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The Thing You Have to Know about Winter Pregnancy

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Are you worried about how you’ll cope with your pregnancy in winter?

It’s no secret that winter brings along with it some challenges in terms of cold and getting around when you’re pregnant. However, armed with the right information, you can make it an enjoyable winter pregnancy. Here is our ultimate Winter Pregnancy Survival Guide.

Winter pregnancy Survival Guide

  • Get as much fresh air as you can – it’ll help clear your mind and refresh you.
  • Maintain a regular sleep time table and routine – avoid the temptation to sleep all day!
  • Indulge in warm baths – so long as they are not hot, as hot baths and saunas can dry out your skin.
  • Ensure you’re well protected from the seasonal sniffles by getting your flu vaccine in your second or third trimester.
  • Resist the temptation to engage in winter sports such as skiing, snow fighting, and sledding, as you can injure yourself.
  • Savor life’s small pleasures – hot chocolate and herbal teas
  • Keep your schedule light, as you don’t want to be outdoors too often.

Dress Sensibly

When you’re pregnant in winter, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re well covered whenever you go outdoors. Taking care of yourself means dressing sensibly in comfortable clothing that’s not restrictive and wearing shoes with a good grip.

  • Choose fabrics that will help you retain heat, such as wool and fleece.
  • Always stay out of the rain, snow, and ice by wearing waterproof gear.
  • Keep a handy supply of scarves, ski socks, gloves, and hats around.
  • Purchase hand sanitizer and store bottles in your car and handbag.
  • Don’t forget to moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize some more!
  • Swap maternity clothes with new mommies or offer to buy their good quality coats from them.

Things You Need to Know for A Winter Pregnancy

With a winter pregnancy, life can be a bit more challenging than normal. However, here are some things you need to know that’ll help you get through:

a) Don’t Be Afraid to Take Something for A Cold

Winter is often associated with the sniffles. For women who are pregnant in winter, it’s not uncommon to suffer from several bouts of flu during this season because of your suppressed immune system. One of the best ways to stay on top of things is to take meds approved by your doctor. Don’t stop your prenatal pills, as these will help to keep your immune system at an optimum level.

b) Map Out Your Hospital Route

Having a birth plan in place is a great way to be prepared. One of the key elements to factor in and do ahead of time is mapping out your hospital route. You should have the address of the hospital recorded into your GPS with alternative routes in case you ever need to get to the hospital in the middle of a snowstorm.

c)Get a Flu Shot

When you’re winter pregnant, you need all the help you can get to boost your immune system. One way to go about this is to get a flu shot, preferably in your second or third trimester. Don’t skip this important appointment.

d) Work Out at Home

When you’re pregnant there is a very big temptation to not work out. However, exercise is highly recommended, as it will not only help you feel better and decrease the chances of developing postpartum depression, but it will also make the birthing process easier. Do low-impact exercises like yoga and Pilates.

Talk to a Surrogacy Specialist About your pregnancy concerns

Joy of Life is one of the leading surrogacy agencies in California that is committed to helping surrogates and intended parents find the right information for their surrogacy journey.

Contact us for more information on surrogacy today.

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The 9 Steps of the Surrogacy Process – Step by Step

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Image Source: babygest.com

So, you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate or starting a family through surrogacy?

Joy of Life Surrogacy believes in the right of every potential surrogate and intended parents to as much information as possible. Armed with the knowledge of the process, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and chart the best path forward.

This is why we’ve put together this 9-steps-to-surrogacy blog to bring to your attention the basic things you need to know if you decide to follow through on this amazing journey.

1.   Decide if surrogacy is the right choice

If you are a couple intending to start a family through the surrogacy process or you are a woman

Make a choice if you want to choose Surrogacy

considering becoming a surrogate, the first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the entire process (like you’re doing now) and then go talk to surrogacy specialists and lawyers to understand the dynamics of this arrangement.

