Doula with an LGBTQ couple
As a non-birthing person who is a member of the LGBTQ community, you may be wondering if a doula is able to offer you support during the birth of your baby through surrogacy. Absolutely! While doulas do offer a great amount of emotional and physical support to a birthing person, their scope extends so far beyond that. As childbirth experts, your doula will be able to help guide you through all of your options during the birth. While a number of things may be a decision for your surrogate to make (birth autonomy), there will be things that as the parent you will need to be familiar with. Your doula will aide you in just that. A doula hired to support intended parents will meet with you before the birth of your baby to discuss various medical procedures that may be offered during the labor and birth, as well as newborn procedures that are typically offered and/or recommended. Often in surrogacy, IPs ask that their surrogate to pump breastmilk for compensation. If this is not the case for you and you would still like your baby to have breastmilk, your doula can be a great additional resource along with your agency.
During the birth of your baby, your doula will be there to ensure the intended parent/surrogate dynamic is respected. A doula who is specialized in surrogacy and working with the LGBTQ community will be trained to ensure proper terminology is used and that questions are directed to the appropriate person. While your surrogate is in labor, your doula will handle your individual needs to ensure you are able to be stay present for the birth. This can include handling phone calls from family, playing bouncer (yes, this is sometimes needed!) and making sure you stay fueled.
Once your baby is here, she will continue to offer you support for 1-2 hours. During this time, she will make sure you get settled in with baby and aide in feeding, if desired. She will also make sure you have the opportunity to eat and have everything you need to be able to focus on your new little one. Nervous about newborn procedures? Don’t be! Together in your prenatal meeting, you and your doula will have already walked through what to expect. But please know that if you do need more information or have questions, she is there to answer or guide you to your best resources.
Upon your return home, your doula will make a postpartum visit to your home. During this visit, she will be able to help you with any newborn questions that have come up. This may include how to swaddle baby, how best to get a good burp out of them and even “is this poop normal” as you show her a curdled green baby poop. By the way, yes totally normal! She is just there to remind you that you already knew that!
Do you want a childbirth expert there with you from start to finish? Do you want someone there who not only understands but gives and demands respect for not only a surrogacy journey but your needs as a member of the LGBTQ community? Add a birth doula to your team. Interview and hire someone who you connect with enough to entrust them to accompany you during the biggest day of your life. The day you welcome your baby earthside!