Karen Erikson is a mom and a former surrogate, who lives in the Inland Empire (Temecula/Murrieta area) and would like others to know what it’s like to become a surrogate.
When I started my surrogacy journey, I knew that taking care of my body was more important than ever. Nutrition and fitness as a surrogate is important. Just like preparing for a personal pregnancy, preparing for a surrogacy involves a healthy diet and solid fitness routine. My first surrogacy journey began in 2018, and ended in 2019, when I delivered healthy twins.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a fitness guru, and I love pizza and tacos more than I should. However, knowing that I was going to be growing two little humans for someone really motivated me to hit the gym and pay closer attention to what I was putting in my body. I committed to a regular gym routine and even booked a few sessions with a personal trainer, so that I could have guidance on how to focus my exercises and get maximum results. Let me tell you, it was worth it!
More important than a well-rounded exercise routine was a well-rounded diet. I made sure to include lots of healthy fats and protein in my diet leading up to the embryo transfer, and continued to eat as healthy as possible while pregnant with the twins. My diet even included plenty of pineapple and pineapple juice.
Why pineapple? Pineapple, especially the core, is rich in bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that helps us break down and digest our food, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and has been shown to help an embryo implant in the uterus! (This is why the pineapple is the symbol of the infertility community) After the embryo transfer I snacked on pineapple and enjoyed a smoothie I created called the “Stick Baby Stick” (recipe below). The smoothie is high in protein, healthy fats and vitamins and was a yummy treat that I enjoy even post-pregnancy.
Once we received heartbeat confirmation of the twins, I knew that it was still important to maintain a regular exercise routine. With permission from my doctor, I was able to maintain almost the same level of activity during my pregnancy as I did pre-pregnancy. Although I cut back on the intense core work outs, I still focused on getting my daily cardio in. Walking, easy hikes, and swimming were some of my favorites while pregnant, and I am happy to say that I was able to stay active up until a couple weeks before delivery.
Make sure that you talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about any fitness or nutrition plan before you start, especially when it comes to pregnancy!
“Stick Baby Stick” IVF Smoothie
½ of an avocado
½ of a banana
½ cup frozen pineapple
Juice from ½ a lime
1tsp coconut oil
1Tbsp sun butter
8oz unsweetened almond milk
Handful of fresh spinach
Blend in blender until smooth. This creamy smoothie is delicious and nutritious!
Interested in becoming a surrogate or learning more about the process? Extraordinary Conceptions can help guide you along the way. They have helped thousands of people all over the world achieve success through surrogacy and egg donation. Education and information is empowering, and they strive to provide that to all of their clients, especially with extra support for their surrogate mothers. Extraordinary Conceptions can help you decide if surrogacy is right for you and your family. Here are some things you should know when deciding on becoming a surrogate!