It is of utmost importance to consult with a lawyer because surrogacy is not accepted across all 50 states. Each state has varying regulations, and in some states, such as Washington and New York, surrogacy arrangements are felonies that carry hefty fines of $10,000 or more.

If you live in California, however, or intend to have and raise a baby in this state, you’ll be protected by law. California is by far the best state in which to enter a surrogacy arrangement and start the process of surrogate motherhood.

If you are considering becoming a surrogate mother, other matters you should think about include whether or not you’ll be able to commit to at least a year of treatments to prepare your body and make lifestyle changes to accommodate the intended parents.

2.   Choose between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy

There are two types of surrogacy to consider: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. There are pros and cons to each one.

Gestational surrogacy is the process whereby the intended mother’s eggs (or those of a related egg donor) are fertilized and inserted into the womb of the surrogate through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The advantages of gestational surrogacy are that the child is biologically related to the intended mother, gender selection may be opted for and genetic testing can occur before implantation. This type of surrogacy is often more complex and hence more expensive.

Traditional surrogacy involves the use of the intended father’s semen (or that of a donor) to fertilize the surrogate’s eggs. In traditional surrogacy, the child may have a link to the intended parents, but definitely has a genetic link to the surrogate. The legal complications that may arise because of this genetic link are the biggest hurdle where traditional surrogacy is concerned.

3.   Fill out a surrogate-mother application and connect with the surrogacy agency

The next step if you’ve decided to become a surrogate is to connect with a surrogacy agency, such as Joy of Life. Our application to start the surrogate-mother process is simple and involves answering basic questions about your health, birth history, your current living situation, and your support network.

Once you’ve filled in our application, you’ll be booked for an appointment with one of our friendly Pre-screening Coordinators who will happily answer any questions and discuss the process in more detail with you. Each of our coordinators has been a surrogate before and therefore understands the process intimately.

We’ll also carry out your Medical Records Review at this time in order to ascertain if you will be a perfect fit. Psychological evaluation and background checks will also be done at this stage. We do all of this for your own safety, the baby’s safety, and for the intended parents’ peace of mind.

4.   Review intended parents’ profiles and find a match

Finding a match is not a haphazard affair. It’s a detailed process that involves both parties interested in a surrogacy agreement. Each party will draft a surrogacy plan that outlines their expectations and hopes for the surrogacy process.

Surrogate mother matchs with intended parents

For the surrogate, a dossier containing pictures of yourself and detailing a bit about who you are as a person will be required. This dossier will be perused by potential intended parents.

Intended parents will also be asked to create a similar dossier, including pictures of themselves, and also highlighting key aspects of their lives, such as religion, sexual orientation, age, and personality traits so the surrogate can determine whether or not you will be a great fit with her.

This entire process is facilitated by the surrogacy specialist, who will initiate contact between surrogate and intended parents once a match has been found. This may take time, but, in many cases, matches are made and the next step is taken without too much trouble.

5.   Surrogate medical screenings

Medical screening is the stage in which you and the intended parents will visit an IVF clinic. What happens at each clinic varies because every clinic is unique. However, your surrogacy specialist can give you more details regarding which clinic you will be working with once things have progressed to this stage.

Additionally, as the surrogate, you do not need to worry about the travel costs to and from the clinic, as these will be covered. Insurance coverage will also be discussed during this phase. Joy of Life will take charge of coordinating and arranging surrogacy-related insurance coverage for the surrogate.

6.  Satisfy legal requirements

Before any medical processes can take place, legal contracts need to be drafted and signed. These contracts should reflect the demands made and agreed upon by both parties. For the surrogate, this includes the compensation plan and steps to take in the event of pregnancy-related complications.

legal requirements of surrogacy

Clauses dictating the rights of the intended parents will also be clearly stated in the contracts. In this way, intended parents will be assured of their legal rights over the unborn child.

The surrogate and the intended parents will both be represented by separate lawyers who will read through the contracts to ensure that the wishes of their clients have been respected and included in the terms and conditions. Once the contracts have been approved by both attorneys, the surrogate and intended parents can then sign the documents.

