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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.

April 17, 2017

Surrogacy Process News: Dads Get the Pregnancy Blues Too

At SPS, we pride ourselves in supporting the “team” during the surrogacy process. This means being there for intended parents and surrogates throughout every step that occurs, offering guidance, resources, and help. New research indicates just how important these services can be to growing families, as a recent study indicates that dads get the “pregnancy blues” too.

A Spotlight on Male Mental Health

Pre and postpartum depression in new mothers has been a subject of research for quite some time now. Experts have known about the risks of this depression and the changes in a woman’s hormone levels that contribute to it. The latest research has revealed factors that can contribute to depression in expectant fathers as well.

During pregnancy – particularly the last trimester – roughly 13% of expectant fathers are likely to experience symptoms of depression. This data comes from a study done at McGill University in Canada, in which 622 men answered questionnaires during their partner’s pregnancy from the sixth month to childbirth. The collective answers revealed that a lot of factors are involved in expectant fathers’ depressive symptoms, including financial stress, lack of sleep, increased marital tension, history of mental illness, and even signs of depression in the mother.

In the surrogacy process, this research applies to both surrogate partners and intended fathers as both parties are affected by the pregnancy. Though some of the factors may differ depending on which side is in question, it’s safe to say that each party has their fair share of stressors. For instance, a surrogate’s partner may feel the most stress during the last three months of the surrogacy as the childbirth draws nearer and the surrogacy process enters its final stages. For an intended parent, especially a first-timer, there is the stress of considering new financial and emotional responsibilities. No matter which side is considered, this new spotlight on mental health in men is an important revelation.

Coping With the Blues

The good news is that with more research being conducted on this topic of pregnancy blues in men, more attention and help will be available for expectant fathers. As we learn more about depression and its triggers, common wisdom about treating it and its symptoms apply.

  • Speak with Friends and Family
  • Get Out and Enjoy Life
  • Talk to a Professional
  • Be Physically Active
  • Eat Right
  • Sleep Well

Begin the Surrogacy Process

No matter where you are in the surrogacy process or which role you play, being aware of this new research can help you better prepare and handle everything that comes with surrogacy. At SPS, surrogates and their intended families receive a highly-personalized experience and the best of the best when it comes to mentors and guides. To learn more about the surrogacy process, check out the SPS website or contact the agency at (949) 446-1220.

April 4, 2017

5 Surrogate-Friendly Cold-Busting Remedies

You already know that being in optimum health while pregnant is crucial. Carrying a child is no small task, and as a surrogate, you have an especially important responsibility. Because your immune system changes a bit to accommodate childbearing, you are that much more susceptible to catching the common cold. When prevention isn’t enough to keep the cold bug away, try these surrogate-friendly cold-busting remedies to get back to health as soon as possible.

1. Count Those Z’s

One of the most important things you can do to treat a cold during your pregnancy is to get more rest. Take advantage of this recommendation and sleep whenever you get a chance. As a pregnant woman and a surrogate especially, you have plenty to deal with in your day-to-day life. Take it easy and take care not to exert yourself too much until you are feeling back to normal.

2. Eat Right and Stay Hydrated

In addition to getting ample rest, staying hydrated is key for getting rid of colds as quickly as possible. Drink plenty of clear liquids. This will keep you hydrated and can help ease a headache. It’s also essential to keep up with healthy eating habits as much as you can. When you’re feeling less than awesome, eating regular meals can feel like a chore. However, it’s important to maintain proper nutrition and get enough vitamins, now more than ever. If you don’t have much of an appetite or eating is uncomfortable, you can eat smaller portions but try to eat more often. Make sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals as much as possible.

3. Treat Your Symptoms Naturally

There are several natural home remedies for alleviating some of the tougher symptoms of a cold while pregnant. If you’re battling a sore throat or a pesky cough, try adding honey and lemon to hot water and drinking this throughout the day, especially before bedtime. This combination will help to soothe any soreness or scratchiness. Gargling with a warm saltwater solution can also ease a sore throat. Sucking on ice chips can provide relief and ensure you maintain proper hydration as well. If you’re congested, try using a humidifier during the day and especially at night. It also helps to keep your head slightly elevated when you sleep. Nasal strips are another safe option to help relieve some minor congestion during a cold.

4. Ask Your Doctor

It’s important to know that regular medications for cold or cough symptoms should be approved by your doctor before taking. Acetaminophen, for instance, is generally an approved option for surrogates to take for relief of minor aches and pains. Medicated throat lozenges are also usually safe to take for sore throats. At any rate, consult your doctor to form a health plan during your surrogacy.

5. Reach Out for Support

As a surrogate, you have both a responsibility to yourself and the baby to stay as healthy as you can. When you’re not feeling your best, keep your spirits and mood up by keeping in touch with people who have been there and understand what you’re going through.

SPS Can Be Your Surrogate Partner

Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to stand beside and support our surrogates and intended parents throughout their journey. If you haven’t yet started with an agency and think surrogacy might be right for you, please review our information for intended parents and for surrogates. Then, let us know when you have questions or are ready to move forward.  

