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November 22, 2018

4 Healthy Thanksgiving Foods for Surrogates

Happy Thanksgiving, surrogates! As you join around the table with friends and family this holiday season, you’ll have plenty of food choices in front of you. Make sure these four land on your plate:

1) Turkey

Contrary to what you may have heard, turkey is a “go” for surrogates. The big worry is usually with deli meats, which most people don’t cook before eating. As long as your turkey is cooked properly, it’s safe to eat. It will provide you with roughly half of your protein needs for the day and a host of other vitamins and minerals. Turkey is also linked with lower cholesterol, better brain function, and reduced cancer risk, so dig in!

2) Sweet Potatoes

Often called one of the healthiest foods in the world, sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, and more. They have properties that can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and support your immune system, plus they are loaded with antioxidants.

3) Mixed Nuts

If your family keeps mixed nuts out prior to the meal, have a handful. Most unsalted nuts come loaded with Omega 3s, which are great for your brain and the baby’s. They’re also a good source of protein and come packed with other vitamins and minerals. This can keep you satiated, so you’re less likely to overindulge in dinner, which means less risk of getting heartburn.

4) Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin is loaded with nutritious things. It’s full of fiber, can boost your immunity, is good for eye health, may decrease diabetes risk, and can reduce cancer risk, according to WebMD. Plus, even the canned version is mostly water, so you get relatively few calories, lots of nutrition, and a whole bunch of seasonal yumminess.

A Few Things to Avoid…

Even though the focus of this page is on things you can eat, there are a few things worth mentioning that you shouldn’t eat.

  • Unpasteurized Foods- Homemade sauces, unpasteurized cider, homemade ice cream, certain cheeses, cookie dough, eggnog, etc. all have the potential to make you ill because they contain things like raw eggs or may be contaminated with salmonella or listeria. If you want to indulge in any of these things, make sure the food has been pasteurized to kill bacteria. If you’re unsure, don’t risk it.
  • Stuffing- When stuffing is cooked inside the turkey, it doesn’t always reach a temperature high enough to kill bacteria. Check the temperature yourself and make sure it hits 165-180 degrees F. You can also cook some in a separate pan or microwave yours to make sure it hits the right temp if you want to partake.
  • Leftovers and Meat Trays- Bacterial contamination is a major worry with leftover turkey and meat trays that sit out. It’s best to avoid the trays altogether. You can indulge in leftover turkey, but be sure to heat it up well enough to kill bacteria first.

Join the Surrogates at SPS

If you’re not already working with an agency, let Surrogate Parenting Services guide your way. We match surrogates with intended parents and make sure everything from legal details to medical concerns are covered, so you stay protected and can focus on enjoying your pregnancy. Check out our information for surrogates and reach out to us when you’re ready to take the first step.

November 17, 2018

4 Tips for Getting Your Finances in Order Before Surrogacy

No matter which side of the surrogacy team you’re on, having your finances in order is essential. As intended parents, you’ll naturally want to be sure you can complete the process without a hitch and be able to bring your baby home into a stress-free environment. As a potential surrogate, having poor finances can actually disqualify you from participating. Top-notch agencies want to be sure you’re choosing to become a surrogate for the right reasons and that you’re not reliant on surrogacy as your primary source of income. The good news is, there are many things you can do to get your finances in order, so you can move forward with confidence.

1) Establish a Monthly Budget

Whether you break out the pen and paper or go digital, your monthly budget needs to be in writing. Hammer out where every penny goes, right down to those cups of coffee you sneak on the way to work and your occasional indulgences.

2) Reevaluate Your Expenses

Once you’ve broken down where your money goes each month, take the time to identify if there are bills you can slash or expenses you don’t need to pay. Got a storage room? Clear it and cut the expense. Paying a huge amount for cell phones or cable? Call around to see if other companies can provide a better deal.

