Surrogate mom with surrogate baby

How Surrogate Mothers Can Get Their Best Sleep

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One of the things that many surrogate mothers struggle with is sleeping well, particularly as they get further into their pregnancies. There are a lot of things changing in their bodies as they help another human being to grow, making life difficult in a lot of ways.

But when you don’t get enough sleep, you are not going to take the best care of yourself and, therefore, your baby. So, we’ve compiled some tips for every surrogate mothers to help you get enough sleep to feel rested.

  • Treat Any Sleep Disorders

In the early stages of a pregnancy, many surrogate mothers find that they are getting the same amount or more of sleep as they were before they got pregnant but that they aren’t feeling as well rested as they were before. As they get further into their pregnancies, they get less sleep and lower quality sleep.

If you already struggle with sleep issues, you might find that you need to treat them more seriously. Pregnancy can exacerbate pre-existing issues and make them into something more serious than they were before. Talk to your doctor or the staff at Joy of Life about adjusting your medication or treatment plan in order to make sure both you and your baby are getting enough oxygen.

  • Adjust Your Pillows & Mattress

One of the problems with pregnancy is that your body changes in ways that you can’t control. Your stomach will get bigger as you get further along, which might change the way you sleep. As your sleep position changes to make you more comfortable, you will also need to adjust your pillows to support you and your belly. Although manufacturers make pillows specifically for pregnant bodies, you don’t have to buy one of those; just surround yourself with pillows until you feel comfortable.

Surrogate mothers also need to make sure that their mattress is actually comfortable. That will make a huge difference in both the quantity and quality of sleep. Some mattresses are better for sleeping than others (https://www.sleephelp.org/best-mattresses-for-pregnancy/) for surrogate mothers, so do some research before you go replacing your mattress.

  • Set Yourself a Bedtime

One of the best ways to make sure that you get a good night’s sleep is to schedule it into your day. By setting yourself a bedtime and a wake-up time, your body will get used to waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.

  • Add Naps During the Day

Something else that you can add to your daily routine is a nap, especially if you are finding it really difficult to make it all the way through the day without one. By scheduling it into your day, it will be less of a disruption to your schedule.

If you find yourself really struggling to get through the day, talk to your doctor and the staff at Joy of Life. They will be able to help you see if there is another reason that you are as exhausted as you are, whether that is an iron deficiency or some other illness causing you problems.

A surrogate mother is taking the test

Commercial Surrogacy vs. Altruistic Surrogacy

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Beginning a family can be an exciting time in a person’s life. However, while many long to have kids, some can’t conceive for one reason or the other. Nevertheless, you’ll find that surrogacy can offer a solution. The process entails a woman carrying an embryo and subsequently birthing a baby for another couple or individual.

Surrogacy agencies such as Joy of Life can identify with couples that can’t have children. That’s why they’re ready to take you through the process so you can enjoy the experience of having kids. In the surrogacy world, the two major kinds of surrogacy are commercial and altruistic surrogacy.

The major differentiating factor is that the altruistic type doesn’t require monetary compensation and the surrogate might be a friend or close family member

Here’s an insight into the distinction between the two kinds.

Altruistic Surrogacy

This type involves an agreement where the surrogate doesn’t receive financial compensation. In most of these agreements, the surrogate tends to have close relations with the intended parents. While entering into this agreement with a known surrogate is a great experience, unforeseen expenses or complications might arise during an altruistic surrogacy that could cause problems.

Commercial Surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy is an agreement that involves pre-determined financial compensation for the surrogate, along with full coverage for the associated medical expenses.

Critics feel that the practice exploits vulnerable women and the system of reproduction while commoditizing human life. Advocates argue that it’s unjust for a surrogate to carry a baby for somebody else without receiving compensation. Proponents further believe that it’s best to permit the practice so regulation can occur and everybody’s rights can be protected.

While a number of critics accuse and demoralize surrogates using this method, testimonies prove the criticism is unfounded. Gestational surrogates assert how selfless they felt when they entered into the commercial surrogacy agreement. Moreover, this kind offers the intended parents involvement in the surrogacy process through agreed-upon terms in the contract.

For instance, the couple can require the surrogate to follow a certain diet. Surrogates in this agreement also obtain support from the services offered by the surrogacy agency throughout the experience. The screening process helps potential surrogates understand what to expect to make sure it’s what they want.

A social worker and professional surrogate advocate will assist the gestational surrogate during the procedure, including after delivery, where necessary.

