What is a healthy diet for a gestational surrogate?
Surrogate agreements typically require screening and tests to prove their bodies can withstand the rigors of pregnancy and a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle while pregnant. No one likes a strict diet, but here are a few healthy eating tips that intended parents can share with surrogate candidates.
Pregnancy nutrition is the same as healthy eating
A healthy pregnancy diet features the same basic principles of any healthy eating plan. Be sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Eating a broad range of colorful foods will help maintain healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are like endurance athletes
A recent study at Duke University concluded that one of the most extreme experiences that a person can endure isn’t an Ironman race or an ultra-marathon. It’s pregnancy. The human body works extraordinarily hard to grow a tiny human. A pregnant woman’s diet determines the well-being and growth of the baby. Like any endurance sport, the body needs small meals often to avoid feeling hungry or fatigued. Healthy options like fruit, vegetables, proteins, and low GI carbohydrates help you feel full and also provide lasting energy to get through the day.
Boost calories with nutrient-rich foods
Women who participate in regular exercise will need a few extra calories from energy-rich foods to help ensure they have the stamina to get through their workout. Eat small energy filled snacks like avocado toast before exercising to help increase your energy levels. Meals that include whole grain bread, brown rice, and pasta are good choices to provide instant energy for a low-impact workout like swimming. Eat a small snack again after to replace any energy burned and to assist in muscle recovery.
Make sure to include plenty of important vitamins and minerals
Pregnancy doubles the amount of blood volume that the body carries, and that requires extra iron. The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Without enough iron, you’ll develop iron deficiency anemia, which limits the amount of oxygen you can supply to the baby and your growing body. At its most severe, iron deficiency anemia increases the risk of premature birth and postpartum depression, and can contribute to low birth weight. Lean red meat, vegetables, beans, and iron-fortified breakfast cereals are good sources of this important nutrient. If you’re not sure how to incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet, each state has Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby programs. For example, a surrogate in Georgia has access to all kinds of online education materials through this program.
Parenthood can take unsuspecting turns. For women who can’t carry a traditional pregnancy, surrogacy provides a safe option to have children. It’s a significant financial investment to cover a gestational surrogate’s salary, healthcare, and other related expenses. Intended parents can help support the surrogate with groceries and tips for eating healthy, but shouldn’t nitpick or try to micromanage the diet. Encourage healthy eating by supplying groceries that include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.