The Risks of Being a Surrogate Mother

And How American Surrogacy Minimizes Them

Learn the risks of being a surrogate mother — and the steps we take to protect your physical, emotional, legal and financial wellbeing throughout the process.

Like any medical process, there are some side effects and risks of being a surrogate mother. Before you can make a fully informed surrogacy decision, it is important to understand all of the possible physical and psychological effects of surrogacy — as well as the services American Surrogacy offers to help minimize those risks and ensure your safety and well-being throughout the process. 

Medical Issues with Surrogacy

While surrogacy is a different way of becoming pregnant, it involves many of the same medical risks as any traditional pregnancy, such as nausea, heartburn, weight gain, swelling and back pain, as well as more serious but rare complications like hypertension or the loss of reproductive organs.

In addition, there may be some minor side effects of the fertility drugs used during IVF, like mild bruising at the injection site or temporary allergic reaction, and some shots can be painful. Surrogate mother side effects and risks may also be increased if you are carrying multiples. There are few medical risks associated with the actual embryo transfer procedure, though you may experience mild cramping and light bleeding, or in rare cases, an infection that can be treated with antibiotics.


To help limit medical risks to prospective surrogates, American Surrogacy requires an extensive screening process to ensure all of the women who join our program are truly healthy enough and physically ready to carry a surrogate pregnancy. During this process, you will undergo physical exams, and we will review your previous birth records to ensure your prior pregnancies were free of major complications.

In addition, you will work closely with top fertility specialists throughout your pregnancy to monitor your health and ensure you and the baby are doing well.

All of these medical risks will be explained to you and outlined in the surrogacy contract, along with any additional compensation you may receive for the increased risk and discomfort of carrying multiples, undergoing additional invasive procedures, going on bedrest and more.

Emotional Risks to Surrogate Mothers

Pregnancy can be overwhelming at times, but most expectant mothers know that it will all be worth it when they take their new baby home from the hospital.

This isn’t the case when you’re carrying a baby for someone else, which can make the emotional challenges of pregnancy more difficult to cope with. And while most surrogates feel excited, proud, and even somewhat relieved at the end of their surrogacy journey, some women do experience emotional challenges following childbirth. Fluctuations in hormones and postpartum depression are possible, so it is important to get the emotional support you need during and after the surrogacy process.

Additionally, you will be taking a number of supplemental hormones to prepare your body for the embryo transfer, which can create some emotional side effects leading up to your surrogate pregnancy. This — coupled with the stress of frequent appointments, screening requirements, blood checks and ultrasounds — can lead to additional emotional risks during the early stages of the surrogacy process.

To protect you against these emotional risks, once you officially join American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will be available seven days a week and will check in with you regularly to see how you are feeling and answer your questions.

Surrogacy can present emotional challenges for your loved ones as well. It is important to consider how your surrogacy journey might impact your own children and your significant other. For example, during your pregnancy, your partner may need to take on some of your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, and you may not have the energy to do the same family activities you love, like taking your children to the park.  These restrictions can potentially strain relationships between you and your friends or family members. That’s why American Surrogacy requires your partner to be on board with your surrogacy decision and as involved in the process as possible.


Before beginning legal and medical procedures, you will undergo a psychosocial evaluation with a mental health professional to talk about potential emotional challenges and ensure you are stable enough for surrogacy.

How American Surrogacy Minimizes Surrogacy Risks

We recognize the sacrifices surrogates make and risks they take to give such a selfless gift to another family. Your wellbeing is of utmost importance in the surrogacy process, and we provide a number of services to ensure you are physically, emotionally, legally and financially protected.

Here are just a few of the ways we help minimize the risk of being a surrogate mother: 

  • Thorough surrogate screening to ensure you are physically and mentally ready for surrogacy

  • Extensive intended parent screening to ensure they are safe to work with and committed to surrogacy

  • Professional counseling and support services in case you are struggling emotionally

  • Independent legal representation to ensure you understand the legal process, your rights, and the surrogacy contract

  • Safe and secure monthly payments made through a third-party escrow account service

  • Ongoing support throughout the pregnancy offered by an American Surrogacy specialist

  • And more

Every surrogate’s experience is different, and there are a number of factors that may impact the physical and emotional risks of surrogacy. It is important to discuss all possible risks with your surrogacy specialist and your attorney, and to complete our thorough screening process to ensure you are truly healthy and ready to begin your surrogacy journey.

To learn more about the protection and support American Surrogacy can offer, contact us today for free and with no obligation.