The Pros of Commercial Surrogacy

surrogacy consulting

Some of the benefits associated with this kind of surrogacy include the following:

  • It allows fair compensation for women for their year-long dedication to the intended parents, along with the emotional and physical demands of pregnancy.
  • In countries and states where well-defined laws exist, commercial surrogacy is under lawful regulation to guard the surrogate’s and the intended parents’ rights.
  • Commercial surrogacy is ideal if you don’t want to pressure your friends or family to participate in altruistic surrogacy. The last thing you’d want is to jeopardize your relations with your family or friends, so this form of surrogacy can be easier for families.
  • In this form of surrogacy, the negotiation of contracts occurs beforehand to establish the financial compensation the surrogate will obtain. This is to avoid disputes regarding reimbursements during and after the pregnancy.
  • In the U.S., most surrogates who choose this form of surrogacy don’t do it exclusively for the compensation. All surrogacy entails some degree of altruism because every surrogate needs compassion and a willingness to sacrifice. Actually, most women engage in this practice in order to help other families.

The Other Side of Altruistic Surrogacy

A Surrogate Mother

Be aware of these challenges before you enter into this kind of surrogacy agreement:

  • Most of the surrogates who opt for this form of surrogacy are usually family or close friends of those who intend to be parents. You’ll find that the parents-to-be are unlikely to find a match through the matching services if they aren’t seeking identified surrogacy.
  • The parents-to-be might feel as though they don’t have much control over the process because they aren’t compensating the surrogate. As such, they might be reluctant to advise the surrogate.
  • There might be a feeling of exploitation or under-appreciation from the altruistic surrogates. Moreover, family members might feel pressure to enter into an agreement where compensation doesn’t exist.
  • These circumstances could possibly have a negative influence on the intended parents’ relations with the surrogate.

Relationships

In this agreement, the risk of straining your relationship during the pregnancy and after the birth exists. The surrogacy process can be intricate with mutual demands. While the intended parents (IP) endure financial and emotional strain, surrogates equally undergo a lot physically and emotionally.

IPs might withhold fundamental requests relevant to the procedure because they aren’t offering any compensation. On the same note, the surrogate might experience a sense of discomfort and might be concerned about asking their friends or family to cover minor items, which could end up being costly over time.

You’ll need to ask yourself whether the relationship can survive a surrogacy and whether it’s worth the risk.

Cost

The cost can be a drawback for various reasons. In the case of commercial surrogacy, the surrogate and parent-to-be would have to prove they’re financially stable and capable of participating in the program with a surrogacy agency.

As a result, the parents-to-be must demonstrate the ability to cover medical expenses and other accompanying expenses throughout the process. The surrogate would also need to show that their motive isn’t just the money. In this agreement, the surrogate could incur considerable expenses out of pocket.

Fewer Safeguards

Reputable surrogacy agencies in California such as Joy of Life help the surrogate and intended parents navigate through the intricate process. Be aware of protective measures that seek to cover both parties, for instance, psychological screening, background checks, and verification of financial stability. The altruistic surrogacy agreement lacks a third-party objective to safeguard against possible risks.

Although an altruistic surrogacy is a gesture of compassion, it comes with risk. Keep in mind that each situation is distinct and, where some experiences might be picturesque, for others, the risk might outweigh the positive aspects. Whichever option you take, make sure you consult with a professional reproductive attorney to help you determine whether this path is suitable for you.

The Way of Surrogacy

surrogate mother

Surrogacy is a life-changing experience for the parties involved and the IPs should be wary of the possible long-term effects of this procedure. If you were to choose between altruistic and commercial, you’re better off choosing commercial surrogacy, due to the professional services that come with it. It’s just as important to choose the right surrogacy agency.

One such agency is Joy of Life, which seeks to help mothers going through the frustration of not conceiving. If you’re thinking of fulfilling your dream of becoming parents in the future, you can turn to Joy of Life for outstanding professional services.

One of the most significant things to consider when pursuing surrogacy is the legal process. Surrogacy is indeed a satisfying experience for gestational carriers and intentional IPs. Nevertheless, it demands considerable dedication from both parties.

If you’re keen on expanding or beginning your family through surrogacy, you’re welcome to schedule a consultation with the staff at JOL. The California agency seeks to make treatment easily available for its patients while giving the surrogate mother an opportunity to enjoy the birth to help others parenthood.

