Being a surrogate is often described as one of the most powerful and rewarding journeys imaginable. Postpartum surrogates talk about how it was something they were ‘meant to do’ and their incredible feelings of joy after delivering a baby into the arms of its Intended Parents.

But there’s one element of the surrogacy journey that isn’t talked about as often – the postpartum phase. 

“Postpartum” is usually defined as the six weeks after childbirth. During this time, most moms and their newborns get to know one another and adjust to the new family structure. Many physical and emotional changes occur during this time, as hormones settle down and the reproductive system returns to how it was before pregnancy.  

But what if you’re a surrogate and you don’t have a newborn to focus on? Sometimes this can make the postpartum phase just a little bit more complicated. 

Pregnancy is an emotional journey for all women. But for surrogates, there’s even more going on. Medical procedures, communication with the surrogacy agency, your relationship with your IPs, and managing your home life can be all-consuming — not to mention the hormones! 

After giving birth, your levels of progesterone and estrogen drop dramatically while oxytocin surges. Oxytocin (known as the ‘love’ hormone) stimulates those feelings of love and empathy towards your baby. For surrogates, this can sometimes present as a case of the baby blues instead. 

As amazing as it may feel to make your IPs dreams come true, the aftermath can be steeped in emotions. After focusing on carrying a child for nine or ten months and being in close contact with your intended parents, you may feel a combination of highs and lows: joy and exhilaration, but also loss or emptiness. 

Of course, any temporary sadness doesn’t make being a surrogate any less amazing. Most postpartum surrogates at FSC say they would do it all over again just to see that look on their IPs faces when their baby arrives. 

The end of the journey for postpartum surrogates

It’s quite normal to get the ‘baby blues’ after having a baby for someone else. But surprisingly, most surrogates say the sense of loss is less about the baby and more about the relationship with your Intended Parents. 

This makes sense. By the time you give birth, you’ve developed a close relationship with the person or the couple who are expecting their new arrival. But when their baby arrives, they’ll be super busy being parents, just as you were with your own children. This will likely mean that they won’t be in contact as frequently anymore, which can feel like the end of a close friendship. 

Of course, every situation is different. Some IPs will be utterly consumed with caring for their baby, while others will still make an effort to keep you updated on what’s going on.  

Try not to take this personally. After all, you were a new mom once, too. Remember how difficult it was to juggle your little miracle with all the other people in your life?

In many cases, IPs will resume contact once they have established their new routine (and they’ve caught up on some sleep!) At FSC, we have countless stories of surrogates and intended parents who have maintained close relationships throughout their children’s lives. 

It can also feel a little sad to reach the end of a fulfilling experience. The surrogacy journey is a long one: the planning and preparation begin many months before the pregnancy. When it’s all over, the lack of extra responsibility may feel like a void in your daily life. 

How to handle the postpartum phase

Try to focus on the positives

Okay, so you’re not going home with a gurgling bundle of joy in your arms. But, as cheeky as it sounds, you’re also not having to get up at all hours of the night to tend to that bundle of joy! You can put your feet up and relax, and spend time with your family like you used to. 

There’s another big positive to think about: the fact that you’ve helped another person or a couple start (or add to) a family. These people may have been dreaming of becoming parents for years, and now you’ve made that dream come true. What could possibly feel better than that? Think about how amazing it felt to see them meet their baby for the first time and how much their lives have changed now. 

Hang out with your favorite people

Your family is the most important people in your life – and they love making you feel special. Now is the time to make the most of that! Let your family and loved ones know that you need them close by. Organize get-togethers with friends and celebrate the end of your journey. Catch up with people you might not have been able to visit during your pregnancy. Go shopping, take a holiday, hold a dinner party – be as social as you wish! 

Seek support from those who’ve been there

Family Source surrogacy support groups are an incredible resource for postpartum surrogates. Should you have any questions or concerns after your journey ends, we’re here to help. Members of our support team can easily be reached by phone, email, text message, Facebook messenger, or through live chat on our website

We also encourage you to continue attending our monthly in-person support dinners, as well as participating in our online support group. Of course, there’s no better support than from women who’ve experienced the journey themselves!

Practice self-care

Without a newborn to tend to, you’re now free to look after yourself! Get out and get active. It’s the best thing for boosting those ‘happy chemicals’ otherwise known as endorphins. Relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation will also help you sleep better at night, which is something every woman needs in the postpartum phase! 

Focus on eating plenty of clean, healthy foods rich in nutrients. Protein, vitamins, and minerals will help restore your body and get you back to feeling normal again.

Remember, if you really can’t shake those baby blues, be sure to reach out for help. Tell someone how you’re feeling, whether it’s a friend, a family member, or a counselor. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up. 

Reach out to Family Source Consultants

Whether you’ve already begun your surrogacy journey or you’re considering becoming a surrogate, FSC is always ready to answer your questions. Many of our team members have been surrogates themselves, so they know exactly what’s in store. Feel free to contact us and learn more about the surrogacy journey. We’d love to have you onboard!  


Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.