Surrogacy has undoubtedly emerged as a big ray of hope for countless individuals and couples unable to bear a child due to various reasons. The process, which involves the surrogate carrying and delivering a baby for someone else, often brings over a list of medical procedures. Amid these complexities, an aspect that demands steady attention and utmost care is the nutrition of the surrogate during pregnancy. That said, nutrition plays a key role in ensuring the well-being of both the surrogate and the baby, promoting optimal development and minimizing risks.
In the following sections of this blog, we will talk about the relevance of surrogacy nutrition. Besides, we will discuss the dietary recommendations for the surrogate mother to gain the most out of her surrogacy journey.
Why Surrogacy Pregnancy Nutrition is important?
At the heart of surrogacy in Israel lies a unique bond – a woman carries a baby for someone else, often genetically unrelated. Moreover, this scenario can introduce distinct nutritional requirements. That said, unlike traditional pregnancies, surrogacy often involves assisted reproductive techniques like in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which can change the hormonal setting and potentially influence nutritional needs.
Moreover, the surrogate mother may have had previous pregnancies of her own. Besides, her body, having undergone the physiological changes associated with childbirth before, might have different nutritional requirements than a first-time mother.
This is where nutrition plays a key role in ensuring the right health and well-being of the surrogate mother. Also, it would ensure a better success rate for the IVF treatment process which holds a key part of the surrogacy journey.
Listing the key Nutritional Needs of the surrogate mother
Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are some of the key nutrients that are essential for a person’s overall energy and growth. That said, pregnant women, including surrogate mother in Israel, need additional calories. However, the emphasis should be on the quality of these calories instead of the quantity. On the other hand, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats should be prioritized over empty-calorie foods.
Micronutrients: These are essential vitamins and minerals that play crucial roles in fetal development. Talking about the key micronutrients, this involves the following.
Folic Acid: Folic acid is especially important in the early stages to prevent neural tube defects. Talking about the best sources of folic acid, you can count on dark green leafy vegetables, peanuts, beans, fresh fruits and whole grains.
Iron: Iron is needed to meet the increased blood volume and prevent anemia. Discussing best sources of Iron, you can opt for spinach, kale, beetroot and fresh vegetables.
Calcium: Vital for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Moreover, milk and most milk-based products are considered rich sources of calcium.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These are important for the baby’s brain and eye development. Talking about the rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts and fish tops the list.
Hydration: There are no arguments for the fact that water is the lifeline for mankind. That said, water supports the increased blood volume in pregnancy and aids in transporting essential nutrients to the fetus. Moreover, it also helps in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Fiber: To prevent constipation, a common issue in pregnancy, fiber intake should be optimized. This is where Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as excellent sources.
Key Factors Influencing Nutritional Needs
Surrogates carrying twins or higher-order multiples have different and often increased nutritional needs. Hence, caloric intake, protein, iron, and folic acid requirements typically rise in these cases. So, if you are an intended parent planning to bring the right nutrition to your surrogate, you must include these nutrients after consulting with the fertility experts.
Age of the Surrogate
Older surrogates might have different nutritional needs compared to their younger counterparts. For instance, older women might require more calcium and vitamin D to support bone health. On the other side, the younger surrogate mother may not have such high requirements. Still, while ensuring the right amount, one must connect with their physician.
If a surrogate has conditions like diabetes or hypertension, her diet might need modifications to manage these issues and ensure a healthy pregnancy. To be on the safer side, most of the surrogacy agency in Israel prefers bringing a surrogate without any of these medical conditions.
As mentioned, a surrogate’s nutritional needs can be influenced by her past pregnancies. For instance, if she had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, she might need to adopt a diet that is mindful of her blood sugar levels.
At the same time, if she had any health issues during the past pregnancy, it needs to be communicated to the medical expert managing her pregnancy.
How to ensure optimal nutrition for the surrogate mother?
Personalized Diet Plans: Given the unique requirements of each surrogate, it’s beneficial to work with a nutritionist familiar with surrogacy. This is because the nutritionist can design a diet tailor-made to the surrogate’s needs. While doing that the expert will take into account her health, age, and any specific conditions.
Regular Monitoring: Regular prenatal check-ups can identify any nutritional deficiencies in the surrogate’s body. Moreover, blood tests can reveal anemia, which can then be addressed through an iron-rich diet or supplements. Apart from that, the blood tests could reveal a deficiency of other vital nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, D or E. So, the intended parents and even the surrogate mother should keep an eye on any such observation.
Dietary Supplements: While a balanced diet comes as the best source of nutrients, some surrogates may be recommended supplements. That said, prenatal vitamins can ensure that the surrogate gets essential nutrients like folic acid, iron, and calcium during her pregnancy journey.
Educating Surrogates: Nutrition really plays a key part in a successful surrogacy procedure. That said, surrogates should be educated about the importance of nutrition and its impact on the baby’s health. Moreover, workshops or counselling sessions can be highly invaluable in this context.
Surrogacy is a perfect example of how an individual can selflessly help another individual in realizing their parenthood dreams. Moreover, the surrogate, by carrying the child, does a noble and selfless act. This is where the intended parents need to ensure that she receives optimal nutrition during her pregnancy period. Besides, it’s a way of acknowledging her sacrifice and ensuring the right health and well-being of the surrogate and the future child.
On the other side, surrogacy pregnancy nutrition is the right approach, tailored to the unique challenges and circumstances of the surrogate. Also, through collaborative efforts including the intended parents, healthcare professionals, and the surrogate herself, this balance can be achieved successfully. Moreover, it paves the way for a healthy pregnancy and a joyful beginning.