates, and invite her to visit the baby if she's nearby or have virtual play dates! These will help keep the bond between everyone strong and ensure your gestational carrier feels appreciated and supported throughout the entire pregnancy.

Begin your surrogacy journey

A healthy relationship with your gestational carrier is the key to having a smooth and successful surrogacy experience. By communicating openly and honestly, being involved in the pregnancy, and showing gratitude for her selfless act, you can create a meaningful relationship that will support everyone throughout the entire process.

If you're considering using a gestational carrier, reach out to the Vermont Surrogacy Network for more information. We can help you build a strong relationship with a gestational carrier.