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IVF

How to Move on from Failed IVF

Wondering why IVF isn't working for you? This article discusses the reasons why IVF may not work and what to do next.

The treatment of in-vitro fertilisation begins with the hopes of building a family one step at a time. Couples come to this procedure when they face infertility issues over the past few years and dream of giving birth to a baby. These soon-to-be parents are exhausted and struggling and turn to the option of IVF. With this little hope in life, this technique has proved successful in the majority. However, things don’t always go according to the plan and it’s possible you may have a failed IVF. Let’s take a closer look at what may have happened and how to move on from failed IVF.

 

The medical procedure of IVF allows the sperm and the egg to be combined in a dish by an infertility specialist or endocrinologist. This is then inserted into the womb through the pelvic cavity. The technique should guide the embryo to be inseminated in the walls of the uterus that will develop into a baby. Celebrity cook and model, Chrissy Teigen hit the headlines sometime around 2016 because she claimed to choose the sex of the baby during the procedure of IVF. In many parts of the world, IVF can help choose the sex of the baby you want. The procedure of IVF itself is quite expensive and such medical treatment can also top up the hospital charges.

 

With all said and done, some things often go out of the plan we have in our heads. Here are a few pointers that will give a picture of these unfortunate scenarios.

 

Why did it not work?

Every doctor in the country will initially state out the various ways in which this technique could lead to failure. This is honesty not to discourage you, but they simply want to give you the reality of the big picture. Success stories of IVF pregnancies depend on probability. Other unfortunate couples go through a lot of pain and grief due to their failed IVF procedure.

 

Research has many factors that are seen to understand the failure of IVF. One such problem is the embryo’s inability to stay within the uterus linings. Doctors also choose the best quality of the embryos that have to be inserted into the uterus. The age of the partners is also very important when considering IVF as an option. Case studies show that women above the age of 35 have very slim chances of a successful IVF transmission

 

IVF also calls out on the type of lifestyle that has been followed until the process of combining the sperm and egg. Social drugs, alcohol and cigarettes can be a hindrance to this procedure.  

 

Trying again, just one more time...

Doctors always push their patients to try the method of IVF to get pregnant three times in a row. After these three attempts, they are discouraged to go on further. Well, how to move on from failed IVF in this instance? Start by looking out for other problems in the system.

 

There are many other alternative methods to get pregnant that are suggested by doctors. The treatment of IVF is considered to be very expensive and hence, cannot be affordable to try many times. Yet, some parents keep on trying. Treatments like surrogacy, IUI and adoption are some of the other ways that you can try to start a family.  

 

Before you go into another round of injections, shots and other procedures, you should get yourself and your partner scanned and tested for any genetic or chromosomal issues that refuse the treatment. Just like the age of the couple, these things are also to be considered. A quick assessment of the previous cycle can also give you a clear picture of what could be changed before another round of medical procedures.  

  

In these stages, most couples have a very difficult time making the right decision. It is a very personal family matter between hopeful parents. Before you decide on this matter, pause for a while to look back at the journey to this very point. Both you and your partner should be comfortable to go through this all over again. Fear not to ask your doctor any kind of questions regarding this technique.

 

The support system

After this long and exhausting journey of numerous medications, a failed IVF treatment result could bring down a whole family.

 

Stay strong and don’t give up. Keep looking into other methods of getting pregnant. Get tested, have a good conversation with your doctors and caregivers about the root cause of the problem. To keep a stable mind, seek out help from counsellors. Things like this can be too hard on the family but talking it out at support groups can help you to listen and connect with stories with similar experiences. This way you will not feel lonely during this period of grief.

 

 

Be determined to not let go of the idea of building your own family. On this note, if this treatment doesn’t support your system, be open to other options. There isn’t one single way as to how to move on from failed IVF. There are a lot of resources out there that can help you find the right path.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Surrogacy

General Questions and Myths about Surrogacy

Doubts and questions about surrogacy? Look no further, here are the answers to all your questions on surrogacy.

