Social media is abuzz with news that Kim Kardashian West and Kayne West welcomed their third child. The method by which the couple chose to have this baby made headlines too. Kardashian carried their first two children, but the couple chose to have their new addition with the help of a surrogate.
Have the headlines piqued your interest in surrogacy? Here are answers to a few common questions.
Why do couples choose to have babies via surrogacy?
The reasons are endless. Mothers may be unable to get pregnant due to infertility, or she struggles to carry a baby. Some women have challenges related to physical conditions, such as having an abnormal or missing uterus. Others may have medical problems such as cardiac disease, cancer, or skeletal issues that would worsen with pregnancy.
Mothers also may have experienced previous pregnancy complications that could be too dangerous to risk again, and some women have a health condition that is transferable to the baby in utero.
Fathers may choose surrogacy if they wish to parent but do not have a partner. Men may also use surrogates to grow their family if they are part of a same-sex couple.
Each “intended parent,” which is the term for the parent(s) who will raise the baby, brings a different set of circumstances to his or her decision to grow their family through surrogacy.
What questions should couples and their surrogate have for a hospital?
Surrogates and intended parents work together to reach the goal of a safe and fulfilling childbirth experience for all involved. Choose a hospital that welcomes both the surrogate and intended parent families. The care team should be prepared to honor everyone’s wishes and can educate and support surrogates and parents.
Hospitals with experience caring for surrogacy families should also provide guidance about legal and institutional requirements for care and documentation. For the best experience, choose a hospital that is familiar with surrogacy and specifically embraces those participating in surrogacy.
Here are a few more questions to ask:
- Does the hospital have an established surrogacy program?
- Are birthing unit staff educated about surrogacy?
- How will intended parents be included in the birth experience?
- How are intended parent newborn education needs met?
- Will families have accommodations within the newborn center so they can stay with their newborn?
- Who will be available to answer questions?
Why should couples considering surrogacy choose South Shore Hospital?
South Shore Hospital has the most robust and patient-centered surrogacy program in the region.
We connect with our surrogacy families early in pregnancy, linking the surrogate and the parent(s) with a nurse navigator who coordinates care. The nurse navigator becomes a special point-person, providing information and support, answering questions, and facilitating clear communication.
We provide expert pregnancy care for women acting as surrogates and welcoming inclusion and education for parents-to-be. We offer mentors who have previously been through surrogacy themselves, and can provide firsthand perspective and a support network every step of the way.
All of South Shore Hospital’s Birthing and Maternity Center personnel have been educated about surrogacy and are supported in providing sensitive, relevant care by our Families through Surrogacy team.
Surrogacy isn’t just for celebrities. It may be just the thing to help you grow your family.
For more information about South Shore Hospital’s surrogacy program, please call the Maternal Fetal Medicine department at 781-624-8430 to speak with one of our navigators.
Photo via Kim Kardashian West's Instagram.