Surrogacy is another route to motherhood that has increased in popularity.

It’s a process where another woman delivers a child for a couple or individual. For women who struggle with conceiving or are unable to carry a baby full term, surrogacy has become a viable option when starting a family. It also makes it possible for same-sex couples to bring a child into the world.

A person or couple goes through several steps when they opt for this alternative route. It can be a nerve-wracking journey from selecting the right match to monitoring the process. One concern shared among those who embark on this path is whether they will bond with their newborn once they arrive.

A mother and infant’s connection is a deep, emotional bond that contributes to a child’s development. That attachment lets a mother know how to respond to their baby’s needs. It is important for the child because it helps mothers care for their newborn when sick, crying or distressed. A spokesperson from All Families Surrogacy explained to 21Ninety how this bond is essential to a child’s foundation. 

“For the baby, that initial bonding promotes temperature and hormonal regulation as well as the initial bonds of attachment,” the spokesperson said. “For parents, it helps create confidence and a deep emotional connection to their child.”

A surrogated delivery can put a strain on forming the connection with the baby. Prenatal attachment is a theory that describes the relationship between a mother and their unborn child. Surrogacy prevents that attachment from happening, which concerns new mothers about forming that initial bond. 

Although new moms may have missed bonding with their baby before birth, that doesn’t mean their connection won’t develop. All Families Surrogacy pairs families with surrogates and provides additional support for challenges parents face during the process. The agency supports parents bonding with their children by encouraging their clients to play an active role in their surrogate’s pregnancy.

“Learning what their baby’s patterns are, attending medical appointments, if possible, writing a journal about the pregnancy and their feelings as they prepare for the arrival can all be wonderful ways of active participation and wonderful memories to look back upon over the years,” the spokesperson said.

While bonding looks differently for each family, All Families Surrogacy shared ways mothers can connect with their new baby.

Start Bonding Early

Soon-to-be mothers don’t have to wait until the baby is born before attempting to build that connection. Someone else carrying the baby makes it necessary to be more creative in building the bond.

“This is often done by recording themselves reading stories, singing and talking to their baby, which is then played by the surrogate,” the spokesperson suggested. “This is a wonderful way to begin those early bonds.”

Try Skin-to-Skin Contact

Also referred to as Kangaroo Care, this method requires the parent to position and hold their infant on their chest. This can be done in the hospital after delivery and at home. Kangaroo Care helps mothers bond with their babies and supports their physical health.

According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, parents typically start kangaroo care once or twice daily for at least one hour. However, there isn’t a required time limit for this method. The longer the baby is held, the more beneficial it is for the parent and child. However, experts recommend to avoid distractions, such as loud noises or completing other tasks, while doing so.

Don’t Be Afraid of Physical Touch

Physical touch is essential for the growth and development of children at an early age. 

“Touch is an early language for babies as it is soothing for all parties and sets the stage for healthy growth and development,” the spokesperson told 21Ninety.

Human touch is important because it naturally helps relax and nurture infants. It also provides more affection that makes a baby feel loved physiologically and physically.