With the documents signed, the next step in the surrogacy process can be initialized, namely medical screening and fertilization or transfer.

7.   Begin the fertilization and embryo transfer process

With the contracts in place and the legal work finalized, the surrogate will prepare herself for the implantation of the embryo with fertility treatments. At this stage, it has been decided whether intended parents and the surrogate have opted for gestational or traditional surrogacy.

Fertilization and embryo transfer process

If the intended parents have opted for gestational surrogacy, the intended mother or egg donor will begin treatments so that eggs can be harvested. Once eggs have been successfully harvested via the retrieval procedure, they are fertilized in the lab and incubated to allow the embryo to develop. This embryo will then be transferred to the surrogate mother’s womb.

If the intended parents have chosen traditional surrogacy, sperm will be collected from the intended father or sperm donor and the eggs of the surrogate mother will be fertilized in a laboratory. The embryos are then incubated and the best and most likely to succeed are inseminated into the surrogate mother’s uterus.

By the sixth week, you should hear a heartbeat. When this heartbeat is confirmed through ultrasound, you as the surrogate mother will begin receiving monthly payments.

8.   Pregnancy

From this stage onwards you get to enjoy the wonder of life developing in your womb. The surrogate mother is expected to have regular checkups at the fertility clinic to ensure that all is well with her health and the baby’s health. These visits can be a special time for intended parents and surrogates to bond with the baby and share in this amazing journey.

9.   Welcome the baby

If you have a birth plan in place, this will dictate what happens during delivery.

An adorable baby

You may wish the intended parents to be present in the delivery room with you, or you may want someone else in there with you. Whatever you as the surrogate mother have decided will be followed by the hospital staff and all involved.

Once the baby is delivered, the child will leave with the intended parents as laid out in the contract and the surrogate mother will also be free to go home. Your role will be done. You will leave with the satisfaction of knowing that you have changed the lives of a couple forever. There is no joy that beats this one.

Working with Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a leading surrogacy company located in Southern California. We are a diverse team made of up of former surrogate mothers, parents whose lives were changed by surrogacy, clinical coordinators and health care providers. Thanks to our unique experiences we can truly walk with those considering being surrogates and those looking for a surrogacy option.

Would you like to discuss the surrogacy process with someone? Do you have any questions or concerns about becoming a surrogate or starting a family via surrogacy? Get in touch with us today. 


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How are Surrogate Mothers Screened?

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Are you keen to find out how surrogate mothers are screened?

Having a baby is no small feat. Intended parents want to know that the woman carrying their precious bundle of joy is physically and emotionally healthy enough for such a responsibility. As a woman considering becoming a surrogate, you might be interested in researching the screening process. Here at Joy of Life, we have an extensive screening service that ensures peace of mind for both surrogate and intended parents.

How are prospective surrogates screened?

The screening process consists of six stages:

Medical, Social and Drug History of surrogacy screening1.Medical, Social and Drug History

At the onset, a prospective surrogate will be asked for complete medical, social, and drug history for themselves as well as their families. If all that is clear, an official medical record from a physician will then be required.


2. Birth Records Birth Records of surrogate screening

A surrogate is a woman who ideally has had at least one child before. The surrogate must provide previous birth records to the agency. It is preferable for a potential surrogate to have had successful pregnancies without major complications.


3. Background ChecksBackground Checks of surrogacy screening

In addition to providing the agency with medical records, Joy of Life will carry out a background check to ensure that the prospective surrogate has no criminal or child abuse record.


4. Medical Evaluation

Medical Evaluation of surrogacy screeningMedical records give surrogacy agencies a chance to understand a surrogate’s previous medical history, but the prospective surrogate will also have to undergo a routine medical evaluation at a fertility clinic. For many agencies, this step is completed after the surrogate has found a match with the intended parents. Tests included in this evaluation are blood and urine samplings, saline sonogram of the uterus, and a physical exam.


