Surrogacy is amazing and beautiful, but it can also be a stressful and emotional time for surrogates and intended parents. It’s important to recognize the importance of caring for your mental health during this process.
As a surrogate, you are taking on a major responsibility in helping someone’s dream of parenthood come true. The physical and emotional demands of being a surrogate can take its toll if not managed properly. Likewise, the many stressors present for intended parents during a surrogacy journey can become a burden without proper support.
There are a variety of mental health resources available to surrogates and intended parents. Many surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics have mental health professionals either on staff or with whom they work closely, who are specifically trained to provide support and guidance to all parties throughout the surrogacy journey.
These mental health professionals are licensed and experienced in providing support for surrogacy, IVF and infertility. They can provide valuable insight into the emotional challenges associated with serving as a surrogate and can provide helpful tips to intended parents to manage stress and anxiety levels. Mental health professionals can also prove invaluable in helping surrogates and intended parents navigate the complex emotions involved in their developing relationship, communication styles and can help mediate any disagreements that may come up.
(Check out our mental health interview with Carole LieberWilkins, MFT)
In addition to professional counseling, there are also online support groups that allow surrogates and intended parents to connect with each other and share their experiences in a safe environment. These groups provide an invaluable source of support and compassion during the surrogacy journey, which can be incredibly beneficial, while providing comfort in knowing that you're not alone. A great surrogacy agency will be able to connect you with support groups that fit your specific needs.
Finally, it’s important to remember that self-care is just as important as seeking out help from professionals when dealing with the emotional demands of surrogacy. Taking time for self-care activities such as yoga, meditation, taking a walk, and spending time with trusted friends and family can help reduce stress levels and provide clarity.
(Check out our mental health interview with Dr. Julie Bindeman)
Mental health should always be taken into consideration when embarking on any kind of life-changing journey; especially something as important as surrogacy. There will inevitably be moments during your surrogacy when you will need additional support or guidance. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to help ensure that your mental health is taken care of during this process so that you can focus on what matters most—helping to bring a new life into the world through the miracle of surrogacy.