Jasmine Francis-Smith is a 28-year-old woman from Northamptonshire, England, that gave birth to a baby named Otis two months ago at a hospital in Essex, using an egg that was first incubated by her wife, Donna. The couple has thus become the first in the country to carry a baby in both of their wombs in a pioneering procedure called “shared motherhood”.
The procedure could previously only be done through artificial incubation of the egg, before transferring the embryo to the womb. Jasmine and Donna, though, used a new procedure that includes fertilizing the egg in a lab, incubating it for a day in one of their wombs, and then transferring it to the other’s womb for the rest of the pregnancy and birth.
The embryo was incubated by Donna for the first 18 hours following fertilization, and then it was transferred to Jasmine in the “shared motherhood” procedure.
One benefit of this procedure is that fertilization takes place in a living environment, rather than in a lab, which lowers the risk.
Jasmine gave birth to their son on September 30 in a hospital in Essex, and she said that the procedure really made her and Donna feel quite equal in the whole process, and it emotionally brought them closer together. She noted that they now feel a true family with their baby Otis that was born safe and well, and if they had to go through the process again, there is nothing they would change.