Hello there! By now you may have done a lot of research about Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART) and have a good deal of knowledge about them. If yes, surrogacy must have definitely popped up in your research. Despite all the knowledge you have, there might still be some doubts. That comment your friend passed or a question a nosy neighbour asked might have raised these doubts. Don’t worry, we will walk  you through some of those common doubts and questions you might have about surrogacy and also as a bonus, bust some myths along the way.

 

FAQs

Is surrogacy legal in India?

Yes, gestational surrogacy is legal in India; commercial surrogacy, however, is banned. Gestational surrogacy refers to the process in which the surrogate carries an embryo which is conceived by the sperm and egg of the intended parents. There are also provisions to have a surrogate from a different state within the country.

 

Why choose surrogacy over adoption?

The waiting period for an adoption can range anywhere from 18 - 24 months. Despite the wait, there are chances of birth mothers changing their mind after delivery and keeping their babies. This might be devastating for the intended parents who have formed a bond with the baby and are waiting to take him/her home. The process of adoption is also expensive and time consuming with no guarantees. Thus, you must evaluate your needs based on circumstances, time and expenses and decide which of the two is a better fit for you.

 

Do we have to go through a screening process?

Yes. You, as a couple need to take psychological counselling to be sure about the process. You will be explained about the process and all the necessary implications to prepare you for it. Once the medical screening is done, you would need to sign a contract with the surrogate and her husband/guardian to make it legal. You should also ensure medical and social care for the surrogate.

 

How to choose a surrogate?

You have to ensure that the surrogate is within the age limit of 21-35. Ensure your agency does a background check to know her personal history, her family’s background and history and her health profile. It is necessary for her to have had a healthy pregnancy before. She and her husband (if she is married) should be screened for STDs and other infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B&C. Other medical tests like pelvic sonography and uterine receptivity should be performed and if the results come out as expected, you can go ahead to sign your contract.

 

How much does it cost?

As of 2020, the surrogacy treatment in India might cost you anywhere between INR 9 – 15 lakhs, the average amount being INR 10 lakhs. This is usually the cost of the entire package which might involve fees, legal fees, surrogate work up, delivery charges, surrogate’s compensation, insemination and IVF costs and some more or less depending on your agency. The cost will definitely differ from state to state and agency to agency

 

How long would the process be?

After you select your agency, it might take around 15-20 days to select and evaluate your surrogate. Post that, the treatment might take around 15 days. Results can be observed 12-15 days after the treatment.

 

 

The myths 

Myth: Intended parents cannot bond with the baby

You can start bonding with your baby right from the gestation period by talking to them in the womb. Also, once your tiny wonder makes their entrance, they will be handed over to you. It is you who will feed them, nurture them and constantly be there with them from that moment onwards. Hence, your bond with the baby would be an unbreakable one.

 

Myth: Surrogates are all about money

This isn’t true. In many cases surrogates do it to contribute to the happiness of a couple by giving them a baby. They mostly do it to spread positivity and give the gift of parenthood to couples who aren’t privileged to have a baby by themselves. 

 

Myth: The surrogate might not / have trouble giving up the baby

There is no way a surrogate won’t hand over the baby to you as she is legally bound to give you the baby. It is highly unlikely that she will have trouble while doing so as she enters the contract fully aware that the baby isn’t hers. Besides, she already has her own baby. She knows that she is like a babysitter for you two until the baby is born.

 

Myth: The baby might look like the surrogate mother

As the genetic factors which make your baby (sperm and egg) are derived from you and your partner (intended parents), the surrogate’s DNA will not be passed on to the baby in gestational surrogacy. Thus, your baby will not have the physical or mental traits of the surrogate mother.

 

Myth: Surrogacy always results in multiple births

This is not a hard and fast rule. It depends on how many embryos are transferred into the surrogate’s womb. Usually, not more than two embryos are transferred to minimize the risks of multiple pregnancies. There are also chances of her carrying just one baby despite having multiple embryos transferred.

 

 

We hope this article has cleared a lot of doubts on your mind and provided you with information about surrogacy. Don’t forget to discuss with your doctor before choosing your agency. You are now one step closer to your dream of parenting.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Surrogacy

Surrogacy - Alternative Steps to Grow Your Family

This article discusses surrogacy processes in India. Here's a step by step guide on everything you need to know about surrogacy.