Stressed out mother with baby

Postpartum Depression in Surrogate Mothers Following Surrogate Birth

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Surrogacy is a beautiful, selfless gift of life for so many people and families struggling to conceive. Being a surrogate mother enables you to become part of these Individual’s  journey by creating  families and making the dream of parenthood come true. However , it’s also true that it greatly impacts the life of the surrogate mother. Following the birth of the baby, the surrogate may experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritation, and more. Such feeling and emotions  are often normal for women who give birth, and it is recognized as  baby blues. Most of the time baby blues go away. However, if the feelings persist or the surrogate mother continues to feel a sense of loss, then she may be struggling with postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is the most common problem that surrogate mothers can face after a surrogate birth. Signs and symptoms often include insomnia, fatigue, sadness, anxiety, irritability, and sense of loss that last longer than a few days or weeks. Postpartum depression can last anywhere from months to years, and without treatment symptoms can result in isolation resulting inthe surrogate detaching herself from friends and family. Although it can affect as many  as 20% of the new-mother population, including surrogate mothers, there is no exact known cause for postpartum depression.

What causes postpartum depression with surrogacy?

Even though it is difficult to pinpoint an exact cause, there are a number of possible explanations for why a surrogate mother may experience postpartum depression following a surrogate birth. One of the most widely held theories is that postpartum depression is the result of drastic and rapid changes in hormone levels following pregnancy and labor. After giving birth, a woman’s body undergoes a number of changes, including sudden drops in estrogen and progesterone levels. This drop may then spur a chemical change in the brain and lead to postpartum depression.

Some women may also be at higher risk of depression if they have a history of mental illness, or manic-depressive disorder. Lifestyle choices can also lead to higher risk, such as a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Sometimes the depression can stem from situations out of the woman’s control as well, if she experiences stress from illness or loss, complications during the pregnancy, or lack of support from loved ones. Surrogate mothers especially can fall into the latter risk categories, as surrogacy can be a difficult choice for some friends and family to understand, with the surrogate mother going through pregnancy and birth of a baby for someone else.

At the end of the surrogacy journey, following labor and birth and the daily experience of pregnancy, the surrogate can undergo a period of intense emotions. There is suddenly a shift in her daily routine, and the surrogate may be left with a feeling of loss from these changes. Prior to labor and birth, surrogates are in consistent communication with doctors and intended parents, but once the parents have their baby this communication often comes to a halt. As her life undergoes so many changes in such a short period of time, the surrogate may find herself struggling through postpartum depression.

All of this is also experienced without a baby. No research states that a surrogate experiences depression more intensely than a traditional mother, but for some surrogate mothers the responsibility of carrying and birthing a baby that isn’t theirs to keep can be life-altering. This is part of why it is so critical for a surrogate mother to maintain communication with doctors and loved ones throughout the entire surrogacy process. Surrogates give so much meaning to others, especially the parents they are helping, but they also have a responsibility to themselves It’s vital that they ensure their own health, safety, and happiness.

As the surrogate goes through the process, she needs to be open with how she is feeling so she can get the support she needs. This holds true following the birth of the baby as well. In order to be properly assessed and to receive the appropriate treatment, surrogate mothers should always schedule an appointment with a medical professional to discuss their symptoms and concerns.

Treatments for Surrogates Experiencing Postpartum Depression

Once a surrogate mother has been professionally diagnosed with postpartum depression, she can get help. There are a number of treatments available to help treat and alleviate the effects of postpartum depression, many of which may not even require medication. Depression can be extremely lonely since it leads to isolation, so an effective treatment may simply be talking. Surrogates going through postpartum depression are encouraged to talk to friends, family, and professionals to combat not only the loneliness but the sadness that comes with it as well.

Speaking with others about how they feel allows the surrogate mothers to embrace relationships with others, and opening up to a professional in counseling or therapy can offer a safe space to discuss deeper thoughts or feelings the surrogate may not feel comfortable sharing with someone they know on a personal level. A mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor, can help the surrogate through the more difficult or complex aspects of postpartum depression.

Doctors may also be invaluable resources for surrogates with postpartum depression by prescribing the proper medication. There are now a number of medications available that can help address the symptoms of depression. Before any of these are taken or prescribed, it is important to schedule an appointment with a medical/mental professional for help.

The Effects of Surrogacy on Relationships and Family

Help can come in a variety of forms, and one of the most important ones often comes in the form of loved ones, but this can be complicated throughout the surrogacy process. To ensure a safe and rewarding surrogacy journey, the surrogate mother needs support and encouragement during all the steps of the experience, from the good to the bad and everything in between. In order to have this support, the surrogate should consider how surrogacy may impact her loved ones and family, and how the commitment affects her as well.

Everyone affected by the surrogacy should talk about their questions and concerns, especially as it is common for the gestational carrier, or surrogate mother, to develop some level of attachment to both the baby and the baby’s parents. Once the baby is handed to the parents, the surrogate can then begin to feel that sense of loss that can pave the way to postpartum depression, so psychological and emotional support from her friends and family is critical to help her through the transition.

