Woman holding newborn

7 Topics for Discussion Surrounding Birth of the Surrogate baby

Anticipating the arrival of a new baby is an exciting and oftentimes overwhelming time for both surrogates and the intended parents as there are a ton of things to discuss and many decisions to make. Most of the major decisions are often addressed during the matching process such as a birth plan, medical procedure contingency plans and legal considerations. Yet there are other smaller details that are still very important and merit a discussion. 

We suggest the following discussions:


Determine if photography during the delivery is acceptable and, if so, confirm the surrogate’s comfort level with being photographed during these intimate moments. You should also inquire about the hospitals policy on photography, as some allow still photos only, while others are ok with videotaping.

Guests in the delivery room

Everyone is excited on the big day and wants to be a part of the action when the new baby arrives. To help prevent chaos and make sure the surrogate is as comfortable as possible while bringing the new bundle of joy into the world, it is vital to establish a clear plan regarding who is allowed in the delivery room before and after the birth. Questions to consider, such as whether the surrogate would like her own support person with her (spouse, parent, close friend), do the intended parents wish to have grandparents or other relatives present, and are there any hospital regulations or protocols that limit the amount of people who can be in the room, are all great places to start. It is also good to have a back-up plan if a planned vaginal delivery unexpectedly turns into a C-section as hospitals usually allow only one person in the room.

Visibilty Preferences

Like the type of guests allowed in the delivery room, what is allowed to be viewed during the birthing process is another vital discussion to be had in making sure the surrogate is comfortable. Knowing what she thinks is ok to view during the delivery-whether that be the “whole shebang” or requiring observation strictly from the side of the bed-is something that definitely should be agreed upon prior to the big day.

Cord Cutting, Delivery Participation and Bonding & attachment

Clarify whether one or both of the intended parents wish to cut the cord or, if allowed, actively participate in the delivery process as facilitated by the delivering physician. Discussions about how bonding and attachment with the baby will be approached immediately after birth, including any desires for skin-to-skin contact are also important to have.

Baby Handover Preferences

Who gets to hold the baby first?! It is a good idea to predetermine who the baby will be passed to immediately after the delivery. Some surrogates prefer to receive the baby first, allowing them to personally present the precious gift to the intended parents. Some surrogates will want the baby to go straight to the anxiously awaiting intended parents. 

Celebrating the Birth

How are you going to welcome the little one into the world? Discuss plans for celebrating the birth of the baby together as a team, including plans for family members and friends who may arrive throughout the day or evening. It is important to be conscientious of the surrogate and give her plenty of time for rest. Rituals and traditions (religious-based or not) that are important to either party are also something to go over before the big day

Postpartum plans

Discuss plans for postpartum arrangements for the intended parents. Where will they be staying? Will the surrogate be pumping breast milk for them? Will they be staying near the GC’s home or where she is recuperating to make for easy exchange of breastmilk for the baby. Will the breastmilk need to be shipped? Would the intended parents like to visit the GC during her postpartum recovery?

While it’s impossible to perfectly plan for every possible scenario and facet of childbirth, adding these 7 considerations to your discussions will contribute to a smoother and more harmonious birthing experience for all involved. 

Woman holding newborn

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