Becoming a gestational surrogate is an incredible opportunity. But, when you are entrusted with such a monumental task, it’s normal to feel like there’s a heavy pressure on your shoulders. To make sure you’re doing everything right, you’re probably wondering, “How can I make sure to have a healthy surrogacy pregnancy?
With this guide, we’ve come up with five tips to make sure that you’re on the right track. We know that pregnancy can be physically and emotionally stressful, and you’re probably worried about doing everything right. Of you have any other questions about tips to follow to have a healthy surrogate pregnancy, please don’t forget to reach out to your surrogacy specialist. They’ve helped plenty of women have a healthy surrogate pregnancy, and they’d be happy to help you too.
While we have done our best to be as informative as possible, please know that this article should be taken as medical advice. If you have any questions, please reach out to a trained professional.
1. Try to Eat Well
Eating well is the key to feeling well. When you’re carrying the intended parents’ baby, it’s your job to make sure that they get all the healthy nutrients that they need. During your pregnancy, it is important to eat a variety of well-balanced and healthy foods. Stock up on foods with plenty of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember to avoid foods like undercooked eggs and meat, too much caffeine and alcohol.
Depending on the intended parents’ wishes and what’s in your surrogacy contract, there may or may not be certain foods that they’ll ask you to avoid. If you have any questions about specific foods, you can also reach out to your surrogacy specialist.
2. Exercise Regularly
Staying active is one of the best things that you can do during your pregnancy. Right now, you might be worried that any amount of exercise will be hard on you and the baby. But a small amount of exercise is considered safe for pregnant people. And did you know that it’s also a good way to keep you and the baby healthy?
When you’re pregnant, a light to moderate amount of exercise is great for:
- Decreasing stress
- Improving sleep
- Increasing your energy levels
- Reducing backaches and more
Staying active during your pregnancy will even help make your labor and delivery easier. We know that the idea of getting up and moving while you’re pregnant doesn’t sound like the most fun. But even just a little bit of exercise every week can make you and the baby feel much better. A few safe exercises that you might try out are swimming, working with weights, jogging and yoga.
If you are someone who was not physically active before you became pregnant, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about what activities will work best for you.
3. Take Vitamins and Supplements
Your doctor may recommend that you take extra vitamins and supplements during your pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins ensure that you and the baby are getting all the nutrients you both need right now. Keep in mind that any vitamins or supplements you take are not intended to replace your diet. You should be taking it right alongside your meals and not as a replacement for one. Don’t forget to set reminders on your phone so that you don’t forget to take them!
4. Get Plenty of Rest
You shouldn’t underestimate that importance of a good night’s sleep. We know that you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. Your body is working extra hard to take care of yourself and the baby. But, if you can, try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. And if you need them, take naps when you can.
According to a study from Johns Hopkins Medicine, not getting enough sleep can pose a serious risk to your health during pregnancy. Without enough sleep, you’re at a higher risk of pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
While it can be difficult to keep a regular sleep schedule later in your pregnancy, below are a few tips that can help you get better sleep:
- Avoid all electronics for at least an hour before bed
- Try to relieve your stress with yoga or massage therapy
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Keep and set a regular sleep schedule
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
If you struggle to get enough sleep, it’s a good idea to reach out to your doctor to pinpoint what’s going on. Getting enough sleep is essential, and it’s important that you try and get as much as you can.
5. Keep your Stress Low
Right now, you’re dealing with the daily discomforts of pregnancy, potentially some anxiousness from the intended parents, and worries about trying to keep the baby healthy. That’s a lot to think about, and it’s no surprise if you end up feeling more stressed during this time.
“The hardest part for me about being a surrogate was the weight of carrying somebody else’s joy and happiness,” Codi, a former surrogate, said. “You carry your own, and you love them immensely, and you know that you would do the best things for them. But when you’re carrying somebody else’s, you have all of those feelings, but you feel like you have to prove to someone, like, ‘I promise that I’m taking care of him to the best of my ability.’ I found myself worrying about things that I didn’t worry about with my own son. That was the hardest part.”
Stress is a normal part of life, and the same can be said during pregnancy. But high amounts of it can be harmful for yourself and the baby.
Serious types of stress during pregnancy, like depression and anxiety, can increase your risk of certain pregnancy complications. When you’re feeling too wound up, you’re at a higher risk for a premature and low-weight birth.
If you’re struggling with the emotions that come with pregnancy, please don’t be afraid to reach out for help. It’s more than okay to talk about what’s going on with your surrogacy specialist, a counselor or someone that you trust.
Right now, you’ve been tasked with one of the most important jobs: Keeping the intended parents’ baby safe and healthy. We know that can be a lot to handle when you’re just one person. And you probably have a ton of questions on how to best make sure that you’re giving this baby the best start to life. If you need any more tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy, you can always reach to your surrogacy specialist or a doctor.