While today’s IVF procedures typically take a more conservative approach when deciding the number of embryos to be implanted, it’s still possible for a surrogate to carry as many as two or three babies. This can occur because more embryos thrive than anticipated or because the intended parents choose to have multiples.
As a surrogate, there are several things you need to know. For reasons including those listed above, it’s possible you will carry multiples. It’s important that your health and interests and those of the babies are protected. Consider the following:
How many babies are you willing to carry?
Decide whether you are willing to carry two or three embryos or more babies to term and what steps can be taken to control the size of the pregnancy. You and the IPs should discuss the number of embryos that will be implanted and how you each feel about selective reduction. Make sure the details of your agreement are included in the contract.
So, you’re carrying multiples…
Now that you’ve discussed how many babies you are willing to carry, let’s talk about what to expect in the event of a multiple pregnancy.
One thing that is guaranteed in a multiple pregnancy is MORE.
- You’ll be more tired, you’ll gain more weight and you’ll need more help.
- You’ll likely undergo additional testing and monitoring.
- Your prenatal visits will be more frequent.
- You may undergo ultrasounds every 4-6 weeks.
- Your doctor may order at least one non-stress test.
You’ll be at higher risk for some complications.
Ask your doctor if there are any risks specific to your medical status or history. Find out what early signs to watch for during your pregnancy.
Your doctor will watch closely for:
- Gestational diabetes
- Caesarian birth
- Postpartum depression
The biggest risk with a multiple pregnancy is preterm birth.
Because of medical advancements, babies can survive at a younger fetal age, but ideally, the closer you can get to that 40-week mark, the better for you and the babies.
Follow your doctor’s orders to the letter.
Discuss diet and exercise with your doctor to keep you and the babies healthy. You may find it easier to eat frequent small meals throughout the day as your abdomen grows more crowded.
A multiple pregnancy can mean bedrest or curtailed activities in mid- to late pregnancy. This takes support – physical, emotional and financial.
Make sure you are covered.
Be sure your contract includes provisions for added expenses such as needing to take a leave of absence from work or hire a housekeeper. You’ll probably be more uncomfortable than with a singleton pregnancy and you may need more clothing to accommodate your rapidly growing belly.
It’s important you protect yourself in your contract. Your health could be impacted, possibly long term, and you will need longer to recover.
If you have any questions about what you need to know about multiple pregnancies, feel free to ask the consultants at Surrogate Solutions. If you are looking for additional information on becoming a gestational surrogate, please contact us at Surrogate Solutions today!