10 Oct How The Act of Surrogacy Affects Your Mental Health
Surrogacy is an option that some couple take to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. As much as this brings blessings their way, it goes without saying that it can also be a stressful period in the lives of the couple and the surrogate. This article discusses some of the health issues that the surrogate may experience during this process.
How the act of surrogacy affects your mental health
Taking care of a baby till it is mature is a huge responsibility, but the joy is incomparable. Unfortunately, some women do not have this joy, so they have to look for another way to get a child. Most of these women resort to surrogacy.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a legal arrangement where a woman agrees to carry to term another woman’s baby, and when she does put to birth, the woman gives the child to the family that hired her.
Most women go into this for the money, but they fail to realize the effects this would have on them. In this article, we will
be discussing how surrogacy affects the mental health of the surrogate.
Medical Effects Of Surrogacy
Surrogacy is the act of carrying a baby (pregnancy) and has the same medical Effects as pregnancy. So all the hormonal, uncomfortable happenings that one has when pregnant are the same thing that happens to a surrogate. The medical risks include morning sickness, nausea, weight gain, swelling, back pain, heartburn, and much more. Some serious side effects may develop during pregnancy. Examples include side effects like gestational diabetes, hypertension, or damage to some body organs.
Also, there is a possible risk of miscarriage or preterm labour. And this is why a surrogate should keep in close contact with her doctor and take their proper medication.
Emotional Risk Of Surrogacy
Apart from the medical risks, a surrogate also goes through emotional challenges. This is mainly due to the hormones that their body experiences 24/7. The ordeal can sometimes lead to depression if not handled immediately. The reason for this emotional trauma could be the surrogate knowing she will not go home with the child in her womb. When a woman is with a child, there is a connection between the baby and the mother. The surrogate and baby share the same food, and the surrogate feels everything the baby feels. So it can be difficult to detach yourself from someone you have known for months.
This depression doesn’t necessarily mean that the surrogate won’t feel happy for the intending parents, but it doesn’t also stop her from feeling sad about the situation.
How To Avoid Depression
There isn’t one way to solve the problem of depression. If there was, it would have been oddly satisfying, and no one would have had any issues. But just as it’s not possible to find one solution to depression for a normal person, it’s not possible for a surrogate either. However, the good news is that we have some
sure remedies for you.
First, we would advise that you get a mental health professional and seek help before you begin the process, while in the middle of it, and after it is over. We also advise that you go for surrogacy counselling. If you are really emotional, you should try and establish post-birth contact before you get pregnant.
Second, you must have a solid support system. This support system could be your friends, family, or a community support group. But let it be people you can talk to about your feelings and lean on during and after your surrogacy. Even if it gets hard, you have to be open with them.
Third, get the support of your nuclear family, if you have one. Let’s say you are married and want to be a surrogate; we advise that you get the approval of your husband first. It will make the process a whole lot easier for you. It could get really bad if your husband is at constant war with you because you cannot have sex with him when you are carrying the child. The stress of carrying another human being inside of you is more than enough to deal with; you do not need any additional tension.
Lastly, do not try to hide your feelings and intentions from the family that is paying you to carry their child. Some parents wouldn’t want you to have anything to do with their baby after delivery. If you are not okay with it, you will need to speak up and let them know to avoid issues in the near future.
And in as much as you are informing the parents, you should also tell your therapist about how you really feel.
Even though the risk of being a surrogate mother is high, the joy of bringing happiness to another individual is just fantastic. But we advise that you take some precautions before engaging in this charitable act.