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Megan Smith
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 6, Iss. 3, 05 Mar 1998, pp 188 - 192

The increasingly prevalent practice of surrogacy provides debate on a multitude of issues, none so important as those pertaining to the emotional well being of the surrogate herself. The relatively recent development of maternal-fetal attachment theory has shown that attachment by a mother to her unborn child increases following a planned pregnancy, ultrasound, quickening and increased gestation. The surrogate mother experiences these factors, but evidence shows also that when surrogates are in control of the arrangements they more readily adapt to the situation. Media coverage on surrogacy has shown mixed emotions from surrogate mothers, some of whom delight in bringing new life to infertile couples, and others who bitterly regret their decision. A review of surrogacy in the light of such available evidence explores whether maternal-fetal attachment can be wilfully negated by surrogate mothers, or whether feelings are simply suppressed. As surrogacy arrangements become more prevalent, midwives will once again have to confront their feelings on yet another moral dilemma, and prepare for the unpredictable reactions of these special group of mothers.

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