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August 25, 2017

Becoming a Surrogate: Meeting with Fertility Specialists

Becoming a surrogate is a rewarding experience full of new decisions and opportunities. Each step along the way is a crucial part of ensuring a healthy pregnancy and being able to fulfill a family’s dream for children. From the agency interview to a psychological evaluation to finding the best match in intended parents, having the right support team is important. At Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS), becoming a surrogate is a process you don’t have to go through alone. With SPS, even finding the right doctors to help you along your journey is taken care of. After the match between you and the intended parents, meeting with a fertility specialist is the next step.

Undergoing Your Initial Health Screening

Before you meet with your designated fertility specialist, you will have to undergo various tests to ensure your overall health is up to par for even beginning the surrogacy process. Along with a psychological evaluation, this health screening may include:

*Pap smear
*Blood work
*Physical
*Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is a procedure that doctors use to examine the size and shape of your uterus and to check if your fallopian tubes are healthy and unobstructed. A saline sonogram is another procedure that gives insight to the health of your uterus and chances for a successful pregnancy. Depending on your doctors, you may undergo all, some, or more of these screenings to ensure you’re ready for the next step.

Beginning the Fertilization Process

Once you are cleared to begin the next phase of becoming a surrogate, you will meet with a fertility specialist, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist. This specialist is trained specifically to work with fertility processes and will be there to guide you through your surrogacy. In many cases, you will undergo a mock transfer cycle before the official transfer. Your fertility specialist will put you on the same medications you will take before the official transfer and then monitor your uterus, hormone levels, and other factors that will determine the success of the embryo implant. If everything looks good, the fertilization process will begin.

Depending on the kind of embryo used – fresh or frozen – the timing of the transfer will differ. Frozen embryos will be implanted according to your cycle. Fresh embryo transfers require your cycle and the intended mother or donor’s cycle to sync up, which usually requires the use of birth control and hormones. Once the transfer is complete, you will be closely monitored to ensure everything goes well. The procedure itself is relatively painless and speedy, but rest is recommended for several days following.

A little over a week after the transfer, you will meet again with your fertility team for health screenings to determine pregnancy. If you are successfully pregnant, you will continue to return for meetings with your doctor to ensure everything is going along as planned. You will likely have the most frequent appointments up until the 12-week mark of your pregnancy. Throughout the pregnancy, you will still also meet with a regular obstetrician to uphold proper prenatal care.

Becoming a Surrogate with SPS

Facing the various doctor appointments and medical processes that come with becoming a surrogate is easy with the right support. At Surrogate Parenting Services, your case manager will set you up with a team of dedicated experts working with you every step of the way to ensure a successful surrogacy. Meeting with your fertility specialists is key to carrying and delivering a healthy baby to deserving intended parents. For more information on this process, contact SPS at (949) 363-9525 or learn more on our site today.

August 16, 2017

Surrogates: How to Maintain Fitness While Pregnant

For a successful pregnancy, surrogates should take great care to keep their health a priority. In addition to healthy diet, surrogates can incorporate regular exercise into their daily routines to maintain fitness. Though exercising while pregnant can sound daunting, you can rest assured that no matter what your current fitness level, you can begin an exercise program before or during your surrogacy. Read on for ways that surrogates can maintain fitness while pregnant.

Exercise Programs Vary for Surrogates of Different Lifestyles

Doctors usually recommend 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. This, of course, depends on you and recommendations from your personal healthcare provider. More often than not, however, healthcare providers strongly encourage activity during pregnancy. If you have been inactive up until your surrogacy, it’s still okay to start an exercise regime as long as you don’t overdo it. Walking, yoga, and light strength training are all great ways to ease into regular exercise for beginners.

If you’re an athlete or avid gym-goer, pregnancy does not need to stop you from doing the activities you love. You can still devote daily time to playing your favorite sports, so long as the proper adjustments are made. If you have always been a contact sports player, for instance, this may be the time to switch it up. Consider variations to your favorite games that are safer for you and the baby. Regardless, you will be able to find ways to maintain your favorite active lifestyle. You might just be surprised at what you can still accomplish while pregnant.

Tips to Exercise Safely

No matter what exercise program you incorporate into your pregnancy, there are several safety tips that apply to all surrogates maintaining their fitness.

