The Surrogate’s Placenta: A First-Hand Experience
There are two different types of surrogacy, traditional surrogacy and a gestational carrier surrogacy (TS vs GC).
Traditional Surrogacy is when a surrogate uses her own egg and either the Intended Father’s or a sperm donors sperm to become pregnant, carry and deliver the child and return it to the Intended Parents (IPs). They may use IVF, IUI or in-clinic insemination. At home insemination usually causes legal conflict.
A Gestational Carrier is not a biological parent of the child and this pregnancy is derived from a form of IVF and may occur through one of the following combinations:
Intended Father’s Sperm + Intended Mother’s Egg
Intended Father’s Sperm + Egg Donor
Sperm Donor + Intended Mother’s Egg
Sperm Donor + Egg Donor
Cells from the carrier and baby can and do both cross the placenta, meaning that the woman can carry the baby’s genetic material in her body (usually stored in the brain) for the rest of her life, and the baby/babies can carry a piece of the carrier for their life-span and the placenta is made up of a combination of the intended parents (or sperm/egg donors), baby’s and carrier’s genetic makeup.
Since the placenta would not have been created without the intended parents or the baby/babies, some argue that it is up to the parents to decide whether the surrogate may keep the placenta or not, while others say that the placenta would not exist without the surrogate being so willing to give up her body for the pregnancy, that the surrogate should have the say. The placenta could be beneficial to both parties in regard to the fact that it restores the surrogates hormones and nutrients, and potentially preventing PPD, while if an Intended Mother is inducing lactation,t he hormones and nutrients may be beneficial to her, as well. Regardless, it is something to discuss during contract formation, so there is no question.
From my personal experience, as a gestational carrier of fraternal twins, a boy and girl, I knew from the start that I wanted to keep the placentas. I had an amazing experience with placenta consumption with my son and wanted those benefits again! I had been a professional placenta encapsulator for two years at the point that I delivered them and knew exactly how to handle them. I took both placentas home, on ice, with me from the hospital, chopped them up into pieces and froze them for raw smoothies. I kept the boy’s and the girl’s placenta separated.
I preferred to mix the placenta bits with frozen berries, Acai juice, bananas, a greens supplement (Wheatgrass, Kale, spinach, spirulina and more) and Maca.
I found that I had more success with the boy’s placenta! The girl’s placenta made me nauseous and fatigued, while the boy’s gave me energy, helped my bleeding and reduced my hair loss. I did not notice a milk supply impact, positive or negative, with either one of them.
After utilizing them on and off for four months, I decided to bury the remainder of both placentas, in separate, but special locations that are undisclosed, but both next to beautiful, large trees in a natural setting, where they will be undisturbed, hopefully to blossom more plants and life!
Would I have done anything differently?
Yes, looking back, I do believe it would have been best to keep the boy’s for smoothies and use them more often, while encapsulating the girls placenta to hopefully eliminate the negative effects I experienced when I consumed her placenta, but I enjoyed burying them very much, and would recommend it to anyone that cannot or does not want to consume their placenta! It gave me a nice closure for their use for me postpartum.
I would love to hear more experiences from surrogates regarding their placentas… did you consume it or choose to do something else, did you notice similar positive or negative effects from the consumption, how did the intended parents feel about the placenta?
If you want to become a Placenta Professional, make sure you check out our Placenta Course!