Although joyous, the gestational surrogacy journey is not without potential risks. While many surrogates will agree that the desire to give back outweighs the possible risks, it is important to understand what the risks are, and how to manage them if they do appear. When discussing prospective risks with your agency and Intended Parents, consider the following:
- Physical risks. Typically, the same risks associated with traditional pregnancies will also be present in surrogate pregnancies. These include morning sickness, weight gain, and muscle strain. However, surrogate pregnancies do have their own set of exclusive conditions, including possible infection or bleeding during implantation or insemination. It is also important to bear in mind that a woman who has had one or more uncomplicated births may not necessarily experience an easy, uncomplicated pregnancy in later births; placenta abruption, hypoxemia, peripartum cardiomyopathy, gestational diabetes, eclampsia, placenta previa and hormonal imbalances can all play a role in health complications during the pregnancy and birth.
- Psychological risks. Most agencies will extensively screen surrogates and require regular counseling. The major emotional risk associated with surrogacy is the surrogate becoming attached to the unborn baby. Because the baby grows inside the surrogate mother just as it would with any other pregnancy, it is very easy to develop emotional ties and form a bond that can be difficult to sever when the baby is born, despite the Surrogate having no genetic relation to the baby.
- Family risks. Being a surrogate mother does not just affect the surrogate; it can impact her immediate family as well. Her children, husband or partner, parents, and other family members may also develop an attachment to the unborn baby. It can be very difficult for some people to distinguish or separate their feelings, knowing that the baby will not be a part of their life after it is born.
- Financial risks. Unforeseen financial costs, such as special therapies, surgeries, or birthing classes may arise during the pregnancy. Sometimes these unplanned costs may not be covered by insurance and the debt may be more than the Intended Parents are capable of handling.
- Employment risks. Certain medical conditions, such as bed rest or surgery, could require the surrogate to take more time off from work than anticipated. This can potentially cause a strain on the surrogate, especially if she is still responsible for living expenses during her pregnancy.
Each surrogacy experience is unique. It is important to weigh and discuss all possible risks both with your surrogacy agency and your Intended Parents. Additionally, your surrogacy agency should be able to address any individual concerns you may have. If you need to discuss potential risks and ways to manage them in more detail, do not hesitate to contact Surrogate Solutions today!