Keep Track of Calories

To account for the extra nutrition you’ll need to provide the baby, make sure that you’re eating enough calories. Don’t forget to factor in calories burned from walking, jogging, or any other exercise you complete daily. Sticking to your healthy diet is key for to keeping up your energy throughout the pregnancy.

Wear the Right Attire

Wearing the right clothes during your workout is more important than you might think. Loose-fitting clothing is ideal for proper movement and circulation, and wearing layers will help you adjust your temperature throughout your exercise to stay comfortable. It’s also a good idea to inspect your workout shoes. Shoes you wore before pregnancy may not be the best fit anymore. Pregnancy can cause swelling in the feet, meaning you might need to size up in order to have a comfortable fit. Adding more support and cushion to your insoles can also make a huge difference in your comfort levels while pregnant.

Stay Hydrated

Pregnant or not, hydration is important during exercise. It’s especially important during pregnancy in order to ensure proper blood flow and nutrients to the baby. Drink water before, during, and after any physical activity.

Listen to Your Body

A good rule for measuring how hard you should be working during exercise is to gauge how easy it is to hold a conversation. If you can’t speak comfortably while working out, it’s best to lighten your resistance and take it easy. Most healthcare officials will agree that it’s more beneficial to exercise regularly and moderately than intermittently and aggressively, especially during pregnancy.

No matter what, make sure to listen to your body every day. When you’re feeling extra tired, make the workout a lighter one. When your energy is high, take advantage of it. As long as you pay close attention to how you feel while working out, you’ll be in good shape.

Surrogate Parenting Services Can Provide the Right Support

If you have begun your surrogacy journey, make sure to consult with your doctors and medical experts to customize a health and fitness regimen that fits your lifestyle. Surrogate Parenting Services is a great organization that can provide you with a dedicated support team and works with you every step of the way. Though regular exercise is generally safe for surrogates, it’s always a good idea to have the support of your doctor. This way, you can make sure that whatever fitness regime you undertake will fit your current fitness status and help you feel energized, not exhausted. For more information on beginning your surrogacy journey and finding your medical support team, contact Surrogate Parenting Services at (949) 363-9525

August 7, 2017

Being a Surrogate: Top 10 Healthy Foods for Pregnancy

Being a surrogate is an act of generosity that requires a truly devoted person to fulfill it. There are many requirements that must be met to do this successfully, but it’s especially crucial to be in the best health you can be. Being healthy helps to ensure a smooth pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. With the care of your surrogacy program mentors and the medical team you’ll be matched with to help you in your journey, you’ll have plenty of support for maintaining your health during pregnancy. Even so, it’s imperative that you take steps on your own.

A Healthy Diet is Key While Being a Surrogate

A simple way to maintain proper health while being a surrogate is to keep tabs on your diet. Eating plenty of substantial foods with the proper nutrients is one of the best ways to make your surrogacy experience a smooth one. Read on for a list of the top 10 healthy foods for pregnancy.

1) Whole Grains

Whole grains are important in any pregnancy diet because they are packed with iron, magnesium, and selenium, all of which are key nutrients. Whole grains also contain high amounts of fiber, which during pregnancy is crucial to maintaining regular digestion.

2) Broccoli

Maintaining proper levels of iron and folic acid, a key nutrient for supporting a babys healthy development, is important during pregnancy. Broccoli is loaded with both.

3) Non-Fat Milk

Getting enough calcium during pregnancy is crucial for maintaining strong bones and developing the babys healthy heart and muscles. While being a surrogate, you should strive to get 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Non-fat milk is a great way to help you reach this goal.

4) Nuts

To help you get enough protein while pregnant, incorporate nuts into your diet. Walnuts and almonds are high in protein and also a great source of healthy fats.

5) Cheese

Cheeses are another food choice that can help you achieve your calcium targets every day. While pregnant, some cheeses are better than others for you and the baby. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar or provolone, are usually considered safer for pregnancy than softer cheeses, such as bleu cheese or brie. Consult with your doctor to find out what’s right for you and your diet.

6) Oatmeal

Another great source of fiber in your diet is oatmeal. Plenty of fiber will promote healthy, comfortable digestion throughout your pregnancy. It’s also a great breakfast option because it is quick and filling.

