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Hospitalization for Early Bonding of the Genetic Mother After a Surrogate Pregnancy: Report of Two Cases

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Background:In surrogate pregnancies the genetic parents have little opportunity for early bonding to their infant, either prenatally (in utero) or in the immediate postnatal period. The purpose of this article is to describe a new method for encouraging early parent-infant bonding after surrogate pregnancy by hospitalizing the genetic mother in the maternity ward immediately after the delivery.Methods: Two genetic mothers were hospitalized in the maternity ward (rooming-in system) at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel immediately after delivery of their infants by surrogate arrangement. The first birth was a singleton pregnancy with vaginal delivery and the second, a twin pregnancy with delivery by cesarean section. The genetic parents were counseled by a social worker from the adoption agency, starting 3 months before the estimated date of delivery. The parents were referred to the hospital social worker before the delivery. To assess attachment, we observed the parents' behavior toward their children during two daily 15-minute periods of free, unstructured interaction.Results: The parents showed good primary caregiving functions and established affective verbal and physical contact with the infants. They began to recognize the infants' needs and temperament, and exhibited an aura of self-confidence during their interactions. All expressed satisfaction with the method at discharge and reported on reduction of their fears about returning home with the infants.Conclusions: We believe that early hospitalization of the genetic mother in a surrogate delivery may be desirable to establish good and safe early mother-infant bonding, and that it should be considered for adoption as regular hospital policy. Further randomized studies with larger samples over the long term are warranted. (BIRTH 28:4 December 2001)
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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