Have you heard of the song, “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage’? Well, if you are in love, and you do wish to get married (or not, because that’s okay too) what about having a baby? What if you can’t? Our society has not been great at accepting women with health issues which prevent them from being pregnant or even allowing a single parent wanting to have biological children. As sad as that is, on a positive note, we live in an advanced technological era where even if you can’t have the baby yourself, surrogacy has time and again proven to be a safe and affordable alternative for any couple or a single parent wanting to have biological children.

 

 

So what does the process of surrogacy involve?

A surrogate mother carries a pregnancy for another couple through the method of assisted reproductive technology. While there are two types of surrogacy, gestational and traditional; gestational surrogacy is more common and legalized in most countries. Gestational surrogacy implies that the surrogate carries a pregnancy where the gametes, fertilized through in-vitro fertilization would belong to the intended parents or donors. On the contrary, in traditional surrogacy, the egg belongs to the surrogate and the sperm would belong to the intended father. This enhances legal and emotional implications.

 

With the legalization of surrogacy in India in 2002, the law has brought a beam of hope for many. But what exactly are the procedures involved in surrogacy? We have it all laid down for you to ensure a smooth way forward to welcome a tiny member into your family.

 

1.Decisions, decisions.

Let’s sit down, take a breath and ask ourselves: is surrogacy the right choice for us? Being an intended parent can involve an amount of emotional upheaval which could last for months and a certain commitment to financial investment. Moreover, the Indian Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill states that only an Indian heterosexual couple who have been married for at least five years are allowed to undertake surrogacy in India. Therefore, remember to talk to your partner and your doctor, research on the surrogacy laws and bills of country, and measure the pros and cons that would work out for you. Yes, it does sound like a lot but it's only to ensure a few safety protocols. But, trust that it’s gonna be worth it.

 

2. Preparation for surrogacy

As only altruistic surrogacy is allowed since the passing of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on December 19, 2018, the second step would be to have a close family member who is willing to be a surrogate for you. Furthermore, the intended couple ought to register with a surrogacy clinic after which, they would have to provide with the necessary documents such as:

  • Certificate of Infertility by the District Medical Board
  • Order of Court regarding custody and parentage of the child
  • Insurance of the surrogate mother and the child

 

3. Drafting a legal contract

Next, the intended parents, as well as the surrogate mother, would be required to hire attorneys respectively to ensure a legal framework in place. Once the terms are arranged, the medical process can take off after the contract is signed.

 

The further legal process takes place after the first trimester when your attorney will draw up a pre-birth order to establish you as the legal parent of the child. Make sure to follow these protocols as they are only in place to ensure a safe and secure journey for you, your partner, your baby and the surrogate mother.

 

4. In-vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

Once the documentation is in place, the medical expert would start with the egg retrieval process which involves using either fresh eggs or frozen, subjected to the availability of the intended mom. In case of a fresh surrogate transfer, the cycle of the surrogate and the intended mother is synchronized with oral contraceptive pills or progesterone pills. After a successful process of in-vitro fertilization, the embryo is transferred to the surrogate mother. 

 

Again, let’s remember that implantation through IVF is subjected to odds and we must not be disheartened if it is unsuccessful in the first attempt. Another IVF cycle could be as easily pursued. Ideally, this should not extend beyond 3 times for the same couple. 

 

Once a heartbeat is confirmed after a few months of the implantation, you can be assured of a normal IVF pregnancy.

 

5. Welcoming your child

It is finally the time when you welcome your little one into your world. You could be allowed to witness the birth of your child, subjected to the consent of the surrogate mother.

 

A few points to remember:

As already stated, a surrogate mother does not have any parental rights over the child(ren) and the birth certificate of the child(ren) bears the names of the intended parents. The intended parents ought to accept the custody of the child(ren) despite any abnormality.

 

Departing from a child that a woman carries in her womb for nine long months can be quite difficult and hence, it is important to understand the emotions that are involved and extend a humanistic approach at all levels.