7) Breakfast Cereal

Adding fortified breakfast cereals into your diet is an easy way to maintain proper levels of vitamin B while being a surrogate. High levels of this nutrient are especially key at the beginning of your pregnancy but maintaining good levels for the entire nine months is important for the health and development of the baby.

8) Bananas

Bananas are a great fruit to snack on while pregnant. This fruit is high in folic acid, which helps to promote a healthy development of the baby’s nerves, brain, and spinal cord. It’s also a great source of potassium and calcium.

9) Salmon

Salmon and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are good for both mother and baby. Omega-3 fatty acids support healthy brain development.

10) Eggs

Eggs, as long as they’re properly prepared, are a great way to consume many important nutrients. They are a great source of protein and important amino acids that are necessary for both mother and baby’s health.

Choose Surrogate Parenting Services for Being a Surrogate

Incorporating these foods into your diet while being a surrogate is a great way to maintain your health. With healthy eating and the guidance you’ll receive from your support circle, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, happy pregnancy and successful surrogacy experience. Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) provides superior support for new surrogates and a great advocate for your health. For more information on how to get started being a surrogate, check out our site or call us at (949) 363-9525.

June 29, 2017

Being a Surrogate: Your Rights During Pregnancy

Being a Surrogate: Your Rights During Pregnancy

Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) offers support for those who have decided to take the next steps toward being a surrogate. Before you embark on the process, it’s important to understand more about being a surrogate and your rights during pregnancy. In California, you will receive quality care and support from both an agency such as SPS and state laws that protect both you and the intended parents.

Your Options for Being a Surrogate

There are two types of surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy relies on natural fertilization. A traditional surrogate provides one of her own eggs for fertilization with the sperm of a donor or intended father; this process is called intrauterine insemination (IUI). Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, uses a process called in vitro fertilization to create an embryo. An egg and a sperm, from donors or intended parents, are joined together through IVF and then carried by the gestational surrogate. In other words, a gestational surrogate is a carrier and has no biological relationship to the baby. SPS is a full-service surrogacy program, offering support for gestational surrogates and the respective intended parents.

Your Rights as a Gestational Surrogate and Rights for Intended Parents

Being a surrogate in California means that you have some of the best support there is. California is considered to be a surrogate-friendly state, which means there are protections in place to ensure that you and intended parents can navigate the surrogacy process with confidence.

Your Rights as Gestational Surrogate

In addition to customized, personal care that you’ll receive from SPS, there are rights you are entitled to an as surrogate mother.

You have the right to a contract with your surrogacy agency. In order to ensure that the contract meets all of your best interests and works in your favor, you will meet with your own attorney as provided by SPS to go over the details. With this contract, you will feel confident and secure in your responsibilities and expectations as a surrogate.

You have the right to compensation. Your compensation details will be laid out in your contract as well. Compensation can vary depending on first or second-time surrogates and other variables. Rest assured that you will understand the details of your own compensation fully before moving forward. See our main site for more information on surrogate compensation.

You have the right to choose your intended parents. At SPS, the matching process between surrogate and intended parents is personal and thorough. Both parties go through screenings, personality profiles, and meetings with a mentor such as Cristie Montgomery before meeting each other in person. After this arrangement, you still have the opportunity to think of the match and decide if it’s a good fit.

Rights for Intended Parents

As a surrogate-friendly state, California allows all intended parents to establish legal parental rights of their child even before the surrogate gives birth. Regardless of the sexual orientation or marital status of the intended parents, they are not required to go through adoption proceedings to be dubbed legal and natural parents. The same consideration that SPS gives to surrogate mothers in choosing their intended parents is of course given to the intended parents when searching for a surrogate. They have the right to consider any and all matches set up by the agency and ask necessary questions until the perfect match is found.

Knowing that being a surrogate comes with protections to ensure you have a positive experience can help you feel confident in moving forward. Both parties involved will have access to all necessary information and will receive 24/7 care and guidance from SPS. Your positive experience is heightened further by knowing that the future intended parents you work with are accepted fully by SPS and the state of California.

How to Navigate Being a Surrogate

Being a surrogate is one of the most generous gifts you can give. Every surrogate has the freedom and options available to navigate through the process and all legalities with ease. Sufficient communication is the best way to make sure that all parties are satisfied and on board with the process. If you choose SPS as your surrogacy agency, rest assured that experienced and trusted mentors will be there with you every step of the way to help you understand all that comes with being a surrogate and your rights during pregnancy. You can learn more about becoming a gestational carrier or apply directly through our website or contact us directly if you’re interested in growing your family via surrogacy.

