By Melissa N. Martínez
There is no greater reward than helping others. As a gestational carrier, you are the Blue Fairy of the story by giving others a chance to see their dreams come true and bless them with a child. The fact that you are willing to put your body through a significant amount of change to help others speaks volumes about the person you are.
Now, we all know pregnancy can put a strain on the mind and body and, as a gestational carrier,self-care should be your top priority.
Adoption Choices of Nevada cares about your wellbeing. Here are our top 5 self-care tips for gestational carriers.
Tip # 1: Take time to emotionally prepare yourself for what’s to come
Virginia Frank, an adoption and surrogacy lawyer, was able to give us her insight on the matter. When asked what she thought the #1 self-care tip for a gestational carrier was, she said that access to counseling is extremely important during and even after the gestational journey. We couldn’t agree more.
Your mental health is essential, and being able to talk about it with a mental health care professional goes a long way. Journaling also serves as a great way to deal with the emotional roller-coaster you might be experiencing.
Frank points out that journaling can be an excellent idea for both parties, and how it would be a great way to share with the child how they came to be. For the intended parents, journaling can bring them a closeness with their child that they are unable to experience any other way.
For you, as the gestational carrier, journaling can be a healthy outlet to bring you peace of mind. Writing down your feelings will help you deal with the emotions you experience in your day to day life. It is also a great way to look back at how far you have come.
Another way to mentally prepare you for what is to come is through meditation. Meditation can be a great tool to use during pregnancy. It is about calming your mind and helping you remain relaxed throughout the day. A self-care practice like yoga can help you connect with your inner self and keep you focused on the journey ahead.
Tip # 2: Pay attention to what you put in your body
Your first instinct might be to give in to the cravings, but keep in mind the importance of what you put into your body. It is no secret that good nutrition is essential during pregnancy. Getting the right nutrition is the best way to ensure that both you and the baby remain healthy.
Try eating more plant-based foods and leafy greens, such as spinach and citrus fruits, which are great natural sources for folic acid. During pregnancy, hydration is key. A pregnant woman needs more water than the average person to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, carry nutrients, enhance digestion, and flush out wastes and toxins.
Tip # 3: Move your body
There are many health benefits to exercising during your pregnancy. Please check with your healthcare provider to see if it is safe for you to practice some low-impact movements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy pregnant women need at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity workouts a week.
With COVID-19 looming over us, going out and getting the proper workout can be difficult. You can try looking for some online Prenatal Yoga classes. If you have a pool, swimming can be a great way to get some movement and alleviate some of the stress being put on your joints. Even a brisk 20-minute walk can help get that heart rate going!
Tip # 4: Ask for help and support
Always remember to turn to loved ones about your current situation. Sometimes a good conversation with a friend can do wonders. Stay in touch with them as often as possible. If you can’t be with them physically, call them through video chat. Given the current pandemic, technology can be your best friend!
Pregnancy can at times burn you out and having someone to turn to like your partner, friends and even a pet can help reduce any unwanted stress or anxiety.
Tip # 5: Invest in yourself
One of the most important steps you need to take with your self-care is taking some time for yourself. Read a book, learn something new, watch television or listen to music. Make the time you need for what is important to you. Try reading a positive affirmation every day and find at least 1 thing to be grateful for. Practicing mindfulness can have an incredible impact on your life.
Practicing Self-Care for Gestational Carriers
Stay positive and take care of yourself!
Practicing self-care can boost your self-esteem and help see yourself in a different light. Remember, it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself above anything else. Loving yourself is the key to a healthy and happy life. You, more than anyone, know what is best for you and your health.