As you learn more about helping intended parents build their families, you may be wondering how surrogacy could impact plans to grow your own family. Having a biological child after surrogacy is not uncommon, and planning for your family’s future is an important consideration as you start your surrogacy journey.
Yes. Many of our surrogates go on to complete a sibling journey (a second pregnancy with the same family), become a repeat surrogate for a different family, or become pregnant with their own baby. Surrogacy and traditional pregnancy are different in many ways - the support you get through your agency and the fact that the baby you’re carrying is not biologically yours are the most obvious. But despite these differences, they physical impact is the same. Your ability to carry a baby doesn’t change simply because you were a surrogate.
It’s still important, however, to think about your long-term family building plans. Speaking with your doctor can be a good first step. If you are reaching an age where it might become harder to conceive, for example, your doctor can discuss if having a baby after surrogacy will be a safe option for you. They can also help you to identify any potential risks throughout your surrogacy in the event you do try to conceive again. It’s also important to make sure you and your partner, if you have one, are aligned. Surrogacy is a yearlong commitment, at minimum, so being on the same page about your timeline and plans to grow your family is imperative. Every surrogate’s path is unique, and your doctor is your best resource to answer questions about your individual circumstances and how they relate to future pregnancies.
A surrogate pregnancy carries essentially the same risks associated with carrying and giving birth to your own child. These risks can include everything from morning sickness and back pain to potentially more serious concerns like hypertension and gestational diabetes. The medical risks specific to surrogacy are generally minor. For example, you may experience bruising or a minor allergic reaction to IVF medications, or slight bleeding or cramping after the embryo transfer. These side effects are common, but it’s still important to keep your doctor and agency up to speed on these and any other reactions your body has throughout your surrogacy so they can best support you.
It’s also important to know that there is a higher likelihood of carrying twins or triplets in surrogacy. This isn’t necessarily a risk in and of itself, but carrying multiple babies comes with a higher risk of things like preterm labor, placental abruption, and delivery by C-section. A C-section may require you to wait longer than planned to start trying to conceive after your surrogacy. Other complications may impact your doctor’s recommendation on whether it is safe to have another baby. The safety of you and the baby is our top priority, and your doctor and team at ConceiveAbilities will be by your side for any circumstances that may arise.
One of the most common questions around surrogacy is if the surrogate mother develops an attachment to the baby. Will she find it hard to give the baby back to the intended parents? The reality is that most surrogates don’t give it a second thought. Our screening process ensures that surrogates are motivated by a genuine desire to help their intended parents. Surrogates echo that their intention in the journey makes it easy to avoid these concerns about attachment. Of course, your match manager and in house licensed mental health team are here to help you navigate emotions that may arise during or after your pregnancy. It can help to consider how this might impact your long-term family building plans.
It’s best to keep your match manager informed of your plans so they can provide the best support throughout your journey. You may not know going into your surrogacy whether or not you plan to have another baby afterwards, and that’s just fine. But if you know that another pregnancy is something you are striving for, it’s helpful to keep your team at ConceiveAbilities in the loop for several reasons.
First, we are here to support you in every way we can throughout every step of your journey. Being aware of your goal to have another baby gives us a better opportunity to provide specific support you may need during your surrogacy. Additionally, this is important to factor in the matching process. We take pride in creating successful matches (with a 97% first time match rate!) because of the many factors considered. One consideration might be a sibling journey to follow the first surrogacy. This match wouldn’t be the best fit if you are hoping to get pregnant with your own baby shortly after. Let your match manager know as your plans evolve; it helps keep everyone in the best place possible to provide the support and resources you need.
It’s important to think about your plans for growing your family as you consider becoming a surrogate. Your doctor and team at ConceiveAbilities have extensive experience helping navigate questions or concerns about pregnancy after surrogacy. And remember, you will also have a network of support in your surrogate sisters to share experiences and advice. If you are ready to take the next step, reach out! We are here to help every step of the way.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.