Just as in sports, surrogacy has many variables that are out of any one person’s control. In cases where there are high stakes but lack of control, we tend to resort to superstition, rituals, tokens, and charms that can lead to a more positive outlook. This is called the uncertainty principle. When people are unsure of the outcome, they will try certain actions to control the outcome.
Believe it or not, there’s a special area of Feng Shui that focuses on activating “chi energies associated with birth and abundance.” It involves arranging furniture in such a way that promotes fertility. This includes removing clutter, fixing any faulty lighting or equipment, and removing obstructions from doors and windows. Symbols also play a part- pictures of pomegranates, rabbits, or a piece of rose quartz all contribute to positive Feng Shui.
Some surrogates swear that certain fruits can help increase the chances of pregnancy or a successful delivery. Pomegranates contain various nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, iron, and protein. Studies show that pomegranate juice also contains antioxidants that can repair the placenta when it is damaged, and prevent further injury. Eating pineapple apparently improves the success rate of implantation. Pineapples have also become symbols of fertility - in fact, there was even a popular “fertility diet” in the 1990’s that encouraged women to eat massive amounts of pineapple. Pineapples naturally produce an enzyme called bromelain, which can help relieve pain and osteoarthritis.
Sometimes luck is about the feeling of solidarity between the surrogate and the intended parent. Socks or shirts have been associated with luck for two reasons. First, the idea of keeping one’s body warm keeps the uterus warm, which leads to a healthier pregnancy. Second, wearing matching clothes can have a uniting aspect, as if to say “I’m in this with you.” Such a simple gesture can build trust between intended parents and the surrogate.
In the same vein, the best way to support someone is with a simple gift. Flowers or even a simple card can all go a long way to show support for both surrogate and intended parent. It can also give friends and family a way to get involved when the options to help directly are limited. Fertility charm bracelets are a popular gift to give surrogates.
Luck can also relate to the words we say to each other. One popular saying is “sticky thoughts.” This refers to the hope that an embryo “sticks” to the uterine lining. It is usually a way of saying “best wishes,” but can also be a noun, similar to thinking “happy thoughts.”
“Baby Dust” is a more common saying, and is derived from “fairy dust,” an imaginary powder which is supposed to help one fly or make dreams come true. It is usually used the same as “good luck” and can also stand as a symbol for luck.
People have and will continue to debate whether certain rituals, tokens, or sayings can actually impact a certain outcome. But one thing is certain: positive attitudes and behavior typically lead to happier lives and better performance. Even for skeptics, the best charm that intended parents can have is a strong and determined surrogate, and the best charm a surrogate can have is the support of her friends, family, and intended parents.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.