Mental Health and Psychological Evaluation of surrogacy screening5. Mental Health and Psychological Evaluation

Surrogacy can be an emotionally challenging journey and it can be difficult when it comes time to hand over the baby. This is why at the onset, each surrogate must see a psychologist in order to discuss her emotional well-being, personality, and sensitivity regarding giving up the child they will carry.


Joy of Life has a surrogacy team to walk with you

Joy of Life is a leading surrogacy company located in Southern California. We are a diverse team made of up of former surrogate mothers, parents whose lives were changed by surrogacy, clinical coordinators and health care providers. Thanks to our unique experiences we can truly walk with those considering being surrogates and those looking for a surrogacy option.

Are you keen to find out more about surrogacy or being a surrogate? Contact us for more information.




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4 Reasons that California is the Best Place for Surrogacy

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Are you wondering which state has the most favorable surrogacy laws and options?

When it comes to starting a family via surrogacy, California is one of the best places to have a baby and raise a family. This is in part thanks to the high standard of health care and the expert surrogacy agencies in California.

If you want solid evidence to convince you, here are the top four reasons that California is the best place for surrogacy:

1.    A well-developed legal process for gestational surrogacy

Joy of Life

There are no federal laws that govern the surrogacy process. However, each state has its own regulations. The Golden State has by far the most advanced surrogacy laws in place that protect all the relevant parties involved – intended parents, surrogate mother, child, and egg donor, where applicable.

2.    The ability to establish parental rights pre-birth

In California, explicit laws exist under the Uniform Parentage Act that allows people of all orientations to apply for surrogacy arrangements. Intended

parents will also be able to obtain a pre-birth order that automatically acknowledges them as the legal parents of the child. Being a surrogate in California, you will also have specific rights that your surrogate agency will inform you about.

3.    Equal access and protection for LGBTQ, single-parent families,

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and international parents

In states such as Louisiana, surrogacy is limited to heterosexual couples who are legally married. Thankfully, California’s surrogacy laws are more inclusive and allow people of any sexual orientation, marital status, and gender, and people with or without a genetic link to the child to become a parent. Furthermore, these parents will continue to enjoy legal protection under California laws even if they decide to move to another state.

4.    Exceptional state rankingsJoy of Life

According to this report by USNews, California’s health care system is one of the best in the country. In fact, their public health care is ranked as number one out of all 50 states. Add to that their overall baby friendliness and low infant mortality rate and you have a state that makes it a great place to be a surrogate.

Additional things to know

If you’re considering surrogacy, it’s important that you know this information, because surrogacy or being involved in a surrogacy arrangement is a punishable offense in certain states, such as New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Washington.

In fact, in Michigan, intended parents can face fines of up to $50,000! And in New York, fines of up to $10,000. California’s favorable laws and pro-surrogacy regulations have made it one of the country’s leading surrogacy states.

Where to find help in California?

Joy of Life is one of the best surrogacy agencies in California. We have helped scores of intended parents over the years start their families and walked with surrogates through the entire process. If you’re thinking about surrogacy in California, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.

Things You Should Know About Baby’s Position in the Womb

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Do you know which position is the best for the baby when preparing for birth?

Babies are prone to move in the womb as they grow. It’s a beautiful experience feeling those kicks and turns. However, as the baby’s due date approaches, the baby needs to start turning to face the particular direction that’s considered safe for delivery. We’re going to look at several positions that the baby might find themselves in and what can be done in each case to ensure the baby is in the correct birthing position.


1. Posterior

When the doctor says the baby is in a posterior position, what they mean is that the baby is facing downwards as they should,

but their back is parallel with the mother’s back, which can make delivery slower.

Fortunately, this can be resolved by getting the pregnant woman to regularly lean in the particular direction they wish the baby to roll into.


                                                     2. Transverse lie

When the doctor says the baby is in a transverse lie position, this means that the fetus is lying sideways or horizontally in the womb.

This baby position is normal in the first few weeks of pregnancy, right up till the 26th week. However, from week 29 going forwards, the baby’s head is expected to be facing downwards.