The Surrogacy Process

Making sure that the surrogate mother has access to a support system is a crucial part of the surrogacy process. Before she becomes a surrogate, she will complete a psychological evaluation in addition to an interview, medical screening, and more. This is just the first step of the process. After she meets with the intended parents, she will move to step two where the pregnancy begins with an embryo transfer. Step three is the pregnancy itself, where the surrogate has regular obstetric appointments up to  the birth of the baby. At every stage, the surrogate mother will have access to the compassionate, and empathetic team at Joy of Life.

How Joy of Life Helps Surrogate Mothers with Postpartum Depression

If the surrogate does go through postpartum depression, the Joy of Life team wants her to know she will never be alone. Her selfless gift of life is one of the most courageous and beautiful things she can offer to a family seeking parenthood, and every member of the team understands and respects her for this decision. When she needs help, she will have access to the care she requires that include  medical professionals and a dedicated team of individuals that are  ready to talk and offer support and guidance. Those interested in more information about how they can get help or how they can be part of the surrogacy process with Joy of Life are encouraged to contact the team.

surrogacy consulting

Top Surrogacy Questions Answered

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It is important for surrogate mother and intended parent(s) to have a foundation of knowledge about surrogacy. This blog will provide you answers to the most significant questions about surrogacy as you consider the surrogacy process.

  • What is a Surrogate Mother?

This is a woman who carries a child for someone who is unable to conceive a child with his/her partner. The surrogate becomes pregnant through either the fertilization of her own egg by a sperm donor (traditional surrogacy) or the implantation of a fertilized egg from another woman (gestational surrogacy). A traditional surrogate has biological connections to the baby, while gestational surrogates do not.

  • How Much Does a Surrogate Make?

The amount of compensation granted to a surrogate varies depending on experience, circumstances, and the agreement made between the intended parent(s) and the surrogate. The cost could also depend on the state and the demand for surrogates in that specific state.

  • Why Would You Want to Be a Surrogate Mother?

Being a surrogate mother gives you the rewarding opportunity to assist intended parent(s) in bringing a child into their lives. Any reliable surrogacy agency will ensure compensation for and health monitoring of the surrogate mother, giving a much-needed sense of relief to each surrogate.

  • What’s the Difference Between Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy?

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized by the intended father or donor’s sperm, making the surrogate genetically related to the baby. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the medical procedure that transfers the sperm of the intended father directly into the uterus of the surrogate mother.

In gestational surrogacy, an egg donor’s eggs will be used to create the embryo. In this situation, the surrogate doesn’t have any genetic relationship to the baby and is just considered the “birth mother.” The fertilized embryo is implanted through in-vitro fertilization.

  • What are the Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate Mother?

Being a surrogate mother requires that you’re in good health and have taken the necessary steps before becoming a part of the process. Here are the requirements:

  1. Age 21-39
  2. BMI between 18-32
  3. Non-smoker living in a non-smoking home
  4. No criminal records
  5. No history of mental illness
  6. OB/GYN records and clearance letter
  7. Not currently receiving financial support from the government
  8. Resident of a state where surrogacy is allowed (e.g., California)
  9. Have had a previous, successful pregnancy and birth
  10. Has undergone medical examination of physical and mental health (e.g., psychological testing)
  11. Has a lawyer and has all legal contracts signed by the surrogate’s spouse, if applicable
  12. Has health insurance that covers 8 weeks post-delivery
  • Why Choose Joy of Life Surrogacy agency?

Joy of Life is a specialized surrogacy agency that helps surrogate mothers through its hospitable and professional services. Joy of Life gives surrogate mothers every bit of knowledge they’ve gathered over the years that is significant to the surrogacy process before, during, and after pregnancy. We strive to prevent any complications and/or stressful factors, as the surrogacy process should be filled with health and happiness.

Joy of Life is a California-based surrogacy agency and has helped many couples build families. If you have any other questions, please contact us at info@joyoflifesurrogacy.com or 909-908-0772.

Becoming a surrogate mother

Everything You Need to Know About the Surrogacy Process

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Have you ever considered surrogacy?  What does surrogacy mean? What is the definition of surrogacy?

Here’s what’s important to know about surrogate process before entering the surrogacy world….

Surrogacy is a wonderful alternative for intended parent(s) when conceiving or carrying their own child is not an option. If you don’t understood the surrogate mother process completely prior to contracting with a surrogate mother, it can be a stressful experience, considering surrogacy’s medical, financial, and legal agreements, all of which are essential to the surrogacy process. While you will have a legal team assisting you along the way, it is crucial that anyone considering the surrogate mother process understand it in detail, so that you feel a sense of comfort and involvement during the surrogate’s pregnancy. In addition, a trustworthy surrogacy agency will provide you the guidance you deserve by answering any and all lingering questions you might have during the entire surrogacy process.

