Being a Surrogate Mother: Be Careful What You Eat!
There are certain requirements that applicants need to meet to become a surrogate mother. One of them is BMI, which is calculated from an individual’s height and weight. Surrogacy agencies usually use this number to accurately screen applicants for weight-related health issues, like diabetes, that can lead to complications during pregnancy. But how much of a role does weight play during pregnancy?
How Weight Affects You and Your Child.
Before taking the expectant mom “eating for two” too seriously and starting to eat twice what you would normally , you need to note that excessive weight can result in serious problems, such gestational diabetes, a high risk of hypertension and a long list of other complications. Gaining too many pounds as a surrogate mother can also make the baby too big, leading to difficulties during delivery. Besides, gaining too much weight when pregnant can leave the mother overweight after the baby is born, and this weight can be very hard to lose post-delivery.
The gestational surrogate is not the only one that the extra pounds affect. The baby can also be at risk for certain health issues. For instance, maternal obesity has been linked to neural tube defects, where the baby’s brain and spine do not join properly. Additionally, some studies suggest that the developing baby in the womb of an obese woman stands a risk of being overweight and having type 2 diabetes. Additionally, there is a potential for high bilirubin levels, the possibility of the baby being born with a heart defect and with dangerously low blood sugar.
Eat for Nutrition.
Throughout your surrogacy journey it’s important to make sure that your getting all the essential vitamins and minerals the baby needs. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins also contribute to the development of the baby.
However, this doesn’t mean that since cookies are a carbohydrate you should eat as many of them as you want! Healthy carbohydrates include whole grains, sweet potatoes and other fruits and vegetables. This also applies to proteins and fats. Cheeseburgers and french-fries do not count! Healthy fats include nuts, avocados and fatty fish. Lean meats (turkey and chicken) and non-meat sources (tofu, tempeh, and soy) are great sources of protein.
In addition to carbohydrates and fats, nutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium and folic acid are essential. Your plate should have a variety of colors on it, meaning it contains a lot of different vegetables. This is a great way to ensure that you are getting a variety of different nutrients.
How to Keep Those Extra Pregnancy Pounds Off.
Pregnancy is not a time to lose weight. The growing child needs a constant supply of nutrients and calories all through the pregnancy. Doctors usually recommend that a surrogate mother should gain a few pounds during the 1st trimester. In the next stages, she needs to be gaining a pound per week in months four through eight and stop little by little at the last month of pregnancy.
So, what is the right thing for a surrogate to do if she is gaining weight too quickly? She should try to reduce the rate she’s gaining weight in order to meet the child’s growing needs. A gestational surrogate need to monitor her foods, as well as the quantity, to ensure that her final weight does not fall below or above the optimal range. Here are some things to do to keep your weight in check if you are worried about weight gain, as a surrogate.
Cut out empty calories.
You need to know that the aim is not to lose weight, or to prevent weight gain — you are only trying to lower it to a healthier rate. To achieve this, a surrogate mother should first replace foods containing empty calories with nutrient-rich foods. Since a person is more likely to feel full more quickly with nutritious foods than with junk food, the surrogate mother will consume fewer calories easily while the baby gets more nutrition at the same time — a win-win situation.
Quantify your food.
Regardless of the source, too many calories can make you gain too many pounds. The important thing to do is to scrutinize the serving sizes. While “extra value meals” can mean more value for your money, it can also mean an extra side of calories. A surrogate mother who cares about her health needs to size up her food portions. A serving of cheese, for instance, should be around the size of a 9V battery, while a serving of meat should be around the size of a PC mouse. However, exceptions should be made for foods that fill up the belly and meet the nutritional requirements of the intended parent’s child.
A surrogate mother should first get the approval of her practitioner before signing up for a gym membership. Once that is done, she can then do regular cardio workouts, which can help her adhere to the weight-gain target she has set for herself. And the best part, having a daily workout during pregnancy gives you the chance to load up on more delicious snacks.
Reduce the fat.
The fact that the most concentrated calorie sources are hiding in the fat content of foods is no surprise. Finding the fat is the most difficult part of trimming it, which is no easy task because fat is a key component of the American diet. While it is not hard to spot buttered biscuits and fried chicken, the same cannot be said of the dressing on salads. A surrogate mother needs to limit herself to 1 or 2 serving of fats from unsaturated sources but should not cut out fat completely.
Make some substitutions.
Making a couple of switches in the food you eat as a surrogate mom can be very helpful in slowing down your weight gain to a healthy pace. Instead of low-fat or regular milk, you can top your cereal with skim milk. You can also have frozen or fresh fruits in lieu of dried, sugary ones, etc. There are numerous mix-and-match combinations that you can try, but there’s one substitution an expectant mom should never do, though: replacing all carbs with a protein-rich diet. This is because the developing child needs nutritional balance.
Physician’s Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency in San Diego, has helped form over 1,000 families. As experts in the field of surrogacy, Physician’s Surrogacy is armed with more than 100 years of combined experience and provides you with a fully integrated solution. We stand by your side during your entire surrogacy journey. Visit us at www.physicianssurrogacy.com or call (858) 299-4580 to learn more about the surrogacy process.