Gestational surrogacy is an emotionally overwhelming process. Finding a professional surrogacy agency, preparing for the program, going through IVF, transferring an embryo to surrogate and waiting for the positive results… There are more details in between these steps.
It is a great relief when everything is completed successfully and your gestational carrier(surrogate mother) is now bearing your baby. The most complicated and complex tasks are already left behind. The fact that embryo transfer and implantation was successful is already a huge step forward.
Gestational problems are not very likely to occur to a surrogate mother and we will further explain why. However, because there is still a chance that pregnancy can go wrong, intended parents should be informed about possible medical risks of surrogacy.
Health of a surrogate mother is observed and monitored intensively before admitting her to the program. Her medical history must be absolutely suitable for a future pregnancy. A lot of agencies require that surrogate is already a mother to a healthy child. Unhealthy habits (smoking, drinking alcohol and etc) have to be absent absolutely. Intended parents are and should be allowed to request any information concerning their gestational carrier’s medical and mental health. After such a close observation and control, surrogate mother is very likely to have a successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy child.
However, let us address possible medical risks of surrogacy anyway.
Possible medical risks
Surrogate mothers, similar to any other females are likely to experience slight weaknesses that accompany nearly every gestation. Symptoms may include :
- Mood swings
- Change in appetite
- Slight abdominal and lower back pain
If any of the symptoms are no longer mild and cause a serious discomfort, surrogate mother should address a healthcare provider and inform the surrogacy agency as soon as possible.
Severeness of any symptom may lead to miscarriage, preterm labour and other serious complications. Pregnancy may seem healthy but it is still possible for gestational carriers to experience common types of pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes,preeclampsia and so on). Baby might inherit genetic abnormality from intended parents that needs to be captured on time.
As already mentioned, surrogate mothers may experience mood swings. Sometimes it is emotionally intimidating to carry a baby for 9 months, monitor your and his/her health throughout the process, go through labour and finally have to give the baby up (independent of having no biological connection to the child).
If needed, surrogate mothers should have the ability to attend therapies. Agency should explain to them the distribution of roles in surrogacy and reinforce the position of both sides in legal documents.
What should be done for the best results?
First of all, commissioning parents have to discuss all scenarios with their surrogacy agencies :
- What are the medical risks of surrogacy?
- What will happen if gestational mother has pregnancy complications?
- How do we know that surrogate visits doctors regularly?
- What is the backup plan?
- How are we sure that surrogate will give up the child? (This is not an issue in countries where surrogacy is regulated by the law – Ukraine and Georgia are perfect examples.)
Commissioning parents should request and receive regular information about :
- Surrogate mother’s health
- Baby’s health
- The course of pregnancy
- Test results
Surrogacy agency, on the other hand, is responsible for :
- Controlling surrogate’s visits to health care provider
- Collection of medical data
- Informing intended parents
Independent from their motivation , surrogate mothers are doing an amazing job delivering babies to their biological parents.To avoid any kind of complications and medical risks, like any other female – lifestyle, mental and physical health of gestational carrier has to be monitored on regular basis.