June 15, 2017

Surrogacy in California: Working with International Intended Parents

Surrogacy in California: Working with International Intended Parents

Becoming a surrogate is one of the greatest gifts you can give to parents trying to build a family. Surrogacy in California is particularly special because, as one of the most advanced and liberal states concerning surrogacy law, it allows intended parents and surrogates to come together from all over the world in many unique ways. As a surrogate, you have the option to help build a family an entire ocean away from you.

Why International Intended Parents Choose Surrogacy in California

People around the world who desire to start a family of their own often turn to the United States for surrogate options. Surrogacy in California is especially ideal for many intended parents because of its surrogate-friendly attitudes and laws. The state of California accepts all intended parent arrangements, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. There are several other factors that drive international intended parents to look for surrogates in California, including:

Stigma in their countries. Certain parts of the world ban surrogacy altogether. For would-be parents, this can be devastating. Exhausting all other options for building a family can be not only exhausting and physically taxing, but extremely expensive. This is why many people from countries around the world head to the United States, California specifically, to get help starting their family.
The Desire for better health care. Even if surrogacy is accepted in their country, intended parents may still be concerned about the medical options available for the surrogate they find. In California, surrogate mothers receive top-notch health care while pregnant, not to mention additional compensation for any extra medical costs that may incur during the surrogacy process.
High-quality agencies. Surrogate agencies in California, such as Surrogate Parenting Services, provide personalized care and guidance for both surrogates and intended parents every step of the way. SPS, for instance, takes care of all travel arrangements and setting up necessary appointments and meetings for intended parents. This takes off much of the pressures of being far away from the surrogate mother throughout the pregnancy.
Egg donor options. There are often more options for finding egg donors in the United States as well. Many intended parents from around the world desire certain traits for their child or they may simply be unable to find a donor arrangement that works due to stigma, health, or other factors.

The International Surrogacy Process

The process for joining international intended parents and surrogates is similar to the process for finding parents in California and across the United States. In the same way that Cristie and other mentors at Surrogate Parenting Services personalize the match between surrogate and parents in California, liaisons work with parents around the world to find the best match for everyone involved. SPS never sacrifices the quality of the match, and their commitment to personalization no matter where the parents are located.

To start the international process, SPS sets up a phone consultation between the surrogate, intended parents, and the organization. This is required to make sure everyone is on the same page and that the match works for both parties before any travel happens. After the initial consultation, the intended parents will travel to the United States. SPS takes care of all necessary details and appointments during this trip to optimize the travel time for the parents. Any doctor, psychologist, and legal appointments will be scheduled in addition to a time for the parents and surrogate to meet. SPS even provides assistance with housing, transportation, and interpretation for the parents if necessary.
Surrogacy in California Starts with Surrogate Parenting Services
If you’ve decided to explore options for surrogacy in California, it’s worth considering working with international intended parents. You could potentially help build a family for parents across the ocean who desire nothing more than the gift of a child. When you partner with Surrogate Parenting Services for all your surrogacy needs, you’re in the right hands. Learn more about our international surrogacy program today.

June 1, 2017

Becoming a Surrogate: Undergoing the Psychological Evaluation

Becoming a Surrogate: Undergoing the Psychological Evaluation

Becoming a surrogate is a beautiful way to help people who desire to be parents start their families. If you’ve decided this is the right path for you, you’ll need to understand how the process works before making any further steps, as each stage is crucial to your success. After your initial decision and meetings with your agency, part of becoming a surrogate involves undergoing the psychological evaluation. This is a key step and is necessary for moving ahead and matching with intended parents.

Why Undergoing the Psychological Evaluation is Important

Undergoing the psychological evaluation is a step in your surrogacy process that you can feel confident about. This evaluation is meant to ensure that you are a good fit for not only surrogacy but for the potential intended parents that you may be matched with. Not everyone is ready or able to become a surrogate, even if they feel that it’s the right choice, so the evaluation is designed to reassure you and help you feel confident in your choice and the remaining processes. It will help you decide if surrogacy is truly right for you and it will show any surrogacy agency that you are serious about the next steps.

