While a surrogate may not necessarily have post-partum depression, giving birth is still an incredibly turbulent, emotional time, and this can be amplified by the situation. Surrogates will likely tell you there are a multitude of reasons why they’re not feeling their usual selves post-birth, and generally, it has nothing to do with giving the baby to the parent(s).
Here are a few common reasons a surrogate may be feeling blue:
Contact with the parent(s) has dropped off after the birth. Toward the end of a surrogate pregnancy, there is an insane amount of excitement, a flurry of activity as everyone prepares for the birth, and the surrogate is usually in frequent contact with the parent(s) nearing the end. In some cases, every day. After the birth, the parent or parents are usually adjusting to having a baby in the house for the first time, or a new addition to their family. This usually means they can’t keep up the level of contact they had before the birth, and it tends to drop off. Sometimes this drop-off is permanent, other times it’s merely temporary. Usually, she’s not getting as much contact as she did right before the birth, but that is incredibly situational, and depends on the surrogate and IP(s). Logically, the surrogate understands and acknowledges the reason for the decline, but it can still be a little much to absorb when they have such a rush of hormones going through their bodies.
Going through postpartum recovery with no baby. This has more to do with not having that cute and cuddly distraction on hand to keep her mind off the pain and helping move forward with her daily routine. Another common misconception is that recovery should be easier without a baby around, because, well, they don’t have a baby to take care of! In some ways this may be true, (no crying in the middle of the night for a diaper change), but for the most part it isn’t. Her body is still in major recovery mode, either from a vaginal birth or C-section, and it still takes the same amount of time for that recovery to happen. Some surrogates will feel like major slackers because they don’t have the added responsibility of taking care of a baby, and will get a little sad when they can’t keep up with day-to-day living. They might even push themselves to do too much, too soon, because people know she doesn’t have the baby, and she feels the need to meet their expectations.
Feeling less attractive, physically. No one thinks twice, or at least no one with any sense, about how a woman’s body looks after she’s given birth. The testament to her hard work and weight gain is staring at you, with the most adorable cheeks in the cutest onesie this side of the Earth. For surrogates, however, this isn’t the case, and it can be somewhat intimidating to go out in public with our post-baby bodies with no proof of how we achieved them. Even family or work functions can have this effect, because for some reason there are people who believe that, because the baby isn’t hers, the last nine months of baby body should magically disappear. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Loss of identity. This one is generally the most bittersweet of all because a surrogate is faced with the fact that her part in the journey is, essentially, over. Yes, there is usually contact, visits, pictures, updates, and so on, but her part in the orchestration of creating life is finished. It’s the ending of a chapter, and any future chapters will see her playing a much more minor role than before. Think along the lines of a child leaving home to set out on their own, being independent of their parent(s), and it is somewhat close to that.
Shared Conception gets it. We understand all of the above-mentioned emotions and are ready to walk our surrogates through it all. Give us a call today and learn about surrogacy.