 

If the surrogate is a close family member, it is helpful to remember that the child(ren) would come to know her and therefore, it is wise to sort out any possible complications that may arise beforehand. 

 

Surrogacy involves a selfless act of bringing joy and hence, there must be a plan in place that would make the process as smooth as possible.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Surrogacy

Surrogacy and Emotions: How to Handle it All

You may be feeling mixed emotions during surrogacy, but you are not alone. These are some steps that will help you understand and manage your emotions during surrogacy.

It is a long journey when you are waiting to become parents, especially when there are struggles with infertility involved. If this is something you are experiencing, know that you are not alone in this - many couples experience infertility. However, there are many options for you to become a parent like you have always dreamed! Through IVF, or assisted reproductive technology, or adoption, or surrogacy, whichever the case may be - you are not far from bringing a baby into your life. During this process, there may be many emotions and sentiments you could be feeling - and it is best when they are addressed. 

 

The first step to move forward and advance into the next stage is to cope with your infertility. While sometimes it may get difficult, it is essential to build this journey with a positive outlook. If the emotional (and of course, physical) effects of your struggle of infertility are left unattended and unchecked, they could start affecting other parts of your life. We have put together some tips on how you can manage your emotions during the surrogacy process to aid your dreams of becoming a parent.

 

 

Infertility: Some Tips on Acceptance and Self-care

  • Acknowledging One’s Feelings

Acceptance is the key to dealing with infertility, instead of simply pretending that it does not come in the way of your emotions. It is very natural to feel a certain sense of grief or feel at loss to not be able to bear a child on your own, but in accepting and expressing your feelings, you can let go of all societal pressures and other emotional distress. Acceptance is the first step to dealing with trying circumstances. 

 

  • Communicate Honestly With Your Partner (or close ones) 

If there is anyone you should go through this emotional journey with, it is your partner. They can be very important people to help you overcome certain thoughts, sentiments. Share what you feel. They can make your best personal therapist, whom you can trust completely. If not, do not shy away from seeking help from a therapist or counsellor. Reach out to close ones too! Give them a chance to help you deal with this in the most positive way possible – and you won’t feel alone through this process. 

 

  • Do Not Blame Yourself 

It is not you, but a combination of genetics and circumstances. Do not be so hard on yourself. Things might seem to be difficult at this time, but eventually it will only be in the distant past, so try and take time out for yourself. Indulge in self care, and stay hopeful and positive.

 

 

The Surrogacy Journey As The Intended Parent : How to be Fully Involved

Along the way, you might come across some unique challenges, as well as a lot of joys. As an intended parent, there is a plethora of emotions you are very much likely to feel, towards this road to parenthood. One such obstacle could be the feeling of jealousy, especially as an intended mother. While what you might be feeling is completely natural, and has come to you unannounced, here are a few ways you can handle these emotions:

 

  • Bonding with the Surrogate Mother

To desire a connection with the baby bump is completely natural. To be able to do that, try and understand the surrogate mother, and establish a bond with her. Fill her in in general conversations about motherhood, how you feel. Do not let your desire to connect with the baby bump manifest itself in the shape of feelings of jealousy.

 

  • Engage in the Ideal Conversation 

Your family, relatives and friends may ask many questions revolving around the process of surrogacy. While they might arise out of genuine care, you would want to set certain boundaries, and that is okay. An ideal conversation about it is one you are comfortable with. It is okay to keep some feelings private and draw a line. Let them, however, provide you with the encouragement and support you need

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Surrogacy

Becoming a Parent Through Surrogacy - What, Why, and How

Surrogacy brings one a step closer to parenthood.This article discusses surrogacy and reasons why one might want to consider it.

Human bodies are mysterious in their work, sometimes we don’t understand why some things happen. Infertility is one of them. But if you are a couple who wants a child, then don’t be disheartened by the issue. Today, science has made it possible to tackle most of the problems very well. If you cannot have a baby by natural means, there are a lot of other options out there. Becoming a parent through surrogacy is one of them. Basically, when you opt surrogacy as your option, another woman will carry your pregnancy for you. A lot of people around the world, including celebrities have opted for surrogacy to carry their babies. It is one of the common methods of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). 

