Surrogate Motherhood Not That Stressful, Says New Research from Aston

The Birmingham Post (England), November 5, 2003 | Go to article overview

Surrogate Motherhood Not That Stressful, Says New Research from Aston


Becoming a surrogate mother does not result in high levels of anxiety, surprising new research has revealed.

Despite the trauma of handing over a child to new parents after its birth and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, research conducted for Aston University has shown the process is not as stressful for mother or baby as expected.

Experts believe that the findings are important because they demonstrate that surrogacy does not affect the outcome of birth and the long-term health of the child.

Hundreds of women become surrogate mothers every year, and Dr Olga van den Akker, who conducted the study at the university's psychology institute, said the process was becoming more popular.

Dr van den Akker looked at women involved in two types of surrogate motherhood -genetic surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.

A genetic surrogate mother uses her own eggs to conceive and carry a baby for another woman using the intended father's sperm.

Gestational surrogacy uses embryo transfer so the surrogate mother is carrying a baby that is not genetically hers.

The five-year research explored how surrogate mothers and intended mothers were affected by the pregnancy.

It focused on worries about the unborn child during pregnancy, positive and negative attitudes to the foetus during pregnancy, economic status of surrogate mothers, education levels of the surrogates and intended parents, and the attitudes and worries of parents, particularly the mother, of the unborn baby. …

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