How the Evaluation Works

At Surrogate Parenting Services, the psychological evaluation usually happens after the initial screening and the home visit as the final step before moving forward with meeting the intended parents. The psychologist you will meet with is completely trusted by the organization. SPS and its psychologists have years of partnership between them and all psychologists have specialized experience in working with surrogate mothers. At this point in the process, you will meet with an experienced psychologist and undergo a screening test. All you have to do is be your honest, authentic self. The aim is to determine if you are mentally able to perform as a surrogate. You can expect a 3-4 hour visit with the psychologist, which includes an interview and personality testing. After the test, the psychologist creates a report for SPS and it goes to the intended parents for them to review. After the parents review the information from the psychologist and are ready to move forward, SPS will arrange the meeting between the two parties.

Start the Process of Becoming a Surrogate

Becoming a surrogate takes time and dedication. You can feel confident in your process by understanding each stage and being open for asking any questions you might have. The time it takes to go through the necessary steps, including undergoing the psychological evaluation, is well worth it. You will be thankful for it in the end because it’s all a way of ensuring that you, the intended parents, and your own family, are on the same page and ready and willing to have a positive surrogacy experience. For more information on how to start your journey, complete our online form today.

May 29, 2017

Surrogates: What to Expect After Finding Intended Parents

Surrogates have a unique path. They not only get to make someones dreams come true by helping to grow their family, but they also have the unique experience of selecting which family to work with. At SPS, we help take the guesswork out of the equation by matching surrogates up with intended parents we feel strongly will make a good pairing, based on important things like values and personalities. Of course, this only sets the groundwork for the surrogacy process, and you may find yourself wondering exactly what happens after you meet your ideal match. To be blunt, its nothing like the movies, but it is a magical process.

You’ll Have a Medical Evaluation with the Intended Parents’ Physician

Before any procedures are carried out, youll meet with the intended parents physician. This is usually a doctor who specializes in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy pregnancies. During the exam, the doctor will make sure youre healthy enough to be a gestational carrier and will map out a treatment plan.

You’ll Meet with an Attorney

Surrogacy contracts are an essential part of protecting both you and the intended parent(s). They ensure that youll be paid what you expect and when you expect it, plus they also make it possible for the intended parents to go forward and make the arrangements for custody of the baby before he or she is even born. California has some amazing laws on the books, and taking advantage of them is as easy as a session or two with an experienced surrogacy attorney. We can help make sure you get matched with a lawyer who will draw up the contract with you in mind or who will independently review one to make sure you are looked after properly.

You’ll Undergo IVF

Sometimes, the intended mother will be able to use her own eggs for the surrogacy process. If this is the case, youll both undergo treatment to sync your cycles. Other times, a frozen embryo or donor egg may be used.  A typical IVF cycle will take 4-6 weeks. If all goes well, youll be pregnant at the end of the cycle. If not, you and the intended parents can decide how many cycles youre willing to try.

You’ll (Hopefully) Be Pregnant

When a frozen embryo is used, the odds of success is generally just below 50%. However, this skyrockets to 65% when the embryo is new. If youre in one of these categories, theres about a 95% chance youll have a successful delivery. A congratulations is certainly in order, but youre not done yet. Youll have 7-8 months of regular checkups. These will be more frequent than the ones you had with your own prior (non-IVF) pregnancies. These visits are a great opportunity to invite the intended parents in to share the joy.

You’ll Welcome a Baby or Babies

Although recent studies suggest that transferring more embryos wont necessarily increase your odds of success, it does increase the odds of multiples when there is a success. Somewhere between 15-18 months after you first started your journey, youll welcome a baby or babies into the world, and youll forever be part of the miracle that helped complete a family.

Get More Info on the Guidelines for Gestational Surrogates

The surrogacy journey is amazing, and youll be surrounded by people who care about you and want to support you throughout. However, not everyone is able to become a surrogate, simply because a life or lives hang in the balance. If youve been considering becoming a surrogate, please review our surrogacy guidelines and reach out to us if you think youre a good fit.

May 17, 2017

Surrogacy in Media: How to Deal with Negative Representation

The sad truth is that all you have to do is flip on the TV these days and you’re likely to be hit with negative or inaccurate messages about surrogacy. In a previous blog, we looked at all the ways the Gilmore Girls revival got surrogacy wrong, but they’re not the only ones. Whether people simply just don’t understand surrogacy, they want to stir up drama, or they ham it up for comedic effect, they do sometimes paint it in a negative light. Here’s how to deal with it when you see it.