 

Due to the complex nature of the entire process, surrogacy has some ethical, social, moral and legal conditions associated with it. No need to be anxious though. Your counsellor or your gynaecologist will help you navigate through these issues. It may seem a little overwhelming, but you are not alone, surrogacy is one of the important medical procedures which can provide the happiness of parenting to couples who cannot reproduce due to various reasons. The people involved in this process will be you and your partner (intended parents) and the surrogate mother. Once you go through all the paperwork and legalities (with the help of your guide), you move on to the procedure and then get ready to greet your little one soon.

 

You might be wondering when you and your partner should have “the talk”. When should you start considering surrogacy as an option? What are the possible reasons to choose surrogacy? Well, ladies, we are here to help you through it. Get a glass of your favourite beverage and read through.

 

Surrogacy laws might differ from country to country, however in India, you can opt for surrogacy if you and your partner have been trying to have a baby by natural means for five years and have had no luck. There are also provisions to choose the method if it is physically/medically impossible for you to have a baby. 

 

However, in the western countries, the rules are not as rigid; surrogacy is also permitted there for a variety of other reasons, apart from infertility. Let us take a look at them.

 

Single parents

Due to certain factors, one might decide that they want a baby, but not a partner. What to do in such conditions? They can opt for surrogacy as it lets them have a baby with their genetic components via the surrogate mother and sharing the journey of pregnancy is fully optional. Becoming a parent through surrogacy can be a truly enriching experience

 

Mother’s medical conditions

While it is unfortunate, some women might have medical conditions which prevent them from having a baby. Absence of the uterus, which might be as a result of hysterectomy or by birth is one of the common causes. If the mother -to- be has other serious conditions like heart disease, cancer, renal failure or fibroids in the uterus, it might be the safest option to choose a surrogate. In the meantime, you take the best care of yourself and become as healthy as possible for your little marvel.

 

Same sex couples

It is not possible for same sex couples to produce a child of their own, but hey! Surrogacy can be your best option to get that tiny addition to your family and experience the joy of parenthood. Lesbian couples can choose surrogacy as the resulting embryo from one of the partners can be transferred and carried by the other one.

 

Lifestyle – By choice

There is no hard and fast rule that you can be a mother only if you carry a child in your womb. You can be every bit of a mother even if you choose to have a baby outside of your body. Like with everything else, here too, women are given a chance to make their own choice. Some of them might not like to carry a baby due to work factors, some might be traumatized from previous birth experiences or miscarriages or sometimes, one might not just like it! If you feel one of these ways but would still like to parent a baby, then surrogacy is one of your options.

 

There you go! You now know when you should consider becoming a parent through surrogacy as an option. In spite of knowing these, it is always safer to have a conversation with an expert in the matter and also educate yourselves about the laws related to surrogacy in the countries you dwell in. You might come to the decision of surrogacy easily or you could have some difficulty processing all these. While you don’t experience the pregnancy physically, emotionally, you can still be a part of it. The journey may seem stressful sometimes, but kudos to you guys! You have made the beautiful decision of embracing parenthood and once that precious bundle of joy is added to your family, you would be happier than ever!

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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IVF

Questions About IVF : Everything You Might Want to Know

What is IVF? Is IVF painful? How long does an IVF cycle take? How successful is IVF? Here are the answers to questions you may have about IVF.

Infertility becomes a major concern whenever a couple is unable to get pregnant or is trying to conceive, despite the indulgence in unprotected intercourse, having tried for at least one year, and additionally so when the woman is aged less than 35. But with the continued advances made in reproductive medicine, treatments for infertility have become highly successful, including the IVF. Here is a list of questions about IVF, and answers to them you probably are seeking.
 

What is IVF?

IVF stands for in-vitro fertilization. It is a treatment for infertility, whereby in a laboratory dish, a woman’s eggs are fertilized with a man’s sperm. The fertilized eggs (or embryos) are further transferred into a woman’s uterus, in the hope that they will implant, and mature into a pregnancy. Essentially, it is a reproductive technique that is assisted medically, initially outside the woman’s body.

