It’s only natural that anyone wondering about how to become a gestational surrogate may have questions about what they can and cannot consume and how much.
Since gestational surrogates need to have given birth successfully at least once and have a child at home, you have thoughts on the subject. Even so, here at Global Surrogacy Services, we believe that knowledge is power. We don’t have many surprises but we do have plenty of detailed information.
The Big “Don’t”!
You should know, of course, that alcohol is dangerous during pregnancy. Decades of extremely well-publicized research and centuries of anecdotal experience prove that alcohol is the biggest of all liquid “don’ts.” This applies before and during pregnancy, as well as during lactation. You’re probably already aware of such dangers as miscarriages, fetal alcohol syndrome, and disabling birth defects.
When you sign up as a prospective surrogate, your contract will require you to avoid all alcoholic beverages until a healthy baby is born and you’re no longer providing breast milk. We hope you would avoid them even if we didn’t include it in the contract!
The Big “Do”!
Human beings are 60 percent water. As a gestational surrogate, you are playing host to a new human. So, it’s logical – but also backed up by massive research – that you will need significantly more water than usual as the embryo grows into a baby. Experts advise mothers to drink eight to 12 eight-ounce cups of water daily.
Naturally, it’s essential to ensure you have a clean water supply. While most drinking water in the United States is safe, we’ve all heard horror stories about cities where the water became unsafe. Keep up with the news about your area’s water supply and discuss any concerns with your medical team. If your area is having problems, you may have to switch to bottled water.
Since you want to obtain as much good nutrition as possible while carrying a baby, try to make the non-water beverages you consume as nutritious as possible. Sugary sodas are not forbidden but you should limit them to one per day. Also note that some contain caffeine. (We’ll go into detail on the world’s most popular stimulant in the next section.)
As for diet drinks, many doctors and researchers specifically warn pregnant people away from them due to concerns about the impact of artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda). Among other issues, researchers say that artificial sweeteners may backfire and can increase the risk of obesity in both mothers and offspring.
As for more nutritious drinks, moderate amounts of mostly lower-fat milk, and yogurt are usually fine for those who have no trouble digesting them. Allergies aside, most vegan plant-based drinks like soy and almond milk can also be good choices.
The occasional juice and/or yogurt smoothie may be a healthy treat – especially if it contains acai or other fresh berries. Sweet juices like orange, apple, and grape juice are better than sodas but they have as many calories and are much less nutritious than eating whole fruit.
A lot of us enjoy vegetable juices and juice blends as lower-calorie juice alternatives. However, it’s always a good idea to read labels closely. To be very specific, original V-8 juice – a combination of tomato and other vegetable juices – may be fine to drink in moderation. Sodium, however, is a concern especially due to gestational hypertension. The lower sodium version V-8 would be a better choice.
If you have a nearby health food store that sells freshly made juices to order, you can ask for lower-calorie blends or straight juices. Better yet, if you’re hooked on your home juice machine or blender, making your own juices and smoothies is the best option of all.
Important note! Everyone is different and our writers are obviously not your physician, nutritionist, or dietician. Please go over your go-to beverages with your own medical team when the time comes.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Caffeinated Drinks
No, Yes, Maybe?
Some experts advise against caffeine during pregnancy. Concerns include a higher risk of miscarriages with excess consumption and consuming diuretics when good hydration is essential. The UK National Health Service tells pregnant people to eliminate caffeine entirely.
So, if caffeine is something you can take or leave, you should leave it during the surrogacy process. There may even be a clause in your contract limiting caffeine consumption. Experts agree that it’s especially important to avoid energy drinks — aside from containing a lot of caffeine, Red Bull and other brands contain other questionable ingredients.
On the other hand, we know that a lot of us can’t imagine going without our daily dose of caffeine via coffee, tea, cola, or other caffeinated soda pop. If this is you, you’ll be happy to know that the medical consensus in the US is a great deal more flexible on the matter than authorities across the pond. As of this writing, American medical authorities advise that caffeine consumption during pregnancy must be no more than 200 milligrams per day.
To help you keep track, know that a typical eight-ounce cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams, while black tea has about 50 mg, and green tea has about 25. As for sodas, a 12-ounce Coca-Cola contains 27 grams while Mountain Dew has nearly double the amount at 55 grams.
It gets more complicated because coffee now comes in more forms than ever and some may have more caffeine. A 12-ounce can of Starbucks nitrogen-infused cold brew contains a whopping 155 milligrams! Standard cold brews are not as strong but tend to have more caffeine than other types of coffee. It can be confusing, though, because the amounts vary between brands. Please look for the caffeine content of your favorite cold brew online or at the store and be sure to fully dilute any concentrated coffee products.
Not all caffeine comes in liquid form. Be on the lookout for items with chocolate or coffee in them. While an occasional small serving of chocolate or even coffee ice cream may be okay, stay far away from such obvious caffeine bombs as chocolate-covered espresso beans!
Energy bars, on the other hand, are often a good way to pack in extra nutrition. Some, however, may contain caffeine or caffeinated ingredients. Remember to pay attention to the ingredients and nutritional information on the bar’s packaging.
The Brighter Side of Tea and Coffee
More and more research indicates that both tea and coffee contain a surprising number of healthy nutrients. Moreover, research also shows possible major health benefits for both.
Whether or not you’re eliminating caffeine, consider adding decaffeinated tea or coffee which may provide you with the best of all words in terms of hydration and nutrition.
Ready to Commit to Gestational Surrogacy?
If you’ve made it this far, there’s an excellent chance you’re seriously considering becoming one of the wonderful people who become gestational surrogates and help others build their families. If so, our team at Global Surrogacy Services is the premier resource in Los Angeles and worldwide for services supporting both intended parents and gestational surrogates.
To learn more about such crucial matters as healthcare and compensation for surrogates and surrogate mother requirements, see the linked pages or call us at the telephone number on your screen. You may also leave a message through our contact page.