From the moment you decided to become a surrogate, making sure that you have a healthy lifestyle has likely been your top priority. One of the best things you can do to ensure a successful surrogacy journey is to take care of your health. In particular, it’s important that you take care of yourself both before and during pregnancy. Making sure you’re healthy during the period of time before the embryo transfer is just as important as making sure you’re healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Of course, it needs to be mentioned that you can have too much of a good thing. Prioritizing your health is important, but try to avoid getting fixated on it. It’s okay if you eat fast food every once in a while. It’s okay if you skip out on your morning walk sometimes. An IVF cycle won’t fail because you indulged in a late-night snack or went to bed late the night before. Yes, being healthy is important, but don’t stress over slip-ups.
With that being said, here are some tips on habits you can include in your daily routine to make staying healthy a little easier as you begin your surrogacy journey:
1. Get your body moving
Exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle while preparing for an IVF transfer. Exercise helps support your physical and mental health. Even going for a short walk a few days a week can perk up your mood and keep your cardiovascular system running smoothly.
Here are some simple ways you can incorporate exercise into your day-to-day, with the go-ahead from your healthcare provider:
- Go for a daily morning, afternoon, or evening stroll. Record your steps using your phone, and aim for 2,000 steps each time! (That’s about one mile.)
- Take up a new exercise class at your local community center or gym. Or check out an exercise class online. The possibilities are endless!
- Consider signing up for a yoga or Pilates class once a week.
- Swim a few laps in the pool or try water aerobics.
2. Let your body rest
Giving your body a break is just as important as getting the proper amount of exercise. Make sure you take time to let your body rest, relax, and recuperate. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Be sure that you have good sleep hygiene practices, too; otherwise, you may have trouble falling asleep.
To make sure that you get a good night’s rest, practice these sleep hygiene habits:
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Try not to stay up or sleep in too late. (Yes, that includes the weekend!)
- Avoid any late-night lattes; try to stop your caffeine consumption at least six hours before you go to bed.
- Limit how much you nap during the daytime.
- Turn your bedroom into a restful environment; keep the room cool, make it dark, and consider using a white noise machine or fan.
- This one is tough, but avoid looking at your phone or other electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. If you can’t quit cold turkey, use a blue light filter on all your devices.
3. Keep your nutrition in check
Good health starts in the kitchen. A healthy diet is important for gestational surrogates, even before pregnancy. Make sure that you are eating enough calories each day and incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks and excessive caffeine.
Also, be sure you’re getting enough folic acid in your diet. Your healthcare provider may suggest you start taking a folic acid supplement or prenatal vitamins even before you become pregnant.
4. Keep your stress levels low
Consider your mental health, in addition to keeping your body healthy. Having high levels of stress can contribute to many health problems, as well as negatively impact your surrogacy experience. It can be hard to keep stress levels down, especially if your stress is affected by things in your life that are out of your control.
Luckily, there are many ways you can manage your stress. Lean on your support system to help you deal with your stress in a healthy way. Talk to your friends and family members and express your feelings rather than keep them bottled inside.
Here are some other ways you can help reduce stress while you prepare for pregnancy:
- Meditate each morning and set a positive intention for the day.
- Open up a notebook and start journaling.
- Listen to music or podcasts.
- Go to your local library and check out some self-help books
- Spend some time in nature.
- Consider reaching out to a surrogacy support group.
- Engage in self-care each day.
These are some of the healthy habits you should consider incorporating into your day-to-day life as you prepare for pregnancy. Continuing these habits into your pregnancy will also help ensure that you have a positive and joyful surrogacy experience.
If you are considering surrogacy and want to learn more about how to get started, contact Fairfax Surrogacy today. Our team of experts would be honored to guide you through the process as a surrogate or intended parent.