Delivering a healthy baby often depends on the physical and mental well-being of the woman carrying the child. In addition to your medical screening and social worker interview with the agency, there are number of ways to keep in tip top shape to ensure a healthy surrogate pregnancy. (Please keep in mind these are suggestions and that you should always talk to your doctor for medical advice.)
1. Consume healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight. Don’t use the excuse: I’m eating for two. Although there is some merit to this adage, it doesn’t give you license to eat as much as you want. The amount of weight a surrogate gains can affect the baby’s health. Therefore, you, your physician, and the intended parents should research pregnancy weight gain guidelines, which are typically based on BMI. The foods you eat also play a role in weight management. Eat clean foods that play a role in strengthening your immune system and balancing your body’s blood sugar levels.
2. Reduce the stress in your life. Find pastimes that alleviate anxiety and avoid stressful situations and/or environments. While stress is often thought of as a mental issue, more and more research shows that stress often manifests in physical form, affecting the baby.
3. Avoid undercooked meat and kitty litter. Not sure what these two things have in common? Both carry the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which causes the infection toxoplasmosis. If you’re exposed to these during pregnancy, it can cause big health problems for the baby.
4. Brush your chompers. Pregnant women are encouraged to brush and floss their teeth at least two times a day. Untreated dental infections can pose a risk to the fetus. And according to the American Dental Association, gum disease may be associated with preterm labor and low birth weight.
5. Take a Multivitamin. Multivitamins with 400mg of folic acid promote healthy growth and development. Taken early in pregnancy, it can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects. If vitamins cause an upset stomach, take them at night with a glass of milk or with a snack. Make sure you consult with your doctor about what vitamins may be right for you.
6. Accept that not everyone agrees with surrogacy. Although your selfless act is creating life for a childless couple or individual, some people may not agree with it. And hey, that’s OK. Not everyone sees eye to eye. However, it’s important to be confident in your choice. You may want to consider talking about surrogacy with others to enlighten them on the topic.
During your pregnancy, be sure to follow your monthly checkups at the OBGYN and keep in touch with your IPs and support system. Not only is it important that you keep your health in check, it’s also to stay on top of your overall well-being.
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