How often does a woman reach full term and the baby is still in a transverse lie position? It is estimated that at the time of delivery, 0.25% of births or one in every 400 fetuses are in the transverse lie position.


3. Breech

When the baby hasn’t turned and has their feet or buttocks in the baby position where their head should be, this can cause complications. Here are the breech variations your doctor may mention:

1. Complete breech

A fetus is described as being in a complete breech when their buttocks are pointing downward, with the legs crossed at the knees.

2. Frank breech

In this breech position the buttocks are closer to the birth canal but the fetus’ legs are in a straight position, with the feet close to the head.

3. Footling breech

A footling breech occurs when one or both feet are facing downwards into the birth canal.

Can I turn my baby?

If the baby isn’t in the correct baby position in the womb, there are ways to help them turn. Here are a few methods:

  1. Every time you sit down, rock on your bottom, tilting your pelvis in a forward direction.
  2. Take time to regularly sit on an exercise ball or birth ball.
  3. Each time you sit down, ensure your hips are in an elevated position and higher than your knees.
  4. If you spend time sitting for long periods due to your job, get up regularly and move around.
  5. Anywhere you sit, ensure that your bottom is tilted forward. Use a cushion to help you.
  6. Go down on all fours each day for several minutes. It will help position baby in the anterior position.

Need to talk to someone about baby positions?

Here at Joy of Life, we’ve seen it all and been through it all, too. We’ve walked with lots of surrogates and their families. Our staff is uniquely suited to this task and you’ll meet nothing but a loving, warm and welcoming family that will talk to you about baby positions and more. Contact us today.

10 Tips to Have Healthy Pregnancy for Surrogates

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Did you know that in each state it’s estimated that there are at least nine children born through a surrogacy agreement every year?

Surrogacy provides a beautiful opportunity to help couples trying to start a family has children. As a surrogate, this is probably not your first child. You are aware of the ins and outs of having children.

You understand even more how important it is to be healthy in order to carry a child to term successfully. However, it never hurts to learn more. Here are our top 10 pregnancy tips to help you enjoy your pregnancy and do so in a healthy manner.

1.    Eat well

During pregnancy, you are eating for two. The baby requires a well-balanced diet in order to encourage development and growth. Your meals should contain all the major food groups in sufficient quantities. If you’re having multiples it’s a good idea to sit down with your OBGYN and a Joy of Life surrogacy specialist to craft a diet that’s tailored to your unique situation.

Image result for food and water 600 x 400

2.    Drink plenty of water

Dehydration can lead to premature contractions. Our bodies don’t produce water, so you need to ensure that your fluid intake is sufficient for you and the baby. Studies confirm the need to increase your water intake when you are pregnant. Ten cups each day or 2.3 liters is a good benchmark. Always carry a bottle of water around and download an app that’ll remind you to drink water regularly.

3.    Keep exercising

It might be tempting to stop exercising during your pregnancy; however, daily or regular exercise should continue to be a part of your life. Being fit will help you immensely when you go into labor. Exercise doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous. A daily walk around your block or to the local grocers will do just fine.Exercise will also prevent the baby from becoming too big and will help reduce stress during your pregnancy.Image result for exercise 600 x 400

4.    Get plenty of rest

Adequate rest is vital in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Eight hours of sleep every night is the recommended amount. As you enter your second trimester (week 13) your sleeping position should change to sideways. We do not recommend lying on your back as this increases the risk of cutting off the blood supply to the fetus as well as making you feel faint.

5.    Take prenatal vitamins

As a surrogate, you’re not new to taking vitamins. In fact, you were probably taking vitamins even before you fell pregnant. During your surrogate pregnancy, vitamins and prenatal supplements will continue to be vital as they are needed for the growing baby’s brain and nervous system development and bone and tissue growth.

