Surrogacy is a serious agreement between the two very special parties. It is vital for the surrogate mother, who carries someone else’s child in her womb to take good care of the developing baby’s health, as well as her own physical and mental health, during the gestational period. At the same time, it is the intended parents’ responsibility to take care of the surrogate’s diet and her fitness so as to deliver a healthy baby. We constantly emphasize on educating the surrogate moms on the best diet elements to be used during pregnancy.
Food is an essential element that plays the biggest role in sustaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy. As a matter of fact, it is actually a myth that the mom-to-be needs to eat for two. A woman does not need any extra calories in the first trimester. It is in the second trimester that she needs to intake 300-400 additional calories to ensure the growth of her child. During the third trimester, she needs to eat 400-500 extra calories as the child grows rapidly in her womb in this time. A surrogate should consult her obstetrician and seek her advice on the number of calories she needs. This helps in keeping a balance on the surrogate’s body weight at the beginning of the pregnancy and her entire weight gain goal. It is important to eat healthily and not binge on sugar and fatty foods by using the pretext of pregnancy. It helps in losing post-partum weight as well.
Here is a brief list of the best foods to eat during pregnancy:
Eggs are great suppliers of the required protein in pregnancy. Even if you are not fond of eating eggs, then also you should incorporate them in your daily diet. It will give you the required energy to carry out your regular activities, without feeling fatigued. It would also enrich your daily nutrition without adding extra fat to your body.
Fish has a high content of mercury, and hence should be eaten carefully during pregnancy. Salmon is a great choice of fish in this time to get lean protein with a lower content of mercury when cooked well. Cook it in high temperature to reduce the mercury level of the fish and gain important benefits from it.
Walnuts are one of the greatest suppliers of plant-based omega-3s. Since plant-based omega-3s does not provide much amount of the DHA to the body, it is beneficial for the baby developing in the womb and also is an excellent source of protein for the mother. It can be eaten as a snack or can be mixed in desserts or can be simply sprinkled atop a salad.
Beans are effective in curing nausea and are a soothing on the system. It supplies easily digestible protein to the body that simply breaks down and enriches the body. It has tremendous effects on the development of the baby’s eyes and skin.
Sweet potatoes and yams
These are two very bland food choice, which can cheer up the upset tummy. They are high in fibers with lower sugar content. Sweet potatoes can be dolled up in many fancy ways. It can be mashed with some rock-salt and butter mixed in it. It can also be baked in chips. This is an equally delicious and healthy food item that can be added to the healthy pregnancy diet.
Pregnant women cannot really eat all dairy products as this is a sensitive time for their system. Well, in search of something creamy in this gestational period, surrogate women can turn to Greek yogurt. It is high in protein and at the same time gentle to the system, unlike other dairy products.
Responsibilities of the Surrogate Mother
A surrogate mother always eats responsibly. Her focus is on the healthy childbirth, which as a matter of fact is the part of the contract she is in. She has to maintain the baby’s health that she is carrying in the womb till the time she delivers it and hands it over to its legal parents. It is a crucial period for the surrogate mother as she is a part of both professional and humanly contract. Her surrogacy deal makes her responsible for the healthy growth of the baby and deliver without causing any defect. On the other hand, her emotions nurture the child inside her. This is the phase when she has to be particular about her physical and mental health. The hormonal changes going inside her body from the time of surrogate matching has been affecting her mind and body at the same time. She requires utmost care and attention apart from a healthy diet.
We have mentioned here the tips that she needs to follow for her and her baby’s health during the surrogate pregnancy.
Vitamin and Folic-acid Intake
Vitamins are very important in this period. Even if the surrogate has been taking vitamins all the while, she needs to take required vitamins to fulfill the baby’s growth requirements. The prenatal vitamins contain more folic acid that protect the baby from birth defects. Consult your doctor before taking any vitamin in this period as every vitamin is not appropriate during the prenatal phase.
Dehydration of the body is the main cause of premature labor. It is of utmost importance to drink plenty of water during pregnancy. Water is also the major media to transfer important vitamins and other nutrients to the baby developing in the womb.
Take plenty of rest
Your aim should be to at least sleep for 8 hours in a day. Sleep on your side after the first trimester as sleeping on the back during this time can possibly cut off the supply of blood to the baby. It also can make you feel lightheaded.
This is the period when surrogate pregnant experience mood swings and the emotional changes in them are challenging. They have to find ways to relax and reduce the stress. Consulting the center counselor for emotional help might be supportive for her. Other ways of stress release like Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques can be helpful to minimize stress.
Involve yourself in a minimum period of 30 minutes low-impact physical activity, like walking, swimming or a prenatal exercise class to reduce your pregnancy complications. This will also boost your mood, and eventually help in a smoother labor and delivery.
Eliminate harmful substances from your routine
This is a must for all the surrogates to completely abandon drinking alcohol, taking drugs or smoking while she is carrying the baby. This clause is strictly outlined in the surrogacy contract and should be religiously followed. It can lead to the birth of a child with any defect, if not controlled promptly.
Apart from this, the surrogate should keep away from chemical exposure and every other harmful element that may disrupt her fertility medications.
It is the time to receive increased prenatal care for the surrogate mom. The surrogacy agency and the intended parents arrange to monitor her fertility throughout the surrogate pregnancy. Fertility specialists and OBGYNs are in charge to ensure the surrogate’s and the baby’s health. She should be sent for frequent checkups and doctor’s appointments. It is also the surrogate’s responsibility to keep her doctor informed about the food she is eating throughout her pregnancy.
Very simple and slight lifestyle changes can become fruitful for both the surrogate and the child born out of such surrogacy. It’s the human responsibility of the surrogate and the agency she is in to take care of the child’s growth and delivery with an ethical approach for a more positive result.