March 29, 2017

4 Subtle Signs You Might Want to Become a Surrogate

The decision to become a surrogate is not one that can – or should – be made overnight. It takes a lot of consideration. If you’ve thought about it before but weren’t sure you had what it takes, you may need to go back and evaluate yourself and your lifestyle to see if surrogacy is for you. There are several signs to look for that might just show you that you want to become a surrogate.

1. You Love to Help People

The first and one of the most important qualities you must possess if you want to become a surrogate is a love for helping people. For many, giving back is one of the best ways to reenergize. If you feel your best while taking care of someone, volunteering, or going out of your way to make someone feel special, then this is probably true for you. It’s safe to say that giving the gift of a child to parents who truly desire and deserve one is something not just anyone can do. It takes a generous person. If you often feel like you’re looking for more or bigger ways to give back, surrogacy may be right for you.

2. You Value Family

When family is your first priority in life, you can understand how precious the gift of a child is. You realize that having a child has been one of the best things to happen to your life, and you can’t imagine anyone else who wants to build a family not having a chance to do so. Family time for you is something to be cherished. As a surrogate, you would give someone else the gift of family and you might just end up with another kind of family of your own. There are cases where surrogates and intended parents develop lasting relationships and closer bonds than they ever could have imagined. If you want to give the gift of family, consider surrogacy.

3. You Love Being Pregnant

This one might seem obvious, but not everyone enjoys being pregnant. If you loved being pregnant and had an easy delivery, you already meet one of the requirements for becoming a surrogate. Not only would you get another opportunity to experience all the things you loved about being pregnant, you would be doing something huge for someone else who doesn’t have that chance.

4. You Are Dedicated

Being a surrogate, while a wonderful experience, is not always easy. It takes a special kind of person, one who is dedicated and passionate about what they’re doing and why. If you feel that you’re a hard worker who always sees things through to the end, it might be a fit for you. Think about what others say about you, whether in the workplace or your personal life. Are you known for your dedication? If your friends and family know you as the kind of person who loves a challenge and puts your whole heart into what you do, you might just have the moxie it takes to be a surrogate.

Become a Surrogate

It takes a very selfless and special woman to become a surrogate. If you feel like this is the right path for you and would like to partner with an agency that will look out for your interests and needs throughout the journey, we’d love to hear from you. Please review our surrogacy mother requirements and contact us today.

March 14, 2017

How to Become a Surrogate in California: Preparing for the Home Visit

As you learn how to become a surrogate in California, you’re certain to pick up on the differences between agencies. One of the things that sets SPS apart from others is that Cristie Montgomery visits every woman in her home before beginning the surrogacy process. This is essentially your first interview with Cristie and will help determine the perfect match between you and intended parents. The home visit is usually a fun and enjoyable time; more like two friends conversing. With a little preparation, you can feel confident going into a home visit and be well on your way to becoming a surrogate and giving hopeful parents the gift of a child.

Find the Right Time

Just as you wouldn’t want to head to a job interview feeling rushed and unprepared, you should have the same mentality when preparing for your home visit with SPS. Even though there is truly nothing to be anxious about, it can feel a bit overwhelming getting ready for the first step in a life-changing experience. Make sure when scheduling the home visit you have plenty of time. You will feel much more relaxed meeting with members of the organization when you know you can devote your day to it. It’s also a good idea to block off your time to avoid interruptions. Though your family should be with you during the home visit, it’s usually best to ensure you can all be present with no coming or going. The less you have to manage, the more comfortable you will feel.

Ask Questions

It’s important to come to the home visit prepared with questions of your own. Learning how to become a surrogate in California for the first time can feel like navigating uncharted waters, so take full advantage of the home visit to clear up any uncertainties. Ask as many questions as you like. This is just as much for you as it is for Cristie. Write down a list of questions, have it with you, and make sure you have an answer for each one before the end of the visit. Getting as much information as possible will only help you feel more confident and comfortable during the process and it will help Cristie and her team find the absolute best match for you.

Be Yourself

Lastly, be yourself. There’s no point in forcing a different side of yourself here. Rather, the home visit is for Cristie and SPS to learn more about you, your family and household, and your lifestyle. This is not to judge. Each case of surrogacy, both for intended parents and surrogates, is highly personal and different from every other. To be sure that you’re a fit for the intended parents and vice versa, everything must be done with sincerity. This is how Cristie has helped to bring so many healthy, compatible families together with success.

Learn More About How to Become a Surrogate in California

The home visit is an extremely important step of the process, but if you relax, ask questions, and be your sincere self, you should have a successful experience. If you’re not already signed up with SPS and want to learn more about how to become a surrogate in California, please browse our site more and check out our surrogacy requirements.

March 3, 2017

3 Essential Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Surrogacy Advice

Surrogacy is a powerful topic, often met with controversial and conflicting opinions, but at the end of the day, surrogacy has the potential to change lives in big ways. After all, it is the opportunity for many longing parents to have the child they’ve always dreamed of. It is often the answer to a prayer for a family. As with all matters of other people’s business, the topic of surrogacy almost always comes with unsolicited advice.

