Kim Kardashian is ready to grow her family, but doctors are warning that a third pregnancy might be too risky.
On the latest episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the 36-year-old opened up about her desire to have another baby, as well as her concerns about the pregnancy complications she suffered in the past: "I feel like I truly don't know if my body can handle it one more time," Kim told her older sister Kourtney.
To get a sense of the risks involved, the reality star met with her doctor, who urged caution: "You never know if you might have the same type of problem that could be more serious this time," Dr. Crane said. "There are situations where a retained placenta could be life or death."
Kim has written about her painful experience with placenta accreta—a condition in which the organ remains attached to the womb after childbirth—during her first pregnancy with her daughter, North. And People reported that the reality star suffered the scary complication again when she was pregnant with her son, Saint.
In a normal pregnancy, the placenta lightly attaches to the uterine lining, and provides nutrients and oxygen to the baby through the umbilical cord; then shortly after the baby is born, it leaves the mother's body through the birth canal.
"But in rare cases, the placenta will have grown into the wall of the womb itself, preventing it from easily detaching at the time of birth," ob-gyn Jan Rydfors, MD, explained in a prior interview with Health. Removing the organ can lead to more blood loss than usual, and potentially a life-threatening hemorrhage.
On Sunday's KUWTK, Kim sought a second opinion about having another baby from a fertility specialist, who suggested she consider a surrogate. "Using a surrogate is not an unreasonable option," he said. "If your goal is to grow your family like you want to, then a surrogate makes sense."
To learn more about what that would mean, Kim then met with another mom who had used a surrogate, and confessed her deepest concern: "There's a sense in me that because I went through all that pain for [North and Saint], that I know we did this together..." she said. "My bond with my kids is so strong, I think my biggest fear is that if I had a surrogate, would I love them the same?"
That's one thing Kim doesn't need to worry about, the other mom assured her: "There's not a day where I have any thought that my love for my kids are different, that my connection to my kids is different," she explained."You get to carry one and have them close to you, but then the other is because you so desperately wanted them in your family."
By the end of the show, Kim hadn't made up her mind about surrogacy. But she had decided to follow her doctor's advice to not get pregnant. "I've come to the conclusion in my mind that I can't carry another one," she said.