Surrogacy is a legal agreement in which a fertile woman agrees to get pregnant through IVF and raise a child(s) for the intended parent(s).
A surrogate mother is just like any other pregnant mother and needs to lead a healthy lifestyle to ensure minimal complications during the pregnancy and delivery of the baby(s).
The health of the surrogate mother
The intended parent(s), fertility clinic, and the surrogate need to work closely to ensure that the mother has a healthy environment for the baby(s).
Mentioned below are some of the top things to keep in mind to keep the mother and the baby(s) healthy during the term:
1. Mindful eating
a. Eating healthy is essential to everyone. However, it is crucial that the expecting mother includes a variety of fruits and vegetables in her daily diet to ensure that the baby(s) receives enough nutrition.
b. It is also crucial for the mother to avoid food items such as under cooked eggs, and meat along with unpasteurized dairy products, and any fish that may contain high levels of mercury in them.
a. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of premature labour. It is important for the surrogate to ensure that she drinks water enough for 2 beings.
b. Water will also work as a vessel to transfer vitamins and minerals to the baby(s)
3. Prenatal vitamins
a. The surrogate should start consuming prenatal vitamins even before the embryo transfer to ensure that essential vitamins are provided to the mother and the baby. It is important for the intended parent(s) and the fertility clinic to look into the fact that the mother is provided with all the essential vitamins necessary.
b. It is important for the surrogate to understand that these vitamins need to be supplemented along with a well-balanced diet and not replace it.
a. The mother needs to have 8 hours of sleep and be well rested throughout the day.
b. The fertility clinic needs to inform the mothers about sleeping on their sides after the first trimester to ensure that the blood supply is not cut off to the baby.
c. Sleeping flat on the back may also make the mother feel lightheaded.
a. Surrogates will experience similar mood swings and other emotional challenges like any other pregnancy. It is vital for the fertility clinic and the intended parent(s) to assist the surrogate throughout the pregnancy.
b. The surrogate can also get in touch with support groups, surrogate specialist assigned to them or a qualified counsellor to provide any emotional assistance needed.
6. Staying active
a. Incorporating a 30-minute low-impact work out daily will help in having a smoother delivery process and improve the pregnancy symptoms.
b. Any physical activity, such as yoga, walking, swimming, etc., can be practiced by the mother.
7. Prenatal care
a. The surrogate is likely to have more medical consultations with the OBGYN than their personal pregnancy, keeping the IVF complications in mind.
b. It is vital for the fertile clinic, intended parent(s), and the surrogate to ensure that all necessary medical check-ups happen in time and records are maintained.
8. Substance abuse
a. The contract with the surrogate itself would state that the mother is refrained from smoking and drinking. Doing so will void the contract.
b. The surrogate should also be aware of harm from exposure to chemicals, caffeine, or other medications are taken without consulting the OBGYN.
Apart from all these, it is also important for the surrogate to enjoy the experience, like any other mother would do. All parties involved in the procedure needs to ensure that the term is as smooth as it could be for the mother.