Every Intended Parent wants the very best for their child as it grows from an embryo to a baby. They want the best uterus, (which might be why they needed a surrogate), the best eggs, the best sperm and the best doctors. However Intended Parents have little control over the diet of their growing baby. The best nutrition is very important to all parents but when one has no say in what their own baby is ‘eating’ it can be quite frustrating.
When interviewing surrogate mothers some Intended Parents ask about their diets right off the bat and then ask if their chosen surrogate can change what she eats in some way. Some Jewish IPs want someone who will adhere to their strict dietary kosher guidelines while others want someone who will eat all organic and natural meats. Perhaps a vitamin regiment is also required above and beyond the prenatal supplements. OB’s often have a list of their own restrictions for all pregnant mothers to follow. This list limits the intake of caffeine, certain fish that contain mercury and luncheon meats that may cause listeria. Every contract states that a surrogate will follow medical guidelines given to her by her doctor so she is already following a certain dietary requirement. But when do diet requests go to far?
Surrogates want to please their Intended Parents, however one can only ask so much. When a surrogate is in the early months of the pregnancy she may not be able to eat as well as she would normally. Some of the foods she would like to eat may be the very foods that make her run to the bathroom. Just keeping down her vitamins maybe a monumental task! A surrogate who has agreed to eat all organic foods will have a higher grocery bill then if she were to keep with her regular shopping list. If an Intended Parent wants their surrogate to be on a special diet then they should offer to pay for those foods by supplementing her grocery bill. IPs will also have to keep in mind that the surrogate shops for her own family and she is not the only one who will be eating that free range chicken! She can’t feed her husband mac and cheese and eat her all natural organic meal in the livingroom so the entire family food budget needs to be taken into consideration.
If a surrogate agrees to stick to a certain diet she is then on the honor system as it can’t be demanded in the contract that she eat all of her vegetables. She needs to understand that this is just one more thing that she can do for her IPs and the baby she is carrying. They will be forever grateful to her for her dedication to having the healthiest baby possible.
Have you ever been asked to change your diet? How did that work for you and your IPs? What types of things were you asked to eat or to avoid? I would love to hear from you!