Dear Savvy Surrogate: Wardrobe and Childcare Questions

Dear Savvy Surrogate - I’m not sure what the deal is with maternity clothes. I have a couple maternity outfits left from my own children’s pregnancies but not many. I will definitely try to make do for as long as I can with what I have but the cost of buying them can really add up. Am I responsible for purchasing maternity clothes for my surrogate pregnancy? - Wardrobe Needed

Hi, Wardrobe—

That’s a great question! We certainly understand how quickly new maternity clothes can add up. Many women get rid of them the moment they finish their family and before they perhaps considered becoming a surrogate. Some women may become pregnant with twins for the surrogate pregnancy and are a different size than with their own singleton pregnancies. It may be a different time of year and maternity coats can be expensive! Or perhaps your own pregnancy was a pretty long time ago and styles have changed. And comfortable shoes are a necessity later on in the pregnancy—your existing shoe wardrobe is not good enough if your feet have swollen. Most gestational surrogacy contracts have a maternity clothing allowance in them. At New England Surrogacy, we offer $750 (add $250 for multiples) for the surrogate. It’s important to have clothes that fit you during your pregnancy and ones that you feel good in. This is something that is negotiable with your intended parents and attorney when drafting the contract.

Dear Savvy Surrogate

I’d like to become a surrogate but I have three kids of my own and am concerned about what I’ll do with them while I go to my appointments or especially if I need to be on bed rest with my surrogate pregnancy. How do other surrogates handle this? - Concerned Mom

Dear Concerned Mom-

Very valid concern. Most contracts between gestational carriers and intended parents have clauses about how childcare will be handled. At New England Surrogacy, our benefit package asks that intended parents typically provide reimbursements for childcare based on a certain “not to exceed” amount (such as not to exceed $250 in a one week period) or based on an hourly rate. It may be possible to even get family members reimbursed for watching a child for an extended period of time. Every family is different, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution here. Your specific needs should be discussed with your intake coordinator before starting the process and your attorney when negotiating the contract. As far as best rest is concerned, it’s critical that you have people who can be available to help with your childcare needs—whether it’s full-time care for your toddler, keeping an eye on your ten-year-old or driving your teenager around to sports activities, you need to have a plan in place for any possible bedrest. We’re here to help you think about how to make this happen for your family. Regardless of how you negotiate it in the contract, it’s important that you have a strong support network around you (spouse, family, friends, neighbors, even your older kids) who can help in a pinch with your children!