3) Get Debts Paid Off

Certain debts, such as mortgages, aren’t necessarily bad to have, but credit card debts can be a warning sign that you’re not sticking to budgets or managing your money wisely. While it makes more fiscal sense to pay off the debts with higher interest rates first, some people can lose motivation if the high-interest debt is also the largest. If this is the case for you, start off with your smallest debt and throw extra cash at it each month until it’s paid off. Then, apply your monthly payments from that to your next largest debt. The feel-good vibe of watching a balance decrease and getting things paid off may keep you motivated and will help you establish good payment habits that stick.

4) Give Yourself a Savings

Once you’ve got debts paid off, get saving. The general rule of thumb is to have three months of expenses set aside. However, if you’re an intended parent planning to take unpaid leave when the baby arrives, you may want to add that time to your savings total. To make saving easier, set aside an automatic transfer or “pay” your savings account each month, just like you do your recurring bills.

Ready to Start the Surrogacy Process? Contact SPS

If you’re ready to start the surrogacy process, Surrogate Parenting Services will walk you through every step. Surrogates can take the first step by learning more about the process and what the requirements are, while intended parents may contact us online or call us at (949) 397-6855 for questions or to get started.

November 5, 2018

3 Reasons Whole Grains are a Surrogate’s Best Friend

If you’re becoming a surrogate, nutrition will be a common topic. However, most of it will relate to what you need to be taking in to support the growth of a healthy baby, not necessarily what you can (and should) be doing just for you. Whole grains certainly fall into the “good for baby” category too, they’re especially good for you. Here’s why…

1) Whole Grains Keep You Regular

As a surrogate, you’ve already had a baby, which means you’re probably all too familiar with pregnancy constipation and maybe even hemorrhoids from excess straining. While many things lead to this problem, lack of fiber is a major contributor. In the US, many of the grains we take in are processed or refined, which reduces some of the nutrient value and bulk. Grains that are left intact are referred to as “whole grains,” and this is what you’ll want to look for when checking out nutrition labels and packaging. Whole grains typically have insoluble fiber, meaning it is not impacted by fluids and your body cannot break it down or digest it. That’s actually a good thing in this case, because it helps clean out your system and makes it easier to go number-two. If you’re getting a good amount of fiber (25-30 grams per day), you’ll have fewer digestive woes and be more comfortable. Examples of whole grains with insoluble fiber include whole wheat bread and brown rice.

2) Whole Grains May Help You Regulate Your Blood Sugar

Some whole grains, like oats, work a little differently. The fiber they possess is soluble, meaning they soak up some of the fluid and nutrients in your digestive system, but still are not digested. That’s incredibly helpful in some cases, as it will hold onto sugars a bit, so those get released more slowly into your system. This is one of the reasons why oatmeal is considered a good food for people with Type 2 Diabetes and can also be beneficial for women with gestational diabetes or who sit on the cusp. Equally, oatmeal has been linked to reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular health, so it’s a good food to have all around.

3) Whole Grains Can Beef Up Your Iron Stores

Pregnant women naturally develop greater blood stores—to the tune of a 20-30% increase. While this is essential for health, women who do not get enough iron fail to make enough hemoglobin to keep up with demand, which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. This is the condition referred to as anemia. Some common symptoms of anemia include fatigue and difficulty concentrating, and it can really ramp up during the second and third trimesters. Anemia also poses risks to the baby, so it’s doubly important to make sure you’re getting enough iron. Your doctor will likely test you to see if supplementation is necessary. Supplementing on your own is not recommended by medical professionals, as excess iron can be toxic. It’s near impossible to get too much from food, but supplements are a whole different ball game. Ergo, keeping whole grains in your diet is a boon. Amaranth, wheat, and oats are your best bets, so long as you’re choosing the whole grain variety. On the flip side, many foods with refined grains are also enriched with iron, so your cereal may still have some benefit, even if it’s not made with whole grains.

Become a Surrogate with SPS

If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, but aren’t yet working with an agency, SPS can help. We stand by our surrogates every step of the way and have firsthand knowledge on what it’s like to be a surrogate—our founder was one too! Please take a moment to review our guidelines for surrogates and let us know when you’re ready to help a family grow.

