Twins: Two For The Price of One?
A search with Donor Concierge starts with a free consultation, when I often hear, “We’re going to try for twins – two for the price of one!” While the idyllic image of twins is adorable, the reality of twins can be frightening.
Twins are a high-risk pregnancy. Pregnancy itself is not without risk, even with a singleton birth. Many intended parents don’t realize that having a twin pregnancy may actually be more costly than planning for two singleton births, even when a surrogate is required.
Things to keep in mind:
● Twins are often born preterm
● With a preterm birth, low birth weight of the infants is common, often weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces
● Infants born preterm or with low birth weight are at greater risk of death in the first few days of life
● There are a number of adverse health outcomes associated with twins, including visual and hearing impairments, intellectual and learning disabilities, and behavioral and emotional problems throughout life
● Preterm births and low birth weight infants also cause substantial emotional and economic burdens for families
● Time in the neonatal intensive care unit is costly and heartbreaking
● Among singletons, the percentage of preterm births and low birth weight infants was higher for those from multiple-fetus pregnancies
Many fertility specialists are now advising patients, especially those who are working with donor egg and gestational carriers, to limit the number of embryos transferred to one.
Before you opt for a twin pregnancy, have a heart to heart with your doctor. Even if your surrogate is willing to carry twins, do you want to take the risk? And, are you emotionally, physically and financially prepared to take that risk? A twin birth is risky, not just to the surrogate, but to the babies she is carrying – your babies.
*The majority of the information presented in this article is from a presentation made by Dr. Carrie Eichberg at the Society for Ethical Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS) Conference Feb 2016.
Carrie Eichberg, Psy.D.
1414 West Franklin Street
Boise, Idaho 83702