Surrogates give the ultimate gift to intended parents: the gift of a healthy child. By caring for your health during the pregnancy, you are not just taking care of the child you are carrying—you are taking care of yourself. A healthy surrogate is just as important as the birth of a healthy child.
Providing the baby you are carrying for the intended parents with a healthy start is important. Below are some tips for keeping the baby and yourself as healthy as possible during your surrogate pregnancy.
Surrogate pregnancy will bring about all of the regular stress and mood swings that generally accompany pregnancy. In addition to the general stress that pregnancy can bring, surrogates can experience the stress associated with carrying a child for the intended parents.
Some suggestions to minimize stress are yoga, artwork with non-toxic materials, listening to music, and taking a relaxing bath.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
Both before and after embryo transplant, surrogates should be taking the required daily prenatal vitamins to keep the baby and surrogate healthy during the pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins promote healthy growth and development for the baby and the surrogate.
Talk to the doctor and the intended parents about what vitamin regimen is right for you.
Make Time for Plenty of Sleep
Eight hours of sleep is highly recommended for surrogates. Sleep promotes healthy growth and development for the baby and ensures a continued healthy pregnancy for the surrogate.
After the first trimester, many surrogates find that sleeping on their side is the most comfortable position. Look into buying a sleep pillow designed specifically for pregnancy.
Eating three well-balanced meals a day and healthy snacks in between meals as needed is important to a healthy surrogate pregnancy.
Surrogates should eat foods with lots of protein, include fresh fruit and vegetables in every meal, and avoid undercooked foods like eggs, meat, and fish. Unpasteurized dairy products and certain fish may contain high levels of mercury, which may not be healthy for the surrogate or the child.
Make a challenge of it! Many surrogates find that when the intended parents also join the healthy eating challenge during the surrogate pregnancy, it becomes easier to maintain.
Dehydration can cause premature labor, fatigue, and muscle aches during pregnancy. It is very important to drink plenty of water and natural juice that is low in sugar.
Water helps deliver all the important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to the baby during pregnancy. Additionally, drinking plenty of water will keep the surrogate’s skin, hair, and nails healthy during the pregnancy.
Thirty minutes of low-impact physical activity, such as walking, yoga, or swimming, daily will contribute to a healthy surrogate and a healthy pregnancy. Exercise also will reduce pregnancy symptoms, increase blood flow, and positively impact the surrogate’s mood. Daily exercise makes labor and delivery easier, as well.
Mix it up—choose a different activity each day to keep things fun.
Keep Track of Pregnancy Symptoms
Journal throughout the pregnancy, and track your symptoms so the doctors and intended parents are always informed. As a surrogate, you have experienced pregnancy before, so use that knowledge of your body and the similarities and differences you’re experiencing this time around.
After delivery, share the journal with the intended parents! This can be an added connection that they will have with their child.
Stay Away from Toxic Substances
Whether you paint, make clay pots, cook, or use aromatherapy, pay close attention to the substances you are exposing yourself—and the baby you’re carrying—to. Do not drink or take any drugs not given to you by the doctor caring for you and the baby during the surrogate pregnancy.
Check the cleaning supplies that you use, and avoid caffeine. Always check with the doctor and the intended parents before taking any over-the-counter medications that may be harmful to you or the baby.
Go to the Doctor Regularly
During your surrogate pregnancy, you will be examined by the doctor and fertility specialist often to ensure a healthy pregnancy. These appointments may be more than you had for your own pregnancy. Keep all the appointments, and make sure to keep the intended parents in the loop.
Often, the intended parents will want to attend every appointment, so be sure to let them know in advance of any changes. Intended parents and surrogates who use assisted reproductive technology to conceive may require more doctor visits than those with a traditional pregnancy, but that is to be expected.
Take Time to Reflect On and Enjoy the Experience
Some people ask us, “Why use a surrogate mother?” As a surrogate, you are helping intended parents bring the greatest joy into their lives: a child.
Enjoy the experience that both you and the intended parents are having. Take time to appreciate the joy the intended parents are experiencing, whether that involves watching them shopping for baby clothing or being the calm presence during this emotional experience.
Reach Out to a Pennsylvania Surrogacy Agency
If you are considering surrogacy to conceive or thinking about becoming a surrogate, it would be our pleasure to assist you along your journey to parenthood. You can schedule your first appointment at Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc. by clicking the contact button at the top of our website or by calling us directly at 412-884-2229.