 

When or Why is IVF considered?

It is when other forms of infertility treatment are already considered and evaluated, but somehow did not work out, that one thinks about IVF or in-vitro fertilization. IVF is mostly considered when either the woman who has an advanced reproductive age, blocked fallopian tubes, PCOS, or when the man exhibits the male factor infertility. Among other reasons, it is also opted for to prevent the transmission of genetic diseases to future generations. 

 

How successful is IVF in India?

One of the questions about IVF that probably does come to your mind is ‘How successful IVf really is in India?’ Doctors at Apollo Hospital confirm that IVF procedures are carried out throughout the year in India, successfully. Some difficulties might come in your way while conceiving, and hence IVF becomes a solution. It is understandable, however, that there might be a few concerns in terms of whether or not the process would be fruitful, given the time and money invested. A lot many couples or people have been able to start their family because of IVF. 

There are several factors that determine the success of IVF including (but not limited to) the body’s capability to sustain a pregnancy in terms of age and previous or prevailing health issues, embryo status, lifestyle factors, choosing to conceive through surrogacy, or general attitude towards the process - sometimes IVF may not show results the first time, and it need not necessarily mean that it would not work out at all. IVF is a very personal decision, but must be taken only after carefully evaluating the factors that are at stake. Technology has come a far way and has managed to grow, of which IVF is one such result. With the right kind of guidance, IVF sure can help you gain from its benefits. 

 

What are the things to be kept in mind before choosing IVF?

Everything about IVF must be known to you before considering IVF, including the benefits, the risks, or even the alternatives. A detailed discussion with the physician should nudge you in the right direction to make an informed decision and start a family of your own. 

Choose the right IVF clinic :

The success of an IVF depends significantly on many factors related to the patients themselves, but they also quite do on the approaches the clinic takes.

Ask for details :

The cost and other expenses combined with each step of the procedure should be known well in advance. Ask about the number of embryos that will be transferred, implanted, and all other questions you might have.

 

Is IVF painful?

Every woman displays a different, individualistic response to the procedure in IVF. While some aspects might cause pain or discomfort to some women, others might not feel the same way. However, in case of severe pain, you must visit your doctor as it could be an indication of a complication (most likely to be easily dealt with) whilst the IVF process is going on. Women might experience discomfort while ovarian stimulation which is the first part of the process, or during ovulation induction, egg retrieval, and  embryo transfer. There is no harm in talking to your doctor to be double sure.

 

How long does an IVF cycle take?

A cycle of IVF can take somewhere between four to six weeks, typically. Treatment can begin only after the initial fertility testing is done. The testing procedure will include assessment of the egg quality, uterus, semen analysis, etc. 

 

How many times can IVF be tried?

IVF is almost like a miracle for women and men suffering from infertility. If you are not successful in the first attempt, how many more cycles should you try? Keeping the financial limitations or the monetary aspect aside, individuals can get the in vitro procedure done until they are successful. There is no guarantee however, whether or not it will be a success after the first or the second cycle. Ideally, there is no limit on the number of cycles of IVF one can get done, but if it has worked out even after the second or the third try, there might be a possibility of other factors getting in your way, that you might not be aware of. A fertility specialist in such a case, you should get in touch with. 

 

When should you run the pregnancy test after IVF?

Ideally, women are advised to wait for about two weeks after the IVF procedure to run a pregnancy test. It takes that much amount of time for the fertilised egg to get implanted in the womb, and further produce the hCG hormone - that shall be detected in the test.

We sincerely hope that these answer some of your questions about IVF. 


 

March 15, 2021 |  read

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Surrogacy

Surrogacy - What Do You Need to Know Before You Proceed?

This article discusses surrogacy issues in India: types of challenges, social issues, risks involved and more.

Did you know that many women were exploited before December 2018, through commercial surrogacy in India? This raised concerns among human rights groups to establish a legal framework, wherein the surrogate mother or the baby cannot be exploited for making a profit.

 

But what exactly were the exploitations about? Or more precisely, what are the issues related to surrogacy in India?

