Pregnancy Risks During Surrogacy

By (embryologist) and (babygest staff).
Last Update: 08/04/2015

Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body suffers from a wide variety of changes. Some of them are not a problem for women, but others can cause serious consequences in the short or long term.

In this article we talk about the possible risks that can derive from pregnancy and for which the control of the surrogate during pregnancy is fundamental.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

Prevention is better than cure

In order to avoid health problems, the woman must modify her lifestyle to a greater or lesser degree and adapt to the new situation. Routines such as diet, exercise or professional activity are some of the aspects to be taken into account when adapting to this new organic situation.

Taking care of oneself and following medical indications is not only advisable to avoid damage to the woman during pregnancy but also to favour the adequate development of the foetus.

In a surrogacy process, both the surrogate and the intended parents must know in detail the risks they face. This is why it is important to ensure an adequate and detailed surrogacy contract as well as informed consent.

There are diseases or alterations of the organism that are more common during pregnancy. Among them we highlight:

  • Obesity: pregnancy means an increase in weight, but it is important that this is within the limits set by the doctor. Disproportionate weight gain can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, etc.
  • Preeclampsia: this is a syndrome typical of pregnant women characterized by high blood pressure and kidney problems. The main symptoms are: swelling of the face and hands, headache, increased blood pressure and protein levels in the urine.
  • Gestational diabetes – increased blood sugar levels. It is important to control it with an adequate diet and in some cases with external insulin inputs.
  • Anemia: reduction in the number of red blood cells. Among the symptoms it generates are increased tiredness, dizziness, paleness …
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum: continuous and intense nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that can cause dehydration, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Depression, during pregnancy due to increased sensitivity or also after childbirth.
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Bone problems due to reduced calcium levels
  • Miscarriage
  • Varicose Veins
  • Fuid retention

Some of these illnesses can worsen and pose a real risk to the health of the pregnant woman, so it is essential for the to be carefully informed before becoming pregnant.

Childbirth

Although advances in medicine have greatly reduced the possible risks during childbirth, there are still situations today that can compromise the life of both the pregnant woman and the baby.

Haemorrhages, tears, injuries, infections and lack of oxygen can occur during childbirth, which are generally not serious and are quickly resolved by professionals, but can sometimes be complicated and even lead to the death of the foetus and/or the surrogate.

Special care for the surrogate

In order to avoid complications and possible risks during pregnancy and childbirth, it is necessary to lead a quiet life, follow the doctor’s instructions and avoid risky situations or habits. Here are some tips to follow to have a healthy and safe pregnancy for the surrogate and for the future baby.

  • Give up tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.
  • Adequate hygiene, especially of teeth and genitals.
  • Emotional support
  • Avoiding raw foods
  • Not exercising excessively
  • Avoid medication and, if necessary, consult the physician about the specific medication.
  • Follow a proper diet. It is recommended to reduce caffeine, gas and trans fats; drink plenty of liquids and foods rich in calcium, vitamins and iron.
  • Rest as long as necessary
  • Avoid great efforts, especially in late pregnancy
  • Carry out the established medical check-ups

Failure to follow medical recommendations or adapt the body and daily routines to the new situation of pregnancy can lead to complications during the same susceptible to cause fetal malformations or other risks for both the fetus and the surrogate.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Adapted into english by:
 Marie Tusseau
Marie Tusseau
Babygest Staff
Editorial Director of Babygest magazine in French and English. More information about Marie Tusseau

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