October 25, 2018

Surrogates: Here’s What’s Happening to Your Feet (and What You Can Do About It)

Surrogates often complain of foot, back, and hip pain, which is totally “normal” with any pregnancy. However, “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing or that you should simply suffer through it. In fact, ignoring some symptoms could be harmful or result in permanent changes to your body. On this page, we’ll explore a bit of the science behind foot pain, why many surrogates feel uncomfortable, and what you can do to alleviate some or all the discomfort.

Your Joints and Ligaments are Relaxing

It’s well known that a woman’s body adapts to accommodate a pregnancy. Many people specifically note how the pelvis widens to make room for the baby. This is the hormones relaxin and progesterone at work. While the changes are more pronounced in the pelvic area, all your joints and ligaments get looser, including those in your feet. This not only flattens out your feet some, but also makes it harder to balance. Excess stretching of the ligaments also causes discomfort and pain.

You’re Putting on Weight

Yes, it’s precious cargo, but it also adds to the demands placed on your body. The extra weight impacts everything from your balance through the pressure put on your back, knees, ankles, and feet.

Fluid Retention Makes Your Feet Larger

Your body naturally retains more fluids while pregnant, which results in edema, or swollen tissues. This alone causes many women to go up a full shoe size while pregnant.

Cramps are Creeping In

Foot and leg cramps are common issues brought on by a mix of things. Your calcium levels will impact this to some degree, as will your hydration levels and increased demands on the circulatory system. Your muscles also have to work harder, so they get taxed out some too.

Support, Nutrition, and Pampering are the Keys to Happy Feet

Some of the changes you experience during pregnancy may become permanent. Researchers have discovered that a woman’s feet will often change in shape and size during pregnancy, then stay that way for life. Flatness brought on by relaxed joints and muscles and exacerbated by weight gain are to blame. However, experts believe you may be able to prevent some of this and stay more comfortable by:

  • Investing in good shoes with superior support
  • Getting professionally fitted for shoes during pregnancy
  • Staying active and stretching regularly
  • Wearing socks that don’t restrict circulation; speak to your doctor about compression socks if varicose veins are a concern or your family has a history of them
  • Putting your feet up as much as possible
  • Eating well (limiting salt)
  • Drinking plenty of water

Although you may not be able to prevent pregnancy feet entirely, having happy and balanced feet makes it much easier to keep the rest of your body balanced, and you may see reductions in back and hip pain too.

Surrogates: Sign Up with SPS

At Surrogate Parenting Services, we help surrogates through every step of the process. We’re here to make sure you’re matched with parents who are overjoyed to meet you and that all your needs are seen to throughout the pregnancy and after. However, it does take a very special kind of woman to become a surrogate, and there are a few qualifications all surrogates must meet in order to give a baby the best start possible. Please take a moment to check out our information for surrogates, and reach out to us when you’re ready to begin the journey.

October 14, 2018

Surrogates: How to Gear Up for Fall with Baby on Board

Surrogates have all been pregnant at least once before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you remember all the details or even carried a baby during the autumn months. Whether you simply need a refresher or this is all new territory, here’s a quick look at a few things you’ll want to have on hand.

Pick Up Non-Slip Shoes with Arch Support

Your feet work hard all the time, but they’ve got unique challenges during pregnancy. All your joints relax and you carry extra weight, which can make it difficult to keep your balance. Some women actually permanently alter the shape of their feet because of this, and many are simply uncomfortable during pregnancy. For this reason, get a good supportive pair of shoes and be mindful to choose something that will grip the floors better. Even though Cali is exceptionally sunny, it still rains a bit and the traditional tile floors found in residences and commercial buildings can be a real hazard.

Grab Some Leggings and Cardigans

One of the awesome things about fall, especially on the west coast, is that you may not even need to invest in a maternity jacket. Moreover, things like athleisure wear, leggings, and cardigans are all in style right now and they may well fit you throughout the entire pregnancy—even if you’re going with traditional sizing and not maternity clothes.

