British couple ‘world’s first’ to have baby carried in both of their wombs
A British couple is celebrating the birth of a baby carried in both of their wombs in what scientists are calling a “world-first”.
Donna and Jasmine Francis-Smith have welcomed baby Otis after undergoing a “shared motherhood” procedure at London Women’s Clinic.
The treatment, using IVF, involves one woman donating eggs to her partner and being the “biological mother”, while the other partner carries the baby and experiences the pregnancy as the “birth mother’”.
Otis is said to be the first baby born after being carried in both mothers’ wombs
But in this case, the procedure went one step further as Jasmine gave birth to Otis after an egg was implanted that had first been incubated by her wife Donna.
Swiss technology company Anecova, which pioneered the procedure called AneVivo, said a major benefit is that fertilisation takes place in the mother’s body rather than in the artificial environment of the IVF laboratory.
A spokesman said: “AneVivo brings a very special added value allowing both partners to be involved in the nourishing and developing of the embryo during its very early stages of development.”
Explaining how the procedure worked, Donna – a lance corporal in the army – told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s my egg… they did the egg collection from me and then put it back into my body for 18 hours before being put into Jasmine’s body, and she became pregnant.”
She added: “It’s definitely brought us closer together emotionally.
“We’re a close couple anyway but we both have a special bond with Otis as well which was helped by the way we’ve done it.”
The procedure works by placing the eggs of the biological mother inside a miniature capsule which is inserted into her womb, where they are incubated.
After the incubation of the eggs, they are taken out of the biological mother’s womb and placed into the womb of the birth mother, who carries the baby to term.
Jasmine, a dental nurse, gave birth to Otis on 30 September in Colchester, Essex, where the family live, according to the Daily Telegraph.
She told the newspaper: “We’re just happy that it’s worked so well and the information is out there.
“It will help people in the future – it brings you closer together rather than feeling one has a bond more than the other.”
Dr Kamal Ahuja, managing and scientific director of London Women’s Clinic, said the company has been “in the forefront of fertility treatment since 1985”, adding: “It’s our great pleasure to report the first birth in the world with shared motherhood using Anecova’s groundbreaking technology for In Vivo Natural Fertilisation.”