Nutrition during Surrogacy Pregnancy
You surely have heard the old saying that pregnant women are “eating for two.” Clearly, diet and nutrition are the most important parts of a successful pregnancy and the same goes for surrogacy.
Surrogacy is a contract between two parties in which a woman agrees to become pregnant and carry a baby for a couple or an individual. Therefore, it is important that the gestational carrier prioritize the health of the baby in her womb as well as her own physical and psychological health throughout the process.
Healthy diet and nutrition are important to keeping you and the Surrogate baby safe and nourished. Resorting to healthier choices and taking caution in what you eat as a surrogate are the best ways to make your surrogacy experience a smooth one.
In the following piece, we are going to guide you on which foods deliver a pack of nutrition, how they help during your pregnancy, and what other healthy choices you should make for your surrogacy journey.Fill Out An Application
Healthy Diet and its benefits
Food is a very important element of fertility health and also plays a key role in maintaining a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.
However, an expectant mother does not need to take additional calories in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is only in the second trimester that she needs to up her intake by 400 to 500 calories because the baby is developing more quickly during this period.
But then again, a Surrogate needs to speak with her doctor for advice on the right amount of calories to take. This will help the surrogate maintain her body weight at the start of the pregnancy and achieve her weight goals.
It’s crucial to not take too much sugar and fatty foods using pregnancy as an excuse. This will also help the surrogate shed weight after childbirth.
Eating well will offer you many benefits including these:
- Maintain a healthy weight or gain enough to support the growing baby and your body’s increased nutritional needs. This will also make it easier to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight once the Surrogate baby is born.
- Improve the chances that the baby is born with a healthy weight. Low birth weight is linked with breathing problems and NICU stays, and high birth weight can lead to more difficult labor and an increased likelihood of a C-section.
- Boost the baby’s brain development and decrease the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida.
- Reduce common pregnancy illnesses, including morning sickness, constipation, and heartburn.
- Reduce the odds of complications such as gestational diabetes, anemia, preterm labor, and preeclampsia.
Below is a list of foods to eat when you are expecting a baby:
Beans help relieve nausea and are good for calming the body. They also provide easily digestible protein that nourishes the body. Beans are important for the development of the baby’s eyes and skin.
Eggs are a good source of protein for pregnant women. Even if you don’t like eating eggs, try to add them to your daily diet. It will provide you with the energy needed to perform regular activities without feeling tired (which is a common result of pregnancy during and after surrogacy) and enrich your nutrition without making you gain weight.
Incorporate nuts into your diet as it will help you get enough protein while pregnant. Walnuts and almonds are high in protein and also a great source of healthy fats.
Walnuts are also one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Since this fruit does not supply the body with a high amount of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), it is beneficial for the child growing in the womb and can be a good protein source for the mother.
Walnuts can be taken as a snack or added in desserts or applied on top of a salad.
Salmon is very rich in mercury, and therefore should be taken with caution when pregnant. It can supply the body with lean protein and a small amount of mercury when it is properly cooked. This fish is best cooked at a high temperature to reduce its level of mercury and get important benefits from it.
5. Yam and sweet potato
These two bland food choices are great for an upset stomach. Yam and sweet potato are both rich in fibers and low in sugar. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in different ways. It can be mashed with butter and rock salt added to it. You can also bake it into chips. These are delicious, healthy foods that you can include in your diet when pregnant.
6. Greek yogurt
Not all dairy products can be eaten by pregnant women as their body is very sensitive at this time. However, when looking for something thick and creamy to take during pregnancy, expectant surrogates can consider Greek yogurt. It is very rich in protein and gentle to the body, unlike many dairy products out there.
Broccoli helps maintain proper levels of iron and folic acid, a key nutrient for supporting a baby’s healthy development.
Bananas are a great choice to snack on during pregnancy. They are high in folic acid, which helps to promote the healthy development of the baby’s nerves, brain, and spinal cord. It’s also a great source of potassium and calcium.
Cheeses are yet another food choice that can help you achieve your daily calcium requirements. While pregnant, some cheeses are better than others for you and the baby. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar or provolone, are usually considered safer for pregnancy than softer cheeses, such as bleu cheese or brie. Take your doctor’s advice to find out what’s right for you and your diet.
Oatmeal is another great source of fiber. Plenty of fiber will promote healthy, comfortable digestion throughout your pregnancy. It’s also a great breakfast option as it is quick and filling.
