Will I be seen as the real mum?

2 fertility expert(s) answered this question

What defines you as a mother?

What makes you feel like a mum? Is the mother who gives birth or the one that takes care of the child? ​

Answer from:
Psychologist, In Vivo Fertility, Founder and CEO In Vivo Fertility

Two questions may help you in answering this question:
The first question is ‘By whom’ – Will I be seen as a real mum…By myself – allowing myself the parental claim and bond with my baby?  By my spouse or partner – does he feel that motherhood is not just about biological phenotype and that it is so much more than that?By my child – and how do I support it in a way that is appropriate for him or her in their path as a human being with a special family storyBy my family and the world – and to what extent o I allow external opinions and beliefs to influence my wellbeing and feelings…
The second question is what is a real mum?Is motherhood and parenthood determined by genetics alone? Is who we are and who we become a product of nature and genes or nurture and the environment and the way we grow up…
What makes our coffee sweet – is it sugar or the spoon that stirs it?This is such a beautiful question and consideration in any genetic or non-genetic parenthood scenario…
An egg donation mum may not be sharing a genetic relationship with the embryo, but she has a gestational relationship – because she carries and gives birth to her baby. When a woman is pregnant baby cells immigrate to the mother’s blood stream and later they return to the baby…For 41 weeks, cells move back and forth and after the baby is born many of these cells stay in the mother’s body for more than 10 years. Isn’t that amazing?So, pregnancy itself is a very important and meaningful bond between mother and child.
At the end of the day who is the real mum – the mum who gives the egg and the genes or the one who carries, delivers, and raises this baby into an adult human being.
The influence of our parents in our lives, and who we become is huge. The gift of life is not just the genes we share but the breath we breathe into each other’s lives, every day!


Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Patient Advocate and Founder of and Paths To Parent Hub

A big question for many people, a big worry is being seen as the legitimate parent and if people know that I am not the genetic parent will they think any less of me as a mom. I had this fear very early on with my first child and I remember going to baby groups, looking around and I could instantly see the resemblances and I think I was overthinking it between the mums. iIwas there with my child and it was in those early days and I was still struggling in learning how to settle her. Very early on you’re learning to be a mum and every single mum in that room was probably feeling the same but I was hanging the hat on donor conception and that’s the reason why I’m struggling with this. I was worried that if I’d be seen to be struggling or to ask for help it was me failing again and they would think it’s because she’s not the real mum. It’s as I’ve developed, grown and spoken to people I’ve realized that real doesn’t mean genetics. Real is everything that you do for them, the role that you play and as I’ve become more comfortable in that role I know that I am their only mum in that sense. It is about redefining what it means to be a parent again and you are doing far more than just caring for them. You are raising that person, you are teaching, nurturing and feeding them.

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