1) Correct Misinformation

If you’re thick-skinned, it’s ok to call out the media about spreading misinformation. Most organizations have a dedicated email or phone number to notify them of bad info they’ve given out. You can also clarify things in comment threads if the author of an article is known for listening in.

2) Set Emotions Aside

There are very few things in life that are as emotional as a woman’s right to choose what happens with her body or struggles with infertility. Whether you’re approaching surrogacy as an intended parent or gestational carrier, you’re going to be naturally emotional and defensive about your position. Unfortunately, emotions won’t help correct misinformation or get the media to realize the errors. They only help sensationalize their story. Stick to the facts when correcting their misinformation, and you’ll feel better in the long run.

3) Turn a Blind Eye

If you’re having trouble setting emotions aside, it’s ok to let it go. There’s no rule that says you have to call the media out on everything that gets presented incorrectly. Disconnect from the source of bad info.

4) Focus on Your Core Group

If you still feel like fighting the fight and sorting out the media’s issues, tackle it with a smaller group of people instead of on a public forum or news site. Hopefully, those closest to you will be glad for the clarification, and it will give you the opportunity to create bonds as you begin your journey. Just talking about the surrogacy process with friends and family can open up new avenues for support.

5) Chat with Like-Minded People

When you constantly hear negativity or misinformation, it can feel overwhelming. In addition to disconnecting from the negativity, you can also find groups of people who share your passion for surrogacy. Being around like-minded folks will help fill you back up when you’re feeling deflated. Plus, you may find that your group is actively correcting misinformation as a unified front.

Learn More About Surrogacy

At SPS, we’re all about information. If you’d like to explore your options to see if surrogacy is the right choice to help you grow your family or you want to know if you’re qualified to become a gestational carrier, we’re glad to help. Potential gestational surrogates can begin by reviewing our guidelines and intended parents can contact us right away.

May 5, 2017

Being a Surrogate: Tips for Managing 3 Unexpected Symptoms

Being a surrogate is a wonderful experience that leaves gestational carriers with lasting fond memories. There’s the first little flutter kicks, the excited looks on the faces of the intended parents the first time they hear a heartbeat, and that final moment where the little one arrives. These are the treasured moments that everyone looks forward to, and most love talking about, but there’s a lot more to being a surrogate than this. There will be times where you’re a little shocked by your own body and the bizarre symptoms that sometimes accompany pregnancy. This is about how to cope with those often unspoken moments.

1) You’re Bursting (with Gas!)

During pregnancy, hormones can slow your digestive system to a crawl and create some awkward moments on elevators. When gas strikes, there’s not much you can do but let it go, but there may be some things you can do to help prevent it before you earn the affectionate name of Pumbaa. For starters, avoid the things you know will cause gas, such as beans and broccoli. Other lesser-known offenders, like cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts should be nixed if gas becomes an ongoing problem, too. You can also help your digestive system by drinking lots of water and making sure your diet is high in fiber.

2) Your Legs Look Like a Child’s Artwork

As pregnancy continues, you may start to notice blue lines appear all over your legs. When they’re smaller, they’re referred to as spider veins, and larger ones are called varicose veins. Although these are common in pregnancy, they’re not a sign of health, though they’re not overly dangerous either. They appear because blood flow has been cut off and the veins have become distended as blood pools in the stretched-out areas. Once the veins are pulled out of shape, they don’t ever go back to normal on their own. Although you can’t do anything about the increased blood volume that contributes to it, you can make sure you’re propping your legs up, moving around a lot, and wearing special socks to prevent them. If you start to notice blue or purple lines, be sure to talk to your doctor about preventing more. If you catch them early and/or stop their progression, you can have the cosmetic issues corrected after the baby is born with a simple outpatient procedure.

3) Mucus, Mucus Everywhere!

