A surrogate mother must have had a previously successful pregnancy. Why? First, she needs to know that she can successfully conceive. It would be quite ironic if a woman volunteered to become a surrogate only to find out that she, herself, was infertile. Second, a woman needs to understand what is going to happen with her body, both physically and emotionally during and after the pregnancy. Although prior pregnancies can help new surrogates anticipate the process, there are some differences that mothers need to be aware of. Here’s what you can generally expect during a surrogate pregnancy.
More Testing During the Pregnancy
A birth mother can expect to have a little more testing done during a surrogate pregnancy compared to other pregnancies. It may be necessary to do a few more blood draws and ultrasounds, and the intended parents may request that an amniocentesis be done. The mother must be in agreement, and it’s helpful to know ahead of time what tests are typically necessary during a surrogate pregnancy.
A Chance of Multiples
If your surrogate pregnancy is achieved through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), the chances of a multiple pregnancy are higher. About 1 in 100 pregnancies in the general population is a multiple pregnancy; with IVF, it’s about 1 in 6. A birth mother needs to prepare for the possibility of carrying twins or in rare cases, even triplets. If a multiple pregnancy occurs, the birth mother may be required to go on bed rest. Although carrying multiples can be challenging in many ways, it can also be very rewarding for both the surrogate mother and the intended parents.
Ongoing Communication with the Intended Parents
In most cases, the intended parents want to experience the pregnancy as well. You should anticipate staying in regular communication with the intended parents to update them on various details of the pregnancy. Intended parents may also wish to go to milestone doctor appointments and be present during the birth. The level of communication that works for both the surrogate mother and the intended parents is typically decided upon before the pregnancy.
Involvement in the Birth Plan
As a woman giving birth to a child, your health and well-being is just as tied to a successful pregnancy and birth as the child’s is. A birth mother has a say in the birth plan, but so do the intended parents. It’s important that the surrogate and the parents discuss at length what their desires are for the birth experience. It’s advised to have professional support during the time the birth plan is considered and written out.
Surrogacy is certainly different from other pregnancies for good reason. Although it can sometimes be challenging, giving the gift of growing a family can be equally rewarding, if not more so. Get answers to your questions about becoming a surrogate mother by contacting Surrogate Mothers, Inc. today.