Digestion-related side-effects are very common during the first trimester of your surrogate pregnancy. During this period, it’s especially important for surrogate mothers to eat healthy. You may experience a loss of appetite, find it hard to keep food down, or possibly feel too sick and tired to eat at all – but you need to anyway.
To help cope with some of this discomfort, some useful tips are:
1. When you have morning sickness, it is advisable to eat crackers, cereal, or pretzels before getting out of bed. Remember to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and avoid fatty, fried, and greasy foods. You can also try a wet/dry diet – this means taking your food and your drink separately, usually about 30 minutes apart. Cold foods are also advisable, since the strong smell of foods cooking can sometimes trigger unpleasant feelings.
2. If you feel constipated, more fresh fruit and vegetables are a good idea. It’s also highly advisable to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to help with the constipation.
Fiber is also important; when pregnant, you need about 28 grams a day of it. Good sources include whole grains, fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.
3. When you have diarrhea, it is best to eat more foods that contain pectin and gums, two types of fiber. This will help absorb excess water. Some good foods in this regard are applesauce, bananas, white rice, oatmeal, and refined wheat bread.
4. When you get heartburn, it’s better to eat more small meals throughout the day, as opposed to a few large ones. Some doctors recommend drinking pasteurized milk before eating and limiting caffeinated foods and beverages, citric beverages and spicy foods. You also need to avoid mint, peppermint, spearmint and chocolate because these foods can trigger heartburn. Taking a short walk after each meal can also help to ward off heartburn.
5. When you feel tired and fatigued, you may want to prepare meals when you have more energy; store them for later use when your energy levels are low. It’s important to get plenty of sleep, and naps during the day if necessary, to help cope with the fatigue. Prenatal vitamins, and mineral supplements containing iron, can also help. Remember to ask your doctor first before taking any medications or vitamins.
6. When you have no appetite, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help you avoid feeling too full or bloated. It is also a good idea to drink your calories; milk or yogurt smoothies can be a good idea, with bananas or frozen berries added in for extra protein. Calorie-dense foods can also help – you don’t need to eat a lot to get your nutrients. Snack on unsalted nuts and seeds, cheese, dried fruits, avocado, nut butters and omega-3 rich fish like salmon.
Your Next Steps
To apply to be a surrogate mother with the Illinois Surrogate Agency, simply fill out our easy online form, and one of our friendly, knowledgeable caseworkers will be in touch with you to discuss your application, talk about the next steps in the process, and answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, you can also check out our free reports for more information on surrogacy and the surrogate experience.