Go with Layers

Your internal furnace will be going into overdrive thanks to hormone shifts, meaning you will run hotter than normal. All pregnant women do, though it’s only about a one-degree increase. It can feel like a whole lot more at times, and when you’re physically active, it will be even higher. At the same time, outdoor temps will start cooling some, so wear several layers that you can peel off as the day warms up or as you start to feel hot.

Keep a Water Bottle by Your Side

The whole eight-glasses-of-water-a-day thing is a myth. Really. Yes, your body needs a whole lot of water, but it can actually get most of what it needs from the foods you eat. Here in Cali, it is a bit warmer and so dehydration is a bit more of a concern, and being dehydrated is bad for you and the baby. However, rather than trying to force eight glasses down when there’s even less space for it than normal, just carry water with you. Sip throughout the day and you’ll naturally get what you need without having to work at it.

Women Wanting to Become Surrogates: Contact SPS

If you’d like to become a surrogate, but aren’t working with an agency, SPS can help. We match surrogates with intended parents who share their values, so a natural relationship forms and the process goes smoothly. We also help make sure all contractual details are seen to and walk you through each step, so you can focus on bringing a healthy baby into the world. Becoming a surrogate is a major decision and one which few women are even qualified to undertake, yet this selfless choice can literally change lives and make someone’s dreams come true. Please take a moment to review our literature for surrogates, and get in touch with us when you’re ready to move forward.

October 2, 2018

Where is Surrogacy Legal?

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that surrogacy laws around the world are uncertain. As odd as it may sound, California, with its surrogacy-friendly legislation that protects intended parents and surrogates is the happy exception. Once you venture outside the Golden State, it gets much murkier. On this page, we’ll attempt to break down what’s happening here and now with various regions.

The United States

Individual states determine their own surrogacy laws. In states like Louisiana, Michigan, and New York, it’s either impossible to have a contract with someone you’re compensating or to get a proper birth certificate with the names of both intended parents. Washington state also fits into this category, but only until January 2019. All but ten of the remaining states have difficult legislation, which can often make the process and protections uncertain.


Surrogacy is legal in Canada, though it is illegal to offer or accept compensation for it. Some attempt to skirt the laws by providing coverage for expenses, such as lost wages, travel, special meals, and such, but the tight legislation makes it harder to follow the laws and find gestational carriers. The exception to Canada is Quebec, which nullifies all surrogacy-related contracts.


Belgium is like Canada in the sense that people can create contracts, but no compensation is allowed.


Denmark also allows contracts as long as no compensation is provided.


Ukraine has progressive surrogacy laws and also protects the rights of intended parents. Many intended parents began choosing Ukraine after places like India and Thailand outlawed the process. However, surrogates often report sub-par medical care and rogue agencies, per the BBC. Intended parents also become stranded in the country for months at a time due to difficulties getting permission to leave with the baby.


Russia has become a bit of a hotspot for international parents because the country has better laws than most and allow intended parents to be placed on the birth certificate shortly after a baby’s birth. However, intended parents must usually demonstrate that they cannot have a baby due to medical reasons. The country is presently debating criminalizing surrogacy, though, which could leave intended parents in limbo if they begin now.

South Africa

Technically, surrogacy is legal in South Africa, but many of the laws related to it only protect residents and compensation is not allowed. Further laws related to the circumstances and genetic relationships limit the practice even more.

The UK

The United Kingdom is another place in which surrogacy is technically legal, but no compensation is allowed. Furthermore, the surrogate is named the mother of the child. The intended parents must adopt the baby, with the surrogate’s consent, after the baby is born.

Where Surrogacy is Not Legal

Despite the fact that this page is dedicated to covering places where surrogacy is legal, it’s worth noting a few places where it’s not or where intended parents may run into trouble.


Finnish officials outlawed the process in 2007.


Surrogacy in all forms was outlawed in France in 1994.


Although there have been movements to legalize surrogacy when no compensation is provided, all forms of it remain illegal in Germany.