General Terms Regarding to Surrogacy process

  • Gestational Carrier

The gestational carrier is a woman who carries a child that was conceived through in vitro fertilization, using the egg and sperm of the intended mother and father. Further, the gestational surrogate mother has absolutely no biological connection to the baby (the baby won’t look like the surrogate mother) and is therefore referred to as the baby’s “birth mother,” rather than “biological mother.”

  • Intended Parent

The intended parent is the person(s) who will be the baby’s parent when the baby is born, regardless of the genetic connection. Whether the child was conceived using the intended parent’s egg and/or sperm or that of a donor, there is a mutual agreement that the surrogate makes with the intended parent.

  • Domestic Surrogacy

A domestic surrogacy is arranged between a surrogate mother and the intended parent(s), both of whom reside in the United States.

  • Surrogate Mother Pay (Compensation)

Compensation is the money a surrogate mother receives from the intended parent(s) for her time and effort during her pregnancy. These costs are not bound to medical or legal laws and can therefore vary, depending on the agreement made between the two parties.

Medical Terms Regarding to Surrogate Mother Process

  • Informed Consent

Informed consent is your authorization to proceed with any medical tasks, with the understanding that there could be possible health consequences. Usually, the patient has to inform the doctor that they have perfect knowledge of any risks and or benefits. In a surrogacy, this includes the IVF clinic, the legal team, and surrogacy agency.

  • Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

This test is a comprehensive assessment of a person’s psychopathology, which may be relevant to any medical process. This very thorough test lists 344 items, each ranked on a 4-point scale, and takes 50-60 minutes to complete. This assessment is significant for any potential surrogate mother in order to evaluate her mental health before she carries surrogate baby.

  • Monitoring Clinic

The monitoring clinic is an IVF clinic that does blood work and performs ultrasounds and other examinations of a surrogate mother prior to the embryo transfer. A monitoring clinic will determine her suitability for a transfer before she goes to a transfer clinic.

  • Selective Reduction and Termination

Selective reduction is the process of reducing the number of fetuses in a multiple pregnancy, usually to prevent any serious risks to the surrogate mothers during her pregnancy. If one of the fetuses has an incurable disease or is outside of the uterus, then the process of termination will take place so a baby is not born with serious health problems. This process is different from abortion, because its underlying reason is a serious health issue. This two-day procedure was accepted in the 1980s when doctors became more aware of the health consequences that come with pregnancy.

Insurance Terms Regarding to Surrogacy Process

  • Infertility Coverage

This is the health insurance given to intended parent(s) for infertility and IVF treatments. Only 15 states currently provide insurance for these treatments, and it has remained the same since the 1980s.

  • Surrogate Health Insurance

This is the surrogacy insurance granted to the surrogate mothers during their pregnancy, in case any problems occur.

  • Comprehensive Surrogacy Insurance

This surrogacy insurance is given to the surrogate mother and is purchased by the intended parent(s). It will give the surrogate mother the ability to see any doctor and give birth at any hospital.

  • Newborn Health Insurance

This is the health insurance purchased by the intended parent(s) to protect their new-born child. The coverage will be effective as long as the intended parent(s) enroll their child within the first 30 days of birth. If not enrolled within the first 30 days, the child risks being subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion.

Legal Terms Regarding to Surrogate Mother Process

This is an agreement between the legal teams for both the surrogate mother(s) and intended parent(s). The contract covers parentage, state laws, and financial and medical terms in order to protect all parties involved in the process. It is required by the surrogacy agency before there is any direct communication between the surrogate mother(a) and intended parent(s) to prevent any legal issues between the two parties.

  • Escrow Account

These accounts help you plan for future payments by ensuring money is set aside. In a surrogacy agreement, an escrow account is required in order to make sure the surrogate mothers will receive her proper amount of compensation at an appropriate time.

  • Anonymous Signature Page

This page is signed by the intended parents and the egg donor during the surrogacy process to ensure anonymity after the Direct Agreement between the two parties has been signed. It will be signed as “Intended Parent” and “Egg Donor,” and both parties will receive a copy of this page for their files.

This agreement describes the surrogacy law of direct agreement between the gestational carrier and the intended parent(s). The contract covers medical decisions during the pregnancy, medical bills, medical complications, medical history, financial considerations, and the involvement that the intended parent(s) will have during the surrogate mother’s pregnancy. This is one of the few documents that involves direct communication between the intended parent(s) and the surrogate mother(s).