 

Surrogacy: What is it?

Surrogacy is a process of assisted reproduction whereby a surrogate agrees to bear the child(ren) of another couple in her womb without having any parental rights over the child(ren). The method is used when various medical reasons prevent the intended parent(s) to conceive.

 

Basically, there are two types of surrogacy:

  • Gestational, wherein the gametes belong to the intended parents.
  • Traditional, wherein the eggs would belong to the surrogate while the sperm would come from the intended father.

 

Gestational surrogacy is considered preferable due to various moral and legal implications. Additionally, the debate of surrogacy has extended to how far can commercial surrogacy be acceptable. Now you might question what is a commercial surrogacy?

 

Surrogacy can be carried out in two forms: commercial and altruistic. While in altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is not paid in any monetary terms or given a financial incentive, it is done so in the case of commercial surrogacy.

 

What are the issues that arise?

Prior to 2018, India had come to be known as the global commercial hub of surrogacy as people from various countries would opt for a relatively inexpensive service in India. This paved the way for the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill in 2016 to ban commercial surrogacy.

 

The reasons that were put forward for the same included many:

Profitability and lack of transparency:

One major reason for the need of banning commercial surrogacy was because of how exploitative it had become, especially for the women in the lower-income strata. The various commercial agencies and clinics involved as middlemen would profit heavily in lieu of the surrogate mothers who would agree to any terms and conditions to earn a square meal for their family. In case of an unsuccessful pregnancy, the women were unlikely to be paid or covered by any medical insurance.

 

Social issues:

The entire concept of surrogacy is debated on the ground that a woman, especially when she is from a necessitous group of the society, is often ostracized for being a surrogate. To avoid the same, the surrogate mother is arranged for, in a hostel during the period of her pregnancy, away from her family.  Since, in a country like India, where poverty is rampant, surrogacy is often viewed to be an income-generating source, human rights activists have raised this issue of ‘body for rent’ as dehumanizing.

 

Cross-border implications:

A foreign couple opting for a surrogacy procedure in India would have to bear the brunt of the language barrier, completion of formalities which takes quite long, citizenship, rights of the child etc.

 

Associated health risk:

While in the US, no more than two embryos are allowed for implantation, it is five in the case of India. This augments the health risk for the babies along with the mother. Fertility treatments during artificial insemination may involve certain risks along with that of multiple pregnancies which increase the probability of operative delivery.

 

A certain complication which is accompanied in surrogacy is breastfeeding and henceforth, establishing a bond between the intended mother and child.

 

Emotional issues:

Ideally, the surrogate mother is advised to not develop a bond with the child. But let’s try to understand that the entire process can be quite emotionally challenging for the woman. It is very natural to have pregnancy blues but unlike a normal pregnancy, the surrogate mother knows that she will have to bid adieu to the child after giving birth. This calls for a support system within the family as well as a professional medical help.  

 

Religious issues:

It is quite obvious that each religion will have its own rules pertaining to surrogacy. As the laws vary from one country to the other, so does it vary according to the faiths. 

 

Other probable issues:

There have been cases where the surrogate mother has refused to part with the child or the intended parents have refused to accept the child. This raises the questions of the child being abandoned.

 

What should you keep in mind?

All the laws and hitches kept aside; surrogacy is essentially a beautiful gift that a woman presents to an intended parent. Hence, the struggle that she goes through before, during and after the pregnancy, both in emotional as well as medical terms must be taken into account which cannot be compensated through a monetary value.

 

 

Once you decide to be a parent, it is helpful to remember that every child is special, and none should be abandoned in this big, vast world. Surrogacy or not, the child would be yours and deserves every bit of your heart. 

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Surrogacy

Breastfeeding and Surrogacy

Are you an intended mother planning to breastfeed your baby born through surrogacy? Here is your all-inclusive guide!

Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful things a mother can do for her child. Often, intended mothers worry if they will miss out on this experience. Well, you don’t have to, mommies! You can breastfeed your baby even if they’re born through a surrogate mother, thanks to medical science! Here is your guide to everything you need to know about breastfeeding and surrogacy.