Image result for Take prenatal vitamins 600 x 400

6.    Eliminate harmful substances

Everything you ingest or are exposed to during your surrogate pregnancy will affect the baby. This means you must avoid drugs, stop smoking, and not consume alcohol during your pregnancy. However, the list of substances to avoid is not limited to these products but extends to everyday items such as household cleaning products, caffeinated drinks and any medication that hasn’t been cleared by your OBGYN.

7.    Write a birth plan

When you go into labor everything should be clear: who you want to present, what you want to wear, preferred delivery methods, and any medical interventions you wish or do not wish to have. Your birth plan will set the stage and the precedence for how you wish to give birth. Take time to write out a birth plan. Follow these guidelines issued by the American Pregnancy Association.

8.    Track your weight

It is normal to put on a few extra pounds during pregnancy. These are the guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine. One way to keep tabs on how much weight you’re adding is by tracking your weight at the end of each trimester. Discuss any weight concerns you may have with your doctor and/or surrogacy specialist.

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9.    Minimize stress

The fluctuation of hormones in your body can cause a range of mood swings as well as distressing emotional states. It is imperative, therefore, that you find creative ways to rest and relax. Having a support system in place during your pregnancy will be important. If you’re going through a hard time with the pregnancy, talk to your surrogacy specialist or a counselor to get the emotional support and help necessary to pull through.

10.  Learn about postpartum depression

According to the CDC, 1 in 9 women is affected by postpartum depression. It is a common experience even among non-surrogates. If you find yourself depressed at any time during your surrogate pregnancy, consult with your doctor or a Joy of Life surrogacy specialist. Therapy and being in a support group may help, and your doctor can prescribe safe antidepressants. To find a prenatal support group near you, visit postpartum.net.

Bonus pregnancy tip: Enjoy the experience

When you’re happy it has a positive impact on the rest of your body. Taking the time to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience will go a long way in having a healthy pregnancy. Read up on being a surrogate, the challenges, and joys that will be a part of this amazing journey, and talk to your surrogacy professional regularly in order to make sure that you fully understand the entire process.

Joy of Life has your best interests at heart

Joy of Life is a leading surrogacy company located in Southern California. We are a diverse team made of up of former surrogate mothers, parents whose lives were changed by a surrogate, clinical coordinators and healthcare providers. Thanks to our unique experiences, we are able to truly walk with those considering being surrogates and those looking for a surrogacy option.

Professional Clinical Advisors

Our professional clinical advisors have years of experience in this industry and understand the delicate nature of this work. We are well able to advise accordingly and offer professional help as and when it’s needed.

Case Management Team

Our dedicated case management team handles every case that comes to us in the most efficient manner. Potential surrogate mothers and couples seeking to start a family enjoy complete confidentiality and get to ask questions in a safe environment. Every case is overseen by a case manager who receives support from a management team.

Available Nutritionist & Psychologist

In order to make sure that the surrogate mom and baby are healthy, we take surrogate mothers through counseling sessions where we discuss diet and health. This initiative is led by our qualified nutritionist. We also have a licensed psychologist on hand to talk to both surrogate mothers and intended parents about preparing themselves emotionally and mentally for the journey.

Competitive Compensation

We understand the importance of bringing a new life into the world; we equally know that no amount of compensation can fully thank surrogate mothers for their sacrifice and the love they show in making themselves available to give children to couples wishing to start families. For this reason, we offer a highly competitive compensation package for our surrogates. Come in and talk to us for more information.

Surrogate Mothers Choose Intended Parents

We also offer our surrogate mothers the prerogative of choosing the intended parents of the baby they will carry. This is done in private and is confidential. Right up till the birth the surrogate mother will continue to have rights over the child. All of this is detailed in the contract.

Are you keen to find out more about surrogacy or being a surrogate? Contact us for more information.

7 Tips to Reduce Pregnancy-Related Cramps

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According to studies, as much as 75% of women suffer from leg muscle cramps during pregnancy.

Here at Joy of Life Surrogacy, we believe that surrogate mothers should be well equipped and informed about pregnancy-related issues in order to enjoy their pregnancy. Therefore, we’ve put together the following seven tips to help you get rid of cramps during pregnancy.