Hong Kong

There are many laws on the books in Hong Kong, but suffice it to say, they’ve covered just about every aspect of reproductive tech to eliminate surrogacy as a possibility.


Once a major destination for international parents, India outlawed surrogacy in 2015.


All forms of surrogacy are illegal in Italy.


In Japan, officials have not only outlawed the process, but seek to punish virtually anyone involved in surrogacy; doctors, parents, and surrogates alike.


Until somewhat recently, portions of Mexico allowed surrogacy, but the country now bans international parents from getting help from local women and officials have been known to take babies who have been born to surrogates.


It’s illegal to go through the process in Spain. Spanish parents travelling to other countries have recently had trouble bringing their babies back home too.


Like India, Thailand was once an international destination for intended parents. However, the country outlawed foreigners from entering into contracts in 2015.

Have a Safe (and Legal) Surrogacy with SPS

Located in sunny California, Surrogate Parenting Services has helped hundreds of intended parents, both domestic and international, achieve their dreams of having a baby. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate and would like to learn more, check out our section for surrogates. If you’d like to grow your family with the help of a surrogate, contact us online or call us at (949) 397-6855.

September 28, 2018

After Surrogacy: 6 Baby Safety Tips for Intended Parents

If you’re expecting a baby via surrogacy, your life is probably a flurry of appointments and planning right now. However, September also happens to be Baby Safety Month, so it’s a good time to take a quick break from the activity and do a quick review of a few safety tips to keep in mind as you finish your preparations.

1) Drop the Temperature of Your Water Heater

As adults, you probably don’t think too much about the temperature of your water. You adjust the dials and move on with life. However, you’ll probably be doing ten other tasks every time you prepare a bath for your little one and there will come a day when he or she will be at the controls. Guaranteed, it will happen sooner than you expect. Take a moment now to drop the temperature down to 120 degrees or less. This is the recommendation from the Mayo Clinic because it will prevent serious burns.

2) Explore Like a Baby

Drop down to your hands and knees and take a tour of your home. Look for things like cabinets that need locks, cords, outlets, and choking hazards. Even if you don’t take action right away, you can create a list of things to do during the last trimester when you’re nesting. (Yes, you’ll probably do that too!)

3) Change Out the Batteries on Your Smoke Detector

The obvious concern is safety here, but also… you don’t want a dead battery beep to wake up a sleeping newborn, so take care of it now. It’s also a good idea to add extra detectors if you don’t already have one in each room.

4) Use Toilet Paper Rolls to Test for Choking Hazards

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what a baby might choke on. You can use a toilet paper roll to do a quick safety test. If an object fits inside, it’s not a good choice for a little one.

5) Get Your TVs Mounted

It’s estimated that there is a child TV-related injury roughly every 30 minutes. Your television or large computer monitor won’t be risky right away, but they will be a concern when your little one starts grabbing things and pulling him or herself up. Like the water heater, this is one thing you can take care of now and then forget about, so there’s less to worry about when your little one is on the move.

6) Get Your Car Seat Early and Attend a Seminar

Only 5% of parents use car seats correctly, per the American Journal of Pediatrics. Seriously. They may look simple to use, but that’s a big part of the problem. Parents think they’re using them correctly and they’re making mistakes—mistakes which could result in injury or death. Oftentimes, fire departments and other agencies will run car seat checks free of charge. Get your seat early and find a clinic to have your handiwork checked out. Worst case scenario, you’re one of the 5% and can pat yourself on the back. Odds are, however, you’ll learn a thing or two from an expert.

Begin Your Surrogacy Journey with SPS

If you think surrogacy is right for you and aren’t already working with an agency, let the experts at Surrogate Parenting Services guide the way. We can help you find your ideal surrogate and make sure everything is seen to throughout the process. Call us at (949) 397-6855 to learn more or get started.