 

Common Issues

You can breastfeed your baby born through surrogacy, but there are a couple of common issues you might face in the process. One of them is production of breastmilk and  another is getting your baby to breastfeed. Since breastfeeding is a holistic experience and not just about nutrition, it is advised that intended mothers should know that it might not be possible for them to produce enough milk to fulfil the baby’s nutritional requirements. However, they can produce enough to experience the magic of breastfeeding through induced lactation.

 

How to Produce Milk?

There are two ways to produce milk. It can be produced by providing a combination of hormones to the intended mother or by mechanical stimulation of breasts.

Hormonal Treatment

The treatment starts much before the birth of the baby. Your doctor will first start the process by prescribing oral contraceptive (birth control) pills to you for a specified duration. Next, these pills would be stopped, and you will start receiving nutritional supplements and drugs which would help you with lactation. You will receive doses of estrogen and progesterone and a medication called Domperidone. Then you would be directed to pump milk with the help of electric pumps and your medications and pumping frequencies would be adjusted till your milk production level increases.

Mechanical Stimulation

Many women can produce milk only when there is mechanical (nipple) stimulation. This is mainly because milk producing hormones like prolactin and oxytocin are pituitary hormones and they can only be produced as a response to nipple stimulation (Singhal, 2020). This stimulation can be conducted by means of breast massages a few months before the baby is born, which can be followed by pumping milk with electric breast pumps for ten minutes. This will send a signal to your body to express milk and you can also observe drops of milk being expressed during initial days.

 

Getting Your Baby to Take the Breast

To habituate your baby to take your breast is one of the biggest challenges of breastfeeding and surrogacy. It is advised that you get him/her to start feeding from your breast soon after he/she is born. It is advised to not use artificial nipples and avoid bottles as much as you can to help him/her get used to breastfeeding. Whether you’re producing enough milk to feed or if you’re using products like Supplemental Nursing System (SNS), latching is important. You can use skin to skin contact to help your baby get used to you and thereby help them latch better to your breasts.

It is important that you speak to the doctor or lactation consultants at the hospital where your surrogate is delivering and let them know about your plans to breastfeed the baby. They would be able to guide you better and also make the necessary arrangements to help you start feeding as soon as possible.

 

Surrogate Mother’s Breast Milk

If as intended parents you want your baby to enjoy the benefits of breastmilk, but cannot, don’t want to or cannot afford the treatment for induced lactation, then you could always ask your surrogate. If they’re willing to, you can request them to pump breastmilk for your baby and deliver it to you. Although the surrogacy contract doesn’t require the surrogate mother to breastfeed, you can talk to her prior to signing the contract about this. If she is willing to do it, then you could include it in the contract. However there may be chances of you having to pay extra money to her for this. It is always good to have this conversation before signing the contract to avoid confusions in the future. (Breastfeeding and Surrogacy | Surrogate.com, n.d.)

 

Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding Your Baby Born through Surrogacy

Although motherhood is the same no matter how you become your child’s parent, breastfeeding your baby born through surrogacy would require a lot of patience and perseverance. At the same time, there are also benefits you and your baby could enjoy with breastfeeding.

Let’s discuss the benefits first

  • Breastmilk would help build your baby’s immune system.
  • You can create a bond with your baby via breastfeeding.
  • Mothers feel that breastfeeding is more convenient than formula or bottle feeding.

Let us take a look at the possible challenges

  • Babies would need to feed 10-12 times a day and it can get tiring for the intended mother as the process requires a lot of time and energy.
  • It can take a while for the intended mother to get used to or familiar with breastfeeding, especially if you are using Supplemental Nursing System.
  • Since intended mothers might not produce enough milk and would have to depend on SNS, it might become inconvenient to feed the baby in public places.

 

With this information, we are sure you will be able to make an informed decision about breastfeeding and surrogacy based on your own preferences. Make sure you inform your pediatrician about your feeding choices so that they can help you chart your baby’s diet accordingly. Reach out to members in our Community to discuss and learn from their experiences too!


 

March 12, 2021 |  read

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