Causes of cramps

First, there are different kinds of cramps that may be experienced during pregnancy: calf cramps, muscle cramps, and uterine cramps.

Leg and calf cramps during pregnancy are the result of the uterus compressing certain nerves, dehydration, fatigue, or reduced blood circulation in the legs. Mineral deficiency, particularly calcium and magnesium, is also a major culprit.

Uterine cramps are caused by a series of conditions that include the expanding uterus, stretching of the round ligament, gas and bloating, constipation, and contraction of sexually transmitted infections (STI).

Tips to get rid of cramps

So, what can you do to prevent and or get rid of cramps?

Drink 8 cups of water every day!!!

Water is of paramount importance during your pregnancy, as dehydration increases the frequency of cramps. Eat foods with high water content, such as spinach and cauliflower. Drink two glasses of water at every meal and always keep a water bottle with you.

Get plenty of sleep

Eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep each night. Failure to get adequate rest leads to fatigue, and fatigue can lead to cramping. Avoid incorporating power naps during the day if you fail to sleep properly at night.

Stretch your calf muscles

Image credit: wikihow.com

Avoid painful leg and calf cramps by stretching the muscles before bed. Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall to support yourself. Then cross your right leg behind your left leg as you gently bend your left knee. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other leg. Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and don’t rotate them.

Stay active

Keeping active during pregnancy is encouraged as it helps to prevent leg and calf cramps. It’s also known to aid during delivery as well. Physical exercise may even lower the chances of developing postpartum depression. Consult with your Joy of Life surrogacy specialist or doctor before starting an exercise program.

Take a magnesium supplement

Magnesium supplements might help prevent calf cramps during pregnancy. Clear all supplements with your doctor before you begin taking them. You can also up your magnesium levels by eating magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, beans, and dried fruits.

Get adequate calcium

The recommended target for pregnant women is 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. Check your calcium levels with your doctor and see if you can take a supplement or incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet.

Elevate your legs while you sleep

Image credit: hbgauthority.com

Keep pillows close by so you can elevate your legs. A general rule of thumb is to always keep your lower limbs higher than your hips. This will also bring relief to your lower back. Doing this increases blood circulation, as well.

Joy of Life Surrogacy teams up to walk with you

Joy of Life is a leading surrogacy company located in Southern California. We are a diverse team made up of former surrogate mothers, parents whose lives were changed by surrogate, clinical coordinators and health care providers. Thanks to our unique experiences we can truly walk with those considering being surrogates and those looking for a surrogacy option.

Are you keen to find out more about surrogacy or being a surrogate? Contact us at 909-908-0772 or send an e-mail to info@joyoflifesurrogacy.com.

surrogate mother experencing swelling

Ways to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

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Most women end up with swollen feet and ankles or edema during pregnancy. While it’s frustrating and causes feelings of embarrassment and discomfort in some, swelling is normal during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body generates about 50% more bodily fluids and blood to meet the needs of your developing baby.

While it’s natural to be concerned about edema, due to the associated discomfort, knowing how to reduce unnecessary swelling during pregnancy can help you remain as comfortable as possible.

At Joy of Life, the caring and experienced staff will help you reduce swelling, allowing you to enjoy the pregnancy without feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable. The California-based company deals with surrogacy on a regular basis and helps surrogate mothers throughout the process. Here’s what they say about swelling.

3 Ways to reduce swelling during pregnancy

  1. Consume adequate salt, plenty of protein, and other important nutrients

During pregnancy, you can potentially carry an extra 20 pounds of fluid, especially in the third trimester. Fortunately, essential minerals and nutrients have a direct impact on how well your body processes the extra fluid and maintains an electrolyte balance.

Take care to avoid packaged and processed foods, which comprise high quantities of ordinary table salt and go for unprocessed salt and whole foods.

  1. Consume foods with high potassium

Potassium is a significant mineral that helps sustain the ratio of salt to water in the body. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, scallions, and spinach.

