Helping to create a happy family through surrogacy is one of the most wonderful and selfless things you can do for someone else. If being a gestational carrier is something you have considered, we first and foremost want to thank you for your desire to help a family! The need for qualified surrogates has never been greater as we currently have 70 couples and individuals waiting to be matched.
There are several requirements potential surrogates must meet to be accepted into our program. This is to protect the interests of both the intended parents and the gestational carrier and to help ensure the best possible outcome – a healthy pregnancy and delivery. One of the most important requirements, and one that frequently disqualifies potential surrogates, is BMI, or body mass index.
What is BMI?
BMI measures a person’s body fat based on their height and weight. You can easily determine your BMI using one of the many online calculators available, like this one on the CDC website. Your BMI will fall into one of the following categories:
- Underweight: 18.5 or below
- Normal weight: 18.5–24.9
- Overweight: 25–29.9
- Obese: 30 or greater
BMI Requirement for Surrogacy
At Surrogate Solutions, we require gestational carriers to be in good health with a BMI of 33 or below. This is standard for the industry, although some fertility doctors and clinics may have stricter BMI requirements.
Risks Associated with a High BMI
Being obese during pregnancy poses many risks to both the surrogate and the baby. *Complications that have been linked to a high BMI/obesity include:
- Taking longer to get pregnant, especially for women with a BMI greater than 35
- High blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes
- Difficult labor
- Increased need for a C-section
- Increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth
- Health problems for the baby, such as birth defects, impaired growth, childhood asthma and childhood obesity
What if my BMI is too High?
If your BMI is greater than 33, but you meet all the other surrogate qualifications, it’s not the end of the road! There are many things you can do to reach a healthy weight and lower your BMI, like maintaining a heathy diet, exercising regularly and staying hydrated.
We recently created the Fit 4 The Solution Facebook group to provide our current, past and potential surrogates with education, inspiration and motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. We want to support you in your health and fitness goals throughout your journey – before, during and after pregnancy. Please consider joining the group and let us know how we can best support you!
*Mayo Clinic Website – Pregnancy and Obesity: Know the Risks