The qualifications to become a gestational surrogate are somewhat rigorous. Besides being financially secure and having already gave birth, certain physical attributes are a must: age, BMI, being completely free of STDs, and all around general good health are all common requirements. These restrictions are intended to protect the health and well-being of both the surrogate mother and the child. After all, gestational surrogates and agencies are being trusted to take care of someone else’s child. Intended parents basically want to make sure their gestational surrogate is taking care of the pregnancy like they would if it was their own child they were carrying. There are, however, certain factors which are out of the both the surrogate’s and the agencies’ hands, such as birth defects.

How birth defects occur

A birth defect is a complication that changes the way the human body appears, functions, or both. Birth defects usually occur during the first trimester. Doctors can detect some birth defects at any time over the course of child’s life: during gestation, at birth, or at any period after birth, ranging in severity from moderate to severe. Some birth defects may even cause death. Though this is a terrible reality for any intended parent, there are actually steps a surrogate can take to increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy and happy baby.

Plan for the baby’s arrival.

Becoming a surrogate is a big undertaking and doesn’t happen immediately. This allows the surrogate enough time to break bad habits, such as drinking and smoking, in addition to physically and mentally preparing herself.

Visit the doctor regularly.

Proper medical care is one of the most important things a surrogate can to ensure a healthy bay. Prenatal care assures that the gestational surrogate’s health is maintained, while safeguarding the health of the fetus. If the surrogate mother sees a doctor regularly, some birth defects can be treated during the pregnancy, or even prevented.

Maintain a healthy body.

Surrogates should take care of the child by following a sensible, wholesome diet program, consisting of the five basic food groups: grain products, vegetables of all kinds (especially dark green), fruits (though not fruit juice), meat and protein rich foods, and milk and dairy products. Oils found in fish, nuts and through vegetable sources can also be nutritious in small amounts. The rule of thumb is low fat and high fiber.

Exercise regularly.

Surrogates should be cleared by a doctor before engaging in any exercise routine. Light to moderate exercises, such as walking, swimming, and riding a stationary bike, are usually recommended and can help improve posture and maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.

Get plenty of rest.

Surrogate mothers should take naps frequently and get at least 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night. When sleeping or resting, surrogate mothers should lay on their side as often as possible, especially on the left side. Resting or sleeping on the left side of the body improves the circulation to your baby and helps decrease any swelling that may occur.

Take iron and folic acid.

Prenatal vitamins are vital during a surrogate pregnancy. Taking folic acid daily has been shown to reduce the occurrence of birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine. Likewise, taking iron daily can reduce the risk of anemia later in pregnancy.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Gestational surrogate mothers should drink at least 6-8 glasses of water, fruit juice, or milk daily. One of the best ways in determining whether adequate fluid intake is by urine coloring: nearly-clear colored urine is fine but anything darker than very light yellow is a sign of dehydration.


While pregnant, it’s best to stay away from emotionally stressful situations, because too much can inadvertently have negative impact on the development of the baby. Incorporate stress relief methods such as mediation, if necessary.

If you have any questions about becoming a surrogate, call Surrogate Parenting Services today at (949) 363-9525.