September 18, 2018

Lance Bass Opens Up About Surrogacy Plans

Surrogacy seems to be in the air in Hollywood these days. Kim Kardashian, Nate Berkus, and more have all recently shared their baby joy. Oftentimes, those in the public eye keep quiet about their desire to start a family. As some may recall, it was actually Kris Jenner who was first caught stepping out of a surrogacy center, initially spurring rumors that she might be trying for another child, when really, she was doing research for Kim. However, with the latest baby news, the celeb in question is already excitedly sharing his news, and he doesn’t have a baby on board yet.

Lance Bass is Hoping for a 2019 Baby

Lance Bass, who rose to fame as part of N ’Sync, has announced he’s hoping for a baby. “This is the year we’re putting it all together,” he gushed in a recent interview. He and his husband Michael Turchin wed in 2014, and Bass says a big part of his decision to marry Turchin was because he wanted to start a family. “We love the idea of having a family,” Bass explains. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to marry this man, because I know he’ll be such a great dad.”

The Couple is Being Open About Their Surrogacy Experience

“It’s an intriguing experience,” says Bass. “It’s something I never knew anything of.” The couple has found their surrogate and says she lives close to them, which is wonderful because they plan to be quite involved throughout the pregnancy and would like for her to remain part of their lives after the baby is born. “The surrogate’s amazing and for her to give us that gift… it’s just so special,” Bass says. Although the couple had not yet found an egg donor at the time of writing, the singer-turned producer announced, “It’s happening, and it’s happening quick.” In other words, it’s possible there’s already a baby on board, but the happy couple hasn’t made the announcement just yet.

Begin Your Surrogacy Plans with SPS

One of the reasons why Bass and Turchin have been able to move so quickly with their paths to fatherhood is because they’re working with an agency. When you choose an established agency like SPS, we handle all the legwork for you. That includes finding qualified surrogates to meet with—those who share your values and goals—as well as egg donors who are healthy and meet your criteria. We also make sure he medical and legal details are seen to, so you can focus on enjoying the pregnancy and preparing for your new bundle of joy. We’re here to support you and your team every step of the way, and we’re honored to have been entrusted by hundreds of families. If surrogacy is the right path for you to help you grow your family, we’d love to be a part of your journey too. Call us at (949) 397-6855 to learn more or to begin the process.

September 3, 2018

PCOS: A Silent Reason Women Choose Surrogacy in California

Women choose surrogacy in California for many reasons. No matter what brings an intended mother down this path, it’s always a very personal decision. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) happens to be one of those reasons, and with September being PCOS Awareness Month, it’s a good opportunity to shed some light on the condition and what it means for the millions of women who suffer from it.

What is PCOS?

Even though somewhere between 5-10% of all women of childbearing age have polycystic ovarian syndrome, many don’t realize they have it until they try to conceive and struggle. Although experts know it’s a hormonal condition and have identified links between excess androgens (male hormones) and high insulin levels with it, it’s unclear what really causes it. It also tends to run in families, so those with a mother, aunt, or sister who has PCOS are at greater risk.

What are the Symptoms of PCOS?               

Irregular Periods: It’s common for women with PCOS to have fewer periods or stop having them altogether. Although some have them more often, they’re the exception.

Pain: Pelvic pain, often confused with PMS or period pain is common.

Hirsutism: Excess hair growth in places men usually have hair (face, chin, body) affects as much as 70% of women with PCOS.

Weight Issues: Weight gain and difficulty losing weight are common.

Thinning Hair: Women with PCOS often have thinning hair on their heads and it may become so severe that they go bald, much like an aging man will.

Skin Troubles: Acne on the face, upper back, and chest can occur. Some women also notice a darkening of the skin, particularly in the groin area or where there are skin folds, such as at the breasts or neck. Skin tags may appear on the neck and armpits too.

How Does PCOS Impact Fertility?

PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility. The hormone imbalances prevent eggs from developing normally. Instead, they become small cysts, resulting in the production of even more male hormones. The ovaries don’t release eggs (or the cysts), so there’s no ovulation, which is why periods reduce or stop. Many women don’t initially realize they have a problem and live with the symptoms for years. It’s not until their lifestyle is severely impacted or they can’t conceive that they tell their physician about the issues. This adds to the challenges because they’re often struggling with things like their weight and diabetes by the time they finally get a diagnosis.