Other dietary needs
Add probiotics to diet
A healthy pregnancy starts in the brain, controls body function, and produces key hormones. To lift your mood and improve brain function during your surrogacy, include foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and pickles, in your fertility and pregnancy diet. Gut health is essential to brain health. In fact, serotonin—the “feel-good” hormone that makes you happy — is actually produced in the gut.
Pack vitamins in your daily foods
Vitamins are extremely valuable during this time. Whether the surrogate mother has been taking vitamins before or not, she must take the necessary vitamins to meet the baby’s growth needs.
Prenatal vitamins are rich in folic acid, which protects the developing baby from birth defects. Speak with your doctor before you start using any vitamin when you are expecting since not all vitamins are suitable for use at this time.
Eat enough whole grains and vegetable
Whole grains deliver carbohydrates that give a pregnant woman one of the primary sources of energy she needs. Also, whole grains contain essential nutrients, such as vitamin B, fiber, protein, and iron. Pregnant women are recommended to take 27 mg of iron a day.
Fruits and vegetables are vital for a healthy diet during your pregnancy as they contain the necessary nutrients for pregnancy, such as folic acid, and vitamin C. A surrogate mother requires 70 mg of vitamin C every day.
There are plenty of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables around, such as oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, kale, and grapefruits.
Incorporate folic acid rich foods
Folic acid is required to prevent neural tube defects. However, some vegetables need preparation to be tastier. Dark-green leafy vegetables contain good amounts of folic acid. To stay healthy during pregnancy, you need four or more servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit every day.
Eat foods that provide calcium
A pregnant woman requires at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Calcium is essential for normal blood clotting, healthy teeth and bones, and nerve functions. Calcium is found plenty in milk products, almonds, dark-green vegetables, seafood, and peas.
Other healthy activities for a Surrogate Mother
Not only a surrogate mother should eat healthily, but she also needs to focus on taking care of her mental and physical health. The hormonal changes occurring in a Surrogate’s body starting from the time she got matched may be impacting her mind and her body simultaneously. Aside from a healthy diet, she also needs great care and attention throughout her pregnancy.
Here are the tips she should follow to ensure her and her child’s health during the surrogacy pregnancy.
Dehydration or lack of enough fluids in the body is one of the root causes of preterm labor. Therefore, it is crucial to take a lot of water during pregnancy. Besides, water is the main media through which essential nutrients and vitamins get to the baby growing in the womb.
Have a lot of rest
Apart from taking adequate nutrition during surrogacy pregnancy, you should aim to sleep for at least 8 hours per day.
Sleep on your side after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because sleeping on your back during this period may block the blood supply to the baby. It can also make you feel dizzy.
The pregnant surrogate may experience mood swings and difficult emotional changes at this time. So, she needs to look for ways to relax and minimize stress.
She can also seek emotional support by consulting a qualified counselor in her area. Other ways to relieve stress include meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques that help reduce stress.
Engage in a low-impact physical activity, such as swimming, walking, for at least 30 minutes a day, or join a prenatal exercise class to lower your risk of pregnancy complications. This will also improve your mood and help ensure complication-free labor and delivery.
Remove harmful substances from your routine
A Surrogate needs to quit taking alcohol, using drugs, or smoking while she’s pregnant. The clause regarding smoking is clearly outlined in the surrogacy agreement she signed and must be strictly followed. Failure to do so can result in the birth of a baby with defects.
Besides, the surrogate has to avoid getting exposed to chemicals and all other harmful elements that can interfere with her fertility medications.
Prenatal care and expert advice
The surrogate mother needs to receive quality prenatal care when pregnant. The surrogacy agency and the hopeful parents have to make arrangements to monitor her fertility during the surrogate pregnancy. And it is the responsibility of the fertility experts and obstetricians/ gynecologists to ensure the health of the surrogate mom and that of the child.
It’s important that the surrogate visits the clinic for regular check-ups and doctor’s appointments. She also needs to let her doctor know the food she is consuming during her pregnancy.
A few simple lifestyle changes can be beneficial for the surrogate mother and the baby. After all, it is the responsibility of the surrogate mother and the agency she is working with to take care of the baby’s growth and delivery to achieve a positive result.
At Physician Surrogacy, we ensure our Surrogate Mothers are regularly educated on healthy food choices and diet to follow during their gestational period.
Interested to see if you qualify as a Surrogate Mother? Simply fill out an application and find out within 72 hours. You can also get in touch with us using our chat option.Fill Out An Application