Other hormonal changes can lead to swelling and irritation of the mucus membranes. This may mean that you’re sneezing or blowing your nose all the time. It can also make you snore at night. And, if you have those problems, chances are you’ll also have a lot more vaginal discharge too. While the hormonal changes that cause mucus overflow are good for a healthy pregnancy, they can leave you feeling sick or less than fresh. To help manage the sinus symptoms and snoring, you can use saline nose sprays and humidifiers. Antihistamines can sometimes help as well, and drinking lots of water can help if you’re feeling stuffy or if the mucus is especially sick. There isn’t much you can do about the secretions down below, but wearing a liner will help.

Interested in Being a Surrogate?

It probably sounds funny to invite women to be a surrogate after covering bizarre pregnancy symptoms, but most gestational carriers love being pregnant and know these oddball issues pass in the blink of an eye. They’re also a very small price to pay for making someone’s dreams come true. If you’re interested in being a surrogate, we’d love to hear from you. Please take a moment to review our surrogacy guidelines and contact us today.

April 28, 2017

After Surrogacy: Should You Bank Baby’s Cord Blood?

Intended parents have plenty of things to think about before, during, and after surrogacy. If you’re a first-time parent, you have the responsibility of organizing a whole new lifestyle to match your new parenthood. Decisions need to be made concerning your work-life balance, finances, childcare, health, and nearly everything else. Being a parent permeates into every aspect of your life. Before receiving the gift of your child, you may also consider one more decision: whether or not to bank your baby’s cord blood.

What is Cord Blood?

Cord blood refers to the blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta after childbirth. It has historically been considered waste to discard, but research has developed to show that this blood contains important stem cells that have proven themselves useful in various health treatments. Stem cells are unique because they are essentially the body’s building blocks; these are the only cells in the human body that have the ability to regenerate more cells with specialized functions. For instance, stem cells can turn into blood, brain, heart muscle, or bone cells. This makes them wildly valuable in the medical field for various reasons, but perhaps most importantly regenerative medicine, which is the process of replacing diseased cells with healthy cells. Conditions that can be treated with cord blood and stem cell therapies include Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, spinal cord injuries, blood disorders and various forms of cancer including leukemia.

Pros of Banking Cord Blood

Banking your child’s cord blood can be a unique insurance policy for the future. By saving these valuable stem cells, you may be ensuring treatment for your child if they one day contract an illness or condition that stem cell therapies can treat. If not for your child, the blood may be a good match for another family member or relative. This is especially important to consider if there are known health conditions in the family.

Cord blood stem cells are also often a better option for medical treatments than bone marrow, another option often used in stem cell therapies. Because cord blood cells are less mature, the body is more likely to accept them without risk of rejection. The process of collecting cord blood is also much simpler than bone marrow donations and pain-free at that.

A public cord blood bank could save your child’s life or someone else’s. If a child has a health condition that requires stem cell therapy, his or her own stem cells may not do any good because they already have the same genetic makeup as the cells that exist with the condition. If this is the case, your public bank donation means that your child’s cord blood is still available for the public. You may be potentially saving another person’s life.

Cons of Banking Cord Blood

Though there are clearly many important uses for cord blood, there are several cons to banking. The biggest may be the cost. Private cord blood banks often charge $1,000 – $2,000 to save your child’s cord blood at birth. This goes hand in hand with an annual storage fee. For many people, experts agree that this cost is too extravagant when compared with the chances that the cord blood will actually be used down the line. It can be an extremely expensive insurance policy.

There is also the fact that cells from stored cord blood don’t last forever. Experts agree that they are usually viable for 10 years, but beyond that it’s hard to say how effective any treatment with these cells may be. To invest a large sum of money into an insurance policy that can’t guarantee effectiveness can be a big risk.

Simply finding available blood banks can also be a challenge. Because private banking is so expensive, many choose to go the public route. However, it’s highly likely that you’ll find yourself in an area with no access to a public cord blood bank. Not all hospitals participate in these donations.

Make an Informed Decision About Banking Cord Blood After Surrogacy

No matter what you decide to do, be sure that you take the time to make an informed decision. Just as you did throughout the surrogacy process, make sure to ask plenty of questions. It may be a good idea to reach out to other parents, especially those that have used surrogacy, and hear their reasoning to bank or not. Get as many differing points of view as you can to make the most educated decision. Finally, trust your intuition. As a new parent, you have the right to make the best decisions for your family regardless of other’s opinions. For more information and answers to other questions about surrogacy and intended parenthood, head to the SPS website or contact (949) 397-2920.