The postpartum period immediately after delivery is typically filled with sleepless nights caring for a newborn. But with surrogates it’s a whole nother ballgame. At this point the surrogate has fulfilled all her surrogate duties, and now she can come home and relax with her family.
In this postpartum guide for surrogates, I will talk about what typically happens in the days, weeks and months after delivering a surro baby. Most of it is easy peasy, but some of it may come with challenges.
After Delivery Postpartum Timeline for Surrogates
Immediately After Baby is Delivered
In my guide to a surrogate’s labor and delivery, I outline the typical hospital room process when a surrogate delivers a baby. If the intended parents are present at the delivery, they will immediately do skin-to-skin with their baby. The surrogate will finish up the labor (when all the afterbirth comes out), and then she gets to relax and recover with her support person. The intended parents and baby often have their own hospital room separate from the surrogate, so she can enjoy some peace and quiet. The surrogate may or may not breastfeed or pump for the baby, this is something that should be discussed ahead of time.
24 Hours After Delivery
The hospital stay for a surrogate is usually leisurely and chill, assuming of course she didn’t have any complications. I recommend that in a surrogate’s hospital bag she pack entertainment and things to do. She is not responsible for caring for the baby, and her only job is to focus on her own care and wellness. How nice is that?! Surrogates are usually discharged from the hospital in one to two days. And then she’s back home with her kids.
Paid Maternity Leave
If you’ve done your due diligence and effectively negotiated your surrogacy contracts, then you should have some paid maternity leave after you deliver. Typically surrogates get 6 weeks maternity leave after a vaginal delivery, and 8 weeks after a c-section. How much of that time you get paid goes on a case-by-case basis. You may earn lost wages from the intended parents, or you may get state-issued paid maternity leave.
During this time you’re home recovering, not caring for a baby. So no midnight feedings, diapers, sleepless nights, pediatric appointments, and all those other new parent woes. Just a whole lot of binging your favorite shows, drinking wine again, house projects, etc. Whatever your heart desires!
Postpartum Depression in Surrogates
Some surrogates experience the effects of postpartum depression after the birth of their surro baby. Just like how surrogates go through all the motions of pregnancy and delivery, their bodies also go through all the typical postpartum symptoms.
Postpartum depression can manifest itself in all kinds of ways. From feelings of sadness to mood swing and irritability, it’s all part of the process. These postpartum feelings should not be misconstrued as feelings of loss from the surro baby going home with its parents. Any surrogate feeling overwhelmed by postpartum “baby blues” should be seen by a mental health professional so she can freely discuss her emotions and concerns.Learn More