Due to the likelihood of many embryos being transferred during IVF, it is fairly common for many gestational surrogate pregnancies to result in twins or triplets. For some infertile couples, the possibility of having more than one child may seem like a dream come true. However, multiple child pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for different kinds of complications, both for the surrogate mother as well as the babies she is carrying.
Although there is no guarantee that there will be multiple babies because of several embryo transfers, both the Intended Parents and Surrogate should be prepared. It is recommended to discuss the possibility of multiple babies as well as selective reduction concerns during the contract stage to make sure all parties involved are on the same page. Additionally, the Intended Parents and Surrogate should be aware of the potential complications at hand when expecting multiple babies.
- Premature birth. The greatest risk associated with multiple pregnancies is the increased odds of the babies being delivered prematurely. Babies born prematurely may not be ready for the outside world, which increases their chances of experiencing health problems. Their lungs, brain, and other organs may not be fully developed, and their immune system may not be ready to fight off infections.
- Low birth weight. Low birth weight babies often have trouble breathing on their own. They may not be able to control their body temperature or put on weight easily. Almost all low birth weight babies have to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit before they can go home.
- Gestational diabetes. This is much more common among women carrying multiple babies. When closely monitored, blood sugar levels can be kept under control with proper diet, exercise, and insulin shots if needed. Poorly controlled gestational diabetes can have serious consequences on both the surrogate mother as well as the babies she is carrying.
- Preeclampsia. This disorder is characterized by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine and is twice as common in women carrying more than one baby. Preeclampsia can be especially severe, affecting many organs and cause serious or even life-threatening health issues.
- Placental abruption. This occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before delivery. It is much more common in multiple pregnancies and can happen any time during the second half of pregnancy, potentially leading to growth problems, premature delivery, or stillbirth. In multiple pregnancies, abruption is especially common just after the first baby has been delivered vaginally. Once abruption has occurred, the other baby or babies may have to be delivered by cesarean section.
Openly discussing your stance on multiple pregnancies and the risks associated with them is a critical conversation to have with your Surrogate or Intended Parents. Although multiple pregnancy is risky, many methods are available to reduce the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy happening. If you would like more information on multiple pregnancy or gestational surrogacy in general, please contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions today!