  • Parentage

This document covers the legal process of the intended parent(s) to obtain full rights over the baby once he/she is born and for the surrogate mothers to be relieved from legal responsibility over the child she is carrying. This process begins after the pregnancy commences and is handled by the in-state attorney. The process of parentage involves many legal documents in order to give full rights to the intended parent(s) and varies depending on the state surrogacy laws.

  • Pre-Birth Order (PBO)

This is one of the legal documents involved in assigning parentage to a child. These documents are usually started in the fourth month and completed by the seventh month of the surrogate mother’s pregnancy but may vary depending on which state in which the surrogate resides.

  • Post-Birth Order

This is a legal document that assigns you as the legal parent(s) of the child and is required by some states, depending on their surrogacy laws. The state court will sign off on the document once the baby is born as a final step in the parentage process.

 

surrogate mother

As it may now appear to you, the surrogacy process is not to be taken lightly, and it is important to understand the different surrogacy definitions and surrogacy’s legal aspects if you are considering the process. However, it is an amazing option for intended parent(s) who aren’t able to conceive their own children. Our goal is to bring all families who are considering surrogacy a sense of comfort and knowledge about the process. This blog gives you everything you need to know about surrogacy.

Joy of Life is a California-based surrogacy agency that has helped many couples build families. If you have any other questions, please contact us.

Requirements for surrogates

Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate Mother

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Becoming a surrogate requires a lot of steps to take before, during, and after your pregnancy. Joy of Life wants to ensure that surrogates and the intended parent(s) are aware of all the required procedures in order to better the chances of a successful surrogacy. This blog lists the requirements and options to help you determine how to approach surrogacy during the surrogate mother process.

Become a surrogate mother

Meet the Requirements of Becoming a Surrogate Mother

The physical and mental strength required during pregnancy is enormous. If you want to become a surrogate, you will need to remain in great physical and mental health throughout all nine months of pregnancy, as determined by a screening process completed through the surrogacy agency. Most agencies require the surrogate to be between 21 and 39 years old to prevent any health complications from extremes of age. You must also have had a previous pregnancy with no complications. As a surrogate, you must agree to drug and criminal screenings, among others, so that the fetus and/or your own body isn’t harmed in any way during the pregnancy.

Medical Requirements During the Surrogacy Process

Medical requirements for surrogates

It’s also important to know that health monitoring is crucial throughout the entire surrogacy process.

  • Medical screening:

This screening process takes place before the pregnancy and tests for STDs, infections harmful to fertility, the health of uterus, and any drug use. Your partner will be checked for STDs and drug use as well.

  • Fertility Treatments

Blood tests, injections, and ultrasounds will occur during the embryo transfer process to determine hormone levels and the health of the lining of the uterus. Medications will be prescribed to prepare you for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

  • Embryo Transfer

The embryo will be transferred into the surrogate’s uterus in an efficient and painless way. This process requires the surrogate to remain at the clinic for a few hours after the transfer and to rest for a few days following the transfer.

  • Prenatal Care

During the pregnancy, the surrogate is required to make regular visits to the fertility clinic to receive blood tests and ultrasounds. As soon as the pregnancy is confirmed through a heartbeat, the surrogate can see her own OB, whom she will visit frequently for check-ups.

I Want to Be a Surrogate Mother. Now What?

Become a surrogate

Determine the type of surrogacy you are interested in.

  • Traditional Surrogacy

The surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized by the intended father’s or donor’s sperm, making the surrogate genetically related to the baby. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the medical procedure that transfers the sperm of the intended father directly into the uterus of the surrogate mother.

  • Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy requires the use of another woman’s egg to create the embryo. The surrogate doesn’t have any genetic relationship to the baby and is just considered the “birth mother.” The fertilized embryo is implanted through IVF.

Choose a surrogacy professional.

You have the choice to work with either a surrogacy agency or attorney, depending on your needs. Be aware of your own requirements and preferences while doing your research for a surrogacy professional.

Develop a surrogacy plan.

This takes place after you have selected a surrogacy agency and received a proper screening. The steps you take in developing a plan will guide you to your ideal type of surrogacy, because you will then know the type of intended parent(s) you want to work with, your comfort level with carrying more than one baby at a time, and anything else that will assist in making sure you have a smooth pregnancy.

Joy of Life is a California-based surrogacy agency that has helped many couples build families. If you have any other questions, please contact us at info@joyoflifesurrogacy.com or 909-908-0772.