While PCOS can often be helped with hormone therapy, it’s much easier to correct when it’s caught early. Women who do conceive have higher risk for things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage, and premature delivery. Their babies are more likely to need time in the neonatal intensive care unit as well. Because of these risks, some women feel safer working with a surrogate, while others do become pregnant, but have poor outcomes. That’s not to say women cannot become pregnant despite a PCOS diagnosis—many do. However, it’s not safe or a possibility for all women, and as such, they must explore alternate routes to motherhood.

SPS: Your Resource for Surrogacy in California

If you’re exploring the idea of surrogacy in California for any reason, Surrogate Parenting Services is here to help. We’ll walk you through the process, help you find your ideal surrogate match, and stand beside you every step of the way. We’ve helped bring hundreds of babies into the loving arms of their parents and would be honored to be a part of your special journey. Call us at (949) 397-6855 for more information today.

August 23, 2018

5 Immunizations You May Need Before Becoming a Surrogate

Becoming a surrogate is an amazing and life-changing experience. Not only will you help a family grow, you’ll touch lives in a way you never thought possible. Of course, there’s a lot to be done when you begin the surrogacy journey as well, and one of those things includes protecting yours and the baby’s health with vaccines. In honor of National Immunization Month, we’re covering vaccines you may need to get as you embark upon your surrogacy journey.

Before Pregnancy

1) Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

Because most people receive the vaccine as children and can then maintain immunity for life, a simple blood test can be used to verify immunity. According to the CDC, women who are not current on their MMR vaccine should be inoculated a month prior to conceiving. Although measles have become somewhat of a concern in recent years again, the CDC’s primary concern here is rubella, which is highly contagious and can cause miscarriage. If you are tested and are not immune, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated and then waiting month before getting tested again, and only going forward with plans to conceive after immunity is confirmed.

2) Chicken Pox

Bloodwork can also verify if you’re immune to chicken pox. Although children normally recover quite well from it, adult chicken pox can be very serious, especially during pregnancy. Although rare, babies in utero during a bout of chicken pox can develop severe abnormalities, including deformations and neurological issues. Miscarriage is also a risk. Most people become immune after having chicken pox or after getting vaccinated, but a few need a booster, so it’s worthwhile to be checked.

3) Hepatitis B

Hep B is low-risk as it’s only transmitted via bodily fluids. However, it is possible to get it from your partner or even in certain careers, such as health care. Liver failure and cancer are the big concerns. Hep B can be transferred from surrogate to baby, so it usually goes on the list of vaccines as a precaution.

During Pregnancy

4) Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (TDaP)

Pertussis, also known as the whooping cough, can be fatal to anyone and it claims the lives of about 20 newborns per year. Healthcare professionals usually recommend the vaccine somewhere between weeks 16-32 because it gives the baby some protection after birth.

5) Flu

In rare cases, the flu has resulted in birth defects and miscarriages. Experts think it’s related to the fever more than anything else, but they’re still not totally certain. Moreover, medication options are somewhat limited while you’re pregnant, and so having the vaccine can help ensure you stay comfortable during the pregnancy.

Your Doctor May Recommend an Alternate Schedule if You’re Becoming a Surrogate

If you’re travelling or the baby’s intended parents will be taking the baby out of the country after he or she is born, your doctor may recommend other vaccines. Depending on your medical history, you may be asked to forego some of the above or be told to have supplementary ones as well. Always defer to your doctor’s advice—he or she knows you and situation and will give you recommendations specific to your situation.

Become a Surrogate with SPS

If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate but haven’t signed up with an agency yet, SPS is here to guide the way. We’ll help match you with intended parents who share your values, make sure your contract is set, and ensure you stay protected throughout his miraculous journey. To get started, learn more about becoming a surrogate today.