How to Deal with Unwanted Surrogacy Advice

No matter where you are in the process of becoming a surrogate, those you tell are sure to have questions. Surrogacy can be confusing to some, simply because the information out there is usually delivered in the form of comedic movies or outlandish tabloid tales. Depending on the person you’re talking to, are several tactics to consider.

1. Think About Where the Advice is Coming From

In any conversation you have with friends, family, or even strangers, it’s important to consider the motives behind their words. Are they asking you something ridiculous because they simply don’t understand the process? Or are they offering advice from a critical standpoint? It’s important to remember that much of the truth about surrogacy is unknown to the general population, so it may be worth a moment of your time to kindly explain how it works to those who are truly curious. If you sense that the question or advice precedes a critical opinion, use your judgment to shut down the conversation with a firm, “Yes, thank you.”

2. Find an Opportunity for New Perspective

If your friends are showering you with parenting tips, pregnancy tips, or tips that seemingly aren’t relevant to your situation at all, sometimes all you need to do is listen. It’s human nature to want to share life experiences, and even if the people surrounding you have never had any experience using or being a surrogate, they are sure to feel that your pregnancy journey can benefit from hearing about their own. So, listen, nod, and smile – sometimes you may actually find a gem or two of advice worth keeping. There is always something new to learn.

3. Trust Your Intuition

When it comes down to it, your own knowledge and intuition is what matters most. If you feel inundated with criticism and questions, take a deep breath and remember that outside opinions don’t matter. You (and the intended parents) are the only ones going through the surrogacy process. Your friends and family may never understand how it works, but you do. Your relationship with your agency, the intended parents, and everyone else on your support team is personal to you. Trust your body, trust your gut feelings, and know that what you’re doing is giving an incredible gift – one that not just anyone can give.

Become a Surrogate

If you’ve made the decision to become a surrogate, we’d love to help you on your journey. At SPS, we’ll help make sure you’re matched with intended parents who share your values and will make sure your needs are seen to throughout the process. Please take a moment to review our surrogate guidelines and let us know when you’re ready to move forward.

February 27, 2017

Why BMI Matters When You’re Going to Be a Surrogate

The decision to be a surrogate is huge and wonderful. Gestational surrogates forever change the lives of the families they help and will always have a special place in their hearts. It truly takes a very special kind of woman to choose to be a surrogate, as the kindness, generosity, and compassion these women have is remarkable. The truth is, very few women are willing to give in this way, and of those who are, even fewer actually qualify. Arguably, one of the biggest challenges women who want to be surrogates face is BMI. If you’ve done research, you’ll see that it’s a recurring theme, but what exactly is it and why does it matter so much?

What is BMI?

BMI is short for body-mass index. It’s a measurement of a person’s body fat, calculated using their height and weight. If you don’t already know your BMI, you can check it on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health website.

If Your BMI Is…

  • Less than 18.5, you’re underweight
  • 18.5–24.9, you’re of normal weight
  • 25–29.9, you’re considered overweight
  • 30+, you’re considered medically obese

What BMI is Ok and Who Decides?

Most intended parents are already working with a fertility specialist, and the same physician will be the one who performs all of the initial treatments, including IVF and the embryo transfer. It’s this doctor who will set his own guidelines for health and weight requirements. Most doctors prefer to work with women who have a BMI of 33 or lower (some say 31-32), though others will provide treatment for people with a BMI of up to 35.  Considering the average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches, she’d have to weigh 192 pounds to qualify, having a BMI of 33.

Why Does BMI Matter?

BMI is a very reliable indicator of potential complications and risks a woman might face throughout the surrogacy process, and given the very delicate nature of surrogacy, it’s important to minimize these risks as much as possible.

If Your BMI is Too High…

It takes longer to become pregnant. Generally speaking, it takes women with a BMI of 35 or more twice as long to become pregnant. Equally, it takes underweight women four times as long.

You’re more prone to gestational diabetes. Even though any woman may have gestational diabetes, women with a BMI over 30 are three-times more likely to have it.

You’re more likely to have high blood pressure. Women with a BMI over 30 are more likely to have issues controlling their blood pressure throughout a pregnancy.

The risk of preeclampsia increases. Women with a BMI of 35 have double the risk of developing preeclampsia, compared to those with a BMI of 25.

The baby has a higher risk of numerous complications. High birth weight, miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defect rates all climb with the gestational carrier’s BMI.

Labor can be more difficult. Overweight surrogates tend to labor longer. Due to the larger size of the baby, there’s an increased risk for C-section, and there’s a higher chance there will be anesthesia complications or that the surrogate will hemorrhage.

BMI Matters When You’re Going to Be a Surrogate

Unfortunately, the risks associated with having a high BMI are very real and affect you, the baby, and the intended parents. As tough as it may be, it’s better if you increase your activity or focus on a nutritious diet beforehand if your BMI is not within a healthy range. In fact, maintaining a healthy BMI should be something we all aspire to, whether or not we become surrogates. With that said, if you’re generally healthy and have a healthy BMI (or even sit on the border) you may qualify to be a surrogate. Please take a moment to check out our other guidelines and let us know if you have questions or are ready to begin the process.