Medication during surrogacy

Medications (Estrogen, Progesterone, Lupron) Involved in Surrogacy

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Surrogacy allows women to help others bring new life into the world and grow a family, but the medical process itself is different for surrogates than with a personal pregnancy. With surrogacy, the uterus needs requires preparation  to support the upcoming pregnancy or implantation.

Three hormones assist in this process. Estrogen and progesterone prepare the uterus by mocking  the surrogate’s natural cycle, and lupron makes sure the timing remains synchronized.

Estrogen

It may sound counter-intuitive, but as a surrogate, it is typically required to take birth control pills to prepare for surrogacy journey and coordinate the ovarian cycle. Estrogen helps thicken and build the uterine lining, maintaining early pregnancy.

Estrogen replacements are also given until the twelfth week of pregnancy. Why that particular week? That’s when the placenta takes over the job of hormone production. Estrogen can be administered through oral pills, suppositories, patches, or injection.

Progesterone

The body makes progesterone after ovulation. Once uterine walls are thick enough, you start taking progesterone replacements to ensure successful implantation a few days before the embryo is transferred into the uterus. Progesterone signals the body  to start making the correct nutrients to nourish the embryo.

As with estrogen, you stop progesterone replacements around the end of the twelfth week. It can be taken in the form of pills, suppositories, or gels, but the typical administration form is by intramuscular injection. It’s just a pinch.

Lupron

With that influx of hormones, your body will naturally react and try to reassert its natural cycle. Lupron keeps the timing on track by safely blocking the hormones that control your cycle. It’s like putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. It helps to synchronize your cycle with the egg donor’s or intended mother’s cycle before the transfer.

You start taking Lupron about two weeks after you begin birth control and stop it days before the intended mother’s or egg donor’s egg retrieval. You receive Lupron by a self-administered injection with a half-inch needle.

As you take these hormones, you also receive weekly blood tests and ultrasounds to ensure everything is proceeding accordingly . You only need to supplement the pregnancy with hormones during those few weeks of the first trimester. After that, the body makes its own hormones naturally. Because individual needs vary in pregnancy and surrogacy, contact Joy of Life to learn more about the medication process. As a leading surrogacy agency in California, Joy of Life has ample experience help surrogate mothers enjoy their special surrogacy journey.

Remove stretch marks

How to Remove Stretch Marks During and After Pregnancy

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Women often get stretch marks when they experience a shift in weight or growth. These marks commonly occur around your breasts, arms, abdomen, and thighs at any age and during pregnancy.

So, what exactly are stretch marks? How do you remove them?

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are essentially scars. Collagen and elastin fibers tear during hormonal changes and growth.

Preventing Stretch Marks in Pregnancy

How many stretch marks you get can be influenced by genetics. Did your mother experience stretch marks after pregnancy?

You actually can prevent stretch marks in pregnancy. Here are three tips to stop stretch marks in their tracks:

  • Eat well, since good nutrition keeps the skin healthy.
  • Creams and lotions moisturize the skin as it stretches.
  • Gain weight slowly to reach the proper goal.

Timing Is Everything in Treating Stretch Marks

Stretch marks have their own life cycle. In the beginning, stretch marks are red-purple in color and are called striae rubra. It’s essential that you treat them right away to get rid of  or minimize them.

Over time, stretch markers become more silvery-white and blend in better with your skin. This type of stretch mark is called striae alba and doesn’t respond as well to creams.

Retinol Lotions and Creams for Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Many lotions and creams contain ingredients derived from vitamin A, which many women avoid during pregnancy. Select a lotion with retinol, which triggers collagen production.

You can typically find retinol in face cream if you have trouble finding it anywhere else. A dermatologist can also prescribe a cream with retinol.

Other Lotions and Creams for Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Other creams and lotions may minimize stretch marks. Look for over-the-counter products with vitamin C, onion extract, hyaluronic acid, and centella asiatica.

Lasers for Stretch Marks

Laser treatment offers the most effective treatment for stretch-mark removal, but it can be costly. Different types of lasers address stretch marks,based  on the stage. Wait to have laser treatment after recovering from giving birth.

‘Although stretch marks occur naturally, they may make self conscious.  Eating well, applying creams, and receiving laser treatment can help you get rid of stretch marks.

If you have any questions about stretch marks, please contact Joy of Life to learn more about surrogacy and how we will help you through each stage.

Exercises during pregnancy

Exercise during Pregnancy

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Exercise helps keep our body  happy and healthy — even during pregnancy . However  always seek professional advice from  your doctor for the types of activities that are appropriate for your health, the baby’s health, and your particular trimester.

When you have a healthy pregnancy, appropriate types and degrees of exercise do not present risk to the developing fetus. Exercise maintains your health, strengthens, and prepares your body for the delivery of the baby.

