Hello, wonderful surrogate! We are so grateful that you have made the generous choice to help another family come together. We know how long and involved the surrogacy process can be.
If you are reading this, we are guessing that you are now pregnant, and making plans for your “grand finale” as a surrogate: labor and delivery day. We want that day to be comfortable and smooth for you. That’s why we have written this guide for packing your surrogate hospital bag: so that when the big day comes, you will have everything you need to feel great.
Preparing for the Journey: What Every Surrogate Mother Needs
This isn’t your first rodeo! While this may be your first time as a surrogate, you have already given birth to your own child(ren.) Given your past experience, you may already have a pretty good idea about what types of items you want or need for your birthing experience. In general, most of the items you will be packing are more “birth/labor”-specific than they are related to your role as a surrogate. So, if you loved wearing your bathrobe from home when you gave birth to your own child, pack it in your surrogate hospital bag too! Everybody wants you to feel comfortable and happy.
Packing Your Surrogate Hospital Bag: Must-Have Essentials
Everybody is different! Much of what you choose to pack in your hospital bag will depend on your own tastes and needs. However, there are a few types of items that we do deem essentials, whether you are a surrogate or not! These types of items include:
You worked hard with your Intended Parents to develop a comprehensive birth plan. Now it’s time to put it into action! We recommend packing a few hard copies in your hospital bag.
Do not forget your medical insurance information, official I.D., and other important documents! These will be required for you to be admitted to the maternity ward.
To ensure your utmost comfort, be sure to pack your hospital bag with your preferred toiletry items. This includes hair items, a toothbrush/toothpaste, and skincare products. Lipbalm is always handy for a birth, and lots of people choose to bring flip-flops for showering.
It’s crucial that you feel comfortable when you give birth and during your recovery. Be sure to pack comfortable clothing items for your time in the maternity ward! Lots of people also bring special items like a favorite pillow, slippers, or comfy socks. We also recommend eyeshades or soft earplugs!
Be sure to pack a few light entertainment items! Depending on your taste, this might mean a magazine, a curated playlist, a sketchbook and pens, a downloaded movie, or your favorite childhood book—whatever will feel good for you!
Food and Drink
While you will have food and drink options at the hospital, it might be nice to plan ahead and pack some of your favorites in advance. If there’s ever a good time to choose all of your top snacks, this is it—you will be grateful to have them! The same idea goes for drinks: pack some of your favorites! Just make sure to also bring a water bottle for all of your hydration needs.
Think about the last time you took a short trip: what were your essentials? Make a list of what you might consider to be “personal items.” These types of items include things like phone chargers, medications, reading glasses, or headphones.
While the hospital will provide items like maternity pads or disposable paper underwear, you might prefer to choose and bring your own versions. We absolutely recommend buying and packing a couple of wire-free bras, some postpartum pads, and several pairs of spare underpants. (There are also some great pairs of postpartum underwear available online.) You will also need clothing to wear on your journey back home—we recommend that this clothing still be maternity-sized (6-9 months.)
Birth Preparedness for Surrogacy: Packing and Planning
Planning is an enormous part of surrogacy! Before even becoming pregnant, you spent months applying and interviewing to be a surrogate, matching and getting to know your Intended Parents, and preparing your body for this exciting journey. You dedicated weeks to drafting a comprehensive legal contract and birth plan with your Intended Parents and ensuring that everybody was on the same page. That brings you to today, where everything is mapped out, and you are carrying out your surrogate pregnancy! Now that the big day is approaching, it is natural to want to be fully prepared and pack and plan with plenty of time to spare.
Good news: your timeline as a surrogate will be the same as it was when you gave birth to your own child(ren). If you packed up your hospital bag around three weeks before you gave birth, then we recommend you stick to that timeline and do the same as a surrogate. That way, you can be prepared to grab your bag and head to the hospital as soon as you go into labor.
We understand that some of your personal items may be difficult to pack three weeks in advance since you will be using them! We recommend making a “day-of” checklist, so any last-minute essentials can be grabbed and packed quickly and without stress.
We Are Here to Support You!
If you are interested in learning more about surrogacy, we are here to help. At Extraordinary Conceptions, we have been bringing families together through the helping hands of surrogacy for nearly 20 years. We are here to answer any of your questions at any time: Please email [email protected] or contact us using our submission form to start the conversation. We look forward to supporting you during this exciting time.