Healthy Habits Begin Before Surrogacy

Good physical health is a key component to becoming a successful surrogate. Although you may not be providing the eggs for the intended parents, good fertility practices can prepare your entire reproductive system for the implantation of an embryo. A strong, healthy uterus can improve your chances of getting pregnant through the implantation process.

Here are a few strategies to help you do just that.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

While it may seem like a good idea to always strive to maintain an appropriate weight, it is especially important for those who wish to become surrogates. Weighing too much or too little can negatively impact hormone regulation in your body, including the hormones that are necessary to allow for a successful implantation of an embryo within the uterine lining. Too much weight can increase estrogen production, while too little weight can affect the lining of the uterus.

A study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences has shown that women who are overweight or obese do not have as much success with in vitro fertilization, IUI, or other types of fertility treatments as women who do not struggle with their weight in the same way. In addition to having more difficulty with embryo implantation, women who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of having a miscarriage at any point during pregnancy. While it is not known exactly why this occurs, it may be due to insulin resistance or other metabolic conditions that prevent proper nutrients from reaching the uterus and the fetus. If you are overweight or obese, this is one of the causes of infertility that you can change.

Eat a Healthy Diet

You may already be watching what you put into your body for your own health. However, once you decide to carry a baby for others, you want to do your best for the child and for the intended parents. Many professionals recommend eating a Mediterranean-type diet that is full of fresh vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods that are plant-based in nature. Good protein sources include nuts, seeds, and legumes. Choose healthy fats from plant sources or clean, cold-water fish. Be sure your fish sources are safe, especially once you begin to notice any signs of pregnancy.

Adding healthy food choices is certainly important, but so is avoiding certain unhealthy options. You should reduce your consumption of processed and refined foods, including fast foods, soda and foods that contain artificial sweeteners. It is especially important that you consider limiting your consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially once you become pregnant. Speak with your health care provider to determine if a glass of wine on occasion could affect your ability to carry a baby to full term.

 

Exercise in Moderation

This is a case where too much of a good thing can be harmful to your fertility. It is important to get enough exercise to keep your body strong and in great condition for pregnancy and childbirth. However, too much exercise can interfere with a healthy uterus and might prevent a successful IVF. If you do not exercise, it is important to start before becoming pregnant.

Whether you already engage in regular physical activity or you are just beginning a new exercise program, do so in moderation. If you engage in vigorous workouts for more than five hours each week, you could actually reduce your chances of becoming pregnant by about 42 percent. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 2.5 hours a week of moderately intense activity. Appropriate exercises might include brisk walking, yoga, low-impact aerobics, swimming, or other activities that you can enjoy regularly without too much strain.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you have probably already heard how bad this habit is for your overall health. Smoking can affect the baby once you become pregnant, but this habit can also reduce your chances of successful implantation and may increase your risks of having a miscarriage. Smoking is also known to be a cause of birth defects.

Quitting smoking is not easy. This is why it’s recommended that you get help from your medical practitioner to quit before you undergo any fertility treatments. You will want to be done with any medications or nicotine replacement therapy before you begin the process necessary for IVF.

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

New research studies may have shown that a morning cup of coffee or two can be beneficial to health, but too much caffeine may negatively impact your chances of having a full-term pregnancy. Research published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology shows that excessive consumption of caffeine can increase the chances of having a miscarriage.

While it might be alright to have some caffeine in your diet, you obviously don’t want to overdo it. You can speak with your health care provider or a nutritionist to determine how much caffeine might be acceptable before you engage in fertility treatments, though you may wish to avoid caffeine completely once you notice signs that you may be pregnant.

 

Be Cautious With Supplementation

If you are not getting enough of certain vitamins in your diet, especially those like folic acid and iron, you may wish to take a vitamin or supplement that is designed for pregnancy. Your health care provider may have recommendations for you based on your health history.

If you take natural supplements, it is important that you discuss your upcoming surrogacy with your OB/GYN to determine if any of these remedies could affect your ability to carry a baby to full term.

When you have made the decision to become a surrogate, it is important that you are in good physical health in order to properly nurture the baby inside of you. One way that you can increase your ability to carry the baby to full term is by engaging in healthy habits to increase fertility yourself. If you’re ready to become a surrogate, we are ready to help you! Contact us today for more information and get started!

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