How Often Should You Exercise While Pregnant?

A general rule of thumb is to plan for approximately  2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week. However, many health professionals recommend sessions of a minimum of 30 minutes, three to four times a week.

One study that followed pregnant participants undergoing similar levels of acrtivity  found that all carried to term, while the activities did not exceed 90 minutes.

Why is Exercise Good for Pregnancy?

Exercise helps you maintain a  healthy weight, get good sleep, manage stress, and prepares  your body for labor. Physical activity during pregnancy can also reduce the risk of premature birth and cesarean surgery.

What Types of Exercises Can Pregnant Women Do?

Plan your exercise regimen with your healthcare provider. Start slowly, with five to 10 minutes of activity at a time. Build up to 30 minutes. Consider these safe exercise ideas:

  • Brisk walking gets your body moving without putting strain on your muscles and joints.
  • Water workouts are great for all trimesters, since movement in water relieves pressure on your joints, offers buoyancy for all baby bumps, and keeps your heart rate up.
  • Stationary bike riding ensures you don’t crash and gives you virtually the same workout.
  • Yoga increases flexibility, strengthens your core and pelvic muscles and relieves stress. You can even do asanas in bed while eating chocolate. Win-win.
  • Low-impact aerobics are low-key but keep your body strong and healthy. Think running and jumping rope, but check with your doctor about the intensity level.
  • Strength training is still doable during pregnancy but talk to your provider first about exactly how much is too much to lift.

Conditions such as anemia, vaginal bleeding, hypertension, preterm labor, or more than one fetus can possibly restrain women from exercising . However, women with healthy pregnancies can and do exercise regularly.

Contact Joy of Life for more detailed information on surrogacy and exercise. As a professional surrogacy agency, we have plenty experience to help our surrogate mothers exercise safely during pregnancy, and we can guide you by forming a plan that works for you.

surrogate mother

What are the Qualifications to be a Surrogate?

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Are you thinking about becoming a surrogate mother?

Being a surrogate can be a rewarding experience in many ways. It certainly requires compassion and commitment to be a surrogate mother. However are a number of other factors, that need to be taken into consideration to meet the ideal qualities of a surrogate Mother. The health of both the surrogate mother and baby during the progress of the surrogacy is of the highest concern, which means we look for individuals with a demonstrable history of responsible and healthy behavior.

The below qualifications are an accurate and thorough representation of the qualities that are taken into consideration when seeking for the ideal surrogate mother. .

Methodical & Orderly Women

Surrogate mothers will be required to attend regular visits to the doctor. So, if you have good time management skills, you’re an ideal candidate for surrogacy.

The ability to prioritize is also critical, as your pregnancy may take precedence over other priorities.

Candidates Who’ve Done Their Homework

Pregnancy can be a little mysterious, and even a little scary if you don’t know what to expect. It’s important that you are aware of the changes your body will undergo, and fully understand your responsibilities as a surrogate mother.

Good, Honest, Clear Communicators

As a surrogate mother, there is simply is no room for dishonesty and beating around the bush. You need to be able to clearly communicate any concerns, and ask questions when necessary, especially if you have been experiencing anxiety surrounding an issue.

Being honest and having open communication makes the entire process easier, whether you’re discussing a matter with your physician or building a relationship with the intended parents.

Women Who the Practice Good State of Health You must not only by healthy prior to surrogacy, but need to maintain your health during the entire process. For obvious reasons, a woman must be in a state of good health, to avoid any potential complications during the pregnancy or delivery. .It ’s important that you pay attention to your diet and lifestyle choices throughout the pregnancy.

Positive & Well-Supported Women

Enthusiasm can go a long way during your pregnancy. There are many physical and emotional issues that can arise during this process.

Surrounding yourself with positive people can make a big difference. Assuming you are well-supported and have people you can turn to, the journey will prove to be more rewarding and pleasant.

Women Who Want to Make A Contribution

While there is compensation for becoming a surrogate mother, it’s really so much more than that. Your willingness to help others and contribute to the welfare of another family can go a long way. Having a warm heart to help others makes you an ideal candidate for surrogacy.

Joy of Life Helps Surrogate Mothers

Joy of Life is a professional surrogacy agency that supports surrogacy mothers, by always providing the warmest welcome and the most professional service from internally experienced coordinators. In addition, Joy of Life provides many perks to encourage surrogate mothers our care and appreciation. Our goal is to reduce other risk factors for stress and complications, at every stage of the process, as much as we can. Get in touch with us to find out if you are the right fit for surrogacy. Our website: https://joyoflifesurrogacy.com/