As a surrogate mother, it’s critical that you maintain a healthy, nutritious diet during your pregnancy. Experts recommend that you consume about 300 more calories per day than you had prior to becoming pregnant.
While nausea and vomiting during the first few months can make this difficult, it’s important anyway – not just a well-balanced diet, but the prenatal vitamins that your doctor would prescribe.
Here are some helpful suggestions for foods to include in your diet so that you and your growing baby will be healthy.
1. Choose fresh, high-fiber foods such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Pregnant women need 25 to 30 grams of fiber-enriched foods each day for optimal health.
2. Especially while pregnant, it’s critical to get enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet. Pre-natal vitamin supplements are highly recommended; your doctor can suggest or prescribe them for you.
3. A good diet includes a variety of foods so that you get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily intake should include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables; four servings of dairly products, and three servings of protein sources like meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts. Avoid fats and sweets.
4. Eat and drink at least four servings a day of dairy products and calcium-rich foods to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.
5. Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting at least 27 mg of iron daily. Iron-rich foods include meat and seafood.
6. Have at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of vitamin C a day to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
7. Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A can include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe. It is important to know that excessive vitamin A intake (>10,000 IU/day) may be associated with birth defects so be very careful with your vitamin A intake.
8. Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark-green leafy vegetables, veal, legumes, lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas. Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Maintaining a healthy diet as a surrogate will ensure that your baby grows and develops as it should. Every pregnancy, though, is different and the dietary needs may vary between individuals. Be sure to check with your doctor for suggestions regarding your specific needs.