Dear Honest Surrogate...

Dear Honest Surrogate: My husband and I have been talking a lot about the surrogacy process. We are starting to worry about all of the costs associated with pregnancy. There are so many things I spent money on during my own pregnancies and we are realizing it could really add up! We don’t want to go into debt buying maternity clothes and vitamins for someone else’s baby. Is any of this covered by the intended parents? -No more debt

Dear Debt: No need to worry!!! The intended parents cover everything associated with the pregnancy. Besides our competitive base pay we offer a benefit package that is pretty sweet. We offer a $750 clothing allowance for a singleton and $1000 for multiples to be used throughout the pregnancy. You also receive a $200 a month allowance to cover monthly expenses such as extra food, costs incurred while attending monitoring and pre-natal appointments such as parking, childcare and tolls, also costs from phone calls, postage or faxing associated with the pregnancy. We also have a $200 a month housekeeping allowance so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with chores while you are sick or just tired or if there are complications. The IPs also cover the costs of all medications and appointments including the delivery, travel expenses for appointments, life insurance costs, attorney’s fees, lost wages for bed rest or other complications…the list goes on. The point is, you will not go into debt because you become a surrogate. Our surrogates are paid well and expenses are taken care of. -The Honest Surrogate

Dear Honest Surrogate: It has been several years since I have been pregnant. I am starting my surrogacy journey soon and I feel out of the loop with all the new pregnancy gear. What are your recommendations for “must haves” during a surrogacy pregnancy? -Too many choices

Dear Choices: I know exactly what you mean. I am on my second surrogacy journey now and m youngest will be 8 around the time he is born. Even though I am currently 26 weeks pregnant, I still feel out of the loop. My pregnant friends have introduced me to a few really cool products lately that I wish I had during my first 3 pregnancies. One is the Shellter. It’s an extender for your coat so you don’t have to buy a bigger winter coat. Us Montanans know how important a good winter coat is and the last thing I want to do is buy a bigger one just to wear for a few months. I love my down coat and now I can add this extender to it and it grows with me. It can also be used after the baby is born when you are baby-wearing so the baby can be inside your winter coat. It could be a nice gift to give to the intended parents after you have used it during the pregnancy so they can use it while they baby-wear. I also recommend getting a good nursing/pumping bra or two or three! My favorite are the ones that hold the pump flanges so you can be hands free while pumping. I pumped for a year after the last surrogacy pregnancy and it was a life saver. I spent hours everyday attached to my pump, if my hands weren’t free during that time I would have gone crazy. Another product I love is the belly band. You can wear it with your pre-pregnancy pants to cover the undone button and zipper. That way you don’t have to buy maternity pants…unless your thighs expand like mine have this time! I am at the point in the pregnancy that if I wear my pre-pregnancy pants with the belly band, my husband has to help me get them off before bed! There are so many new products that I don’t even know about. Go to mommy yoga or other mommy groups and ask around. -The Honest Surrogate