  1. 30-min Exercise Daily

Engaging in exercises, such as swimming or gentle yoga, keeps your fluids circulating adequately throughout the body. Consequently, you’ll have a reduced likelihood of experiencing edema.

Abnormal and Dangerous Swelling during Pregnancy

While edema is a normal part of pregnancy, you must watch for and identify abnormal swelling, which could indicate a problematic underlying condition. When swelling isn’t in the normal range, or other symptoms accompany the swelling, it’s imperative you contact your midwife or OB immediately.

Some of the abnormal symptoms to watch for include swelling in the face or puffiness around the eyes; sudden or extreme swelling in the feet and hands; or more swelling in one leg compared to the other, accompanied by tenderness or pain. If you’re uncertain about the swelling or associated symptoms, it’s best to contact your care provider for verification.

If you’re concerned about how to reduce swelling, you can relax, knowing that Joy of Life surrogacy is collaborating with professional clients and professionals to help you solve the illness.

Speed up Recovery after pregnancy

How to Lose Weight After a Surrogate Birth

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Surrogacy is a type of assisted reproductive treatment whereby a woman agrees to carry a child within her uterus on another person’s behalf. For some, the treatment is their only chance to have a child. Southern California-based Joy of Life works daily with this form of treatment.

People at Joy of Life understand the concerns of new parents and are ready to guide you throughout the journey, including the legalities and intricacies involved in the treatment. One of the major concerns that women report is that they still look pregnant after  birth.

At Joy of Life, the staff helps address the concerns of surrogate mothers while offering invaluable advice. Below ‘Is our  advice on how to lose weight after a surrogate birth.

Looking Pregnant after Birth

Your tummy’s appearance after the birth of the child may  surprise you. In fact, you might still have a round midsection, making you appear 6 months pregnant. This is normal. However once you give birth, the body really does begin working to shrink your belly to its pre-pregnancy state.

However, the process is gradual. It takes about 4 weeks for the uterus to return to its normal size, and many women lose approximately 8-20 pounds during the initial two weeks as the body eliminates extra fluid.

Healthy Weight-loss Tips after a Surrogate Birth

For a lot of women, losing post-pregnancy weight can be a struggle. After all, it can be stressful adjusting to new routines,, and recovering. Nevertheless, it’s important you return to a healthy weight post-delivery, particularly if you intend to become pregnant again. Here’s a look at healthy ways of achieving weight loss.

1. Meals

You can achieve safe weight loss by adopting certain measures. For instance, you shouldn’t skip meals. Lots of new moms don’t eat regularly, resulting in less energy. Moreover, it doesn’t help in weight loss. Another tip involves eating 5-6 small meals daily with healthy snacks in between instead of three larger meals.

2. Don’t Crash and Burn

Avoid going on a crash diet where you don’t eat enough or fad diets that restrict certain kinds of nutrients and foods. While you might lose weight fast, the initial pounds you lose will return because they’re just fluid. Other pounds lost on a crash diet might be muscle rather than fat. You’ll gain whatever fat you lose on a crash diet the minute you resume normal eating.

3. Cardio Exercise

You’ll want to integrate cardio into your schedule, although it might not be possible to do your activities at the same level of intensity as before the pregnancy. You’ll notice high-impact exercises, for instance, aerobics or running might be uncomfortable as the body recovers. Therefore, you want to stick to low-impact activities, such as walking.

4. Core Strength

Unsurprisingly, pregnancy can weaken certain areas of your abs. It’s important for you to note that spot reduction of fat from certain sections of your body is impossible with particular exercises. You’ll need to lose body fat overall with a combination of a healthy diet, strength training, and cardio. Try to avoid excess pressure, especially around your lower belly where most women store surplus fat.

5. Strength Training

Strength training forms a significant part of a weight-loss program and recovery post-pregnancy. It helps increase your metabolism, builds lean muscle, and gives you the necessary strength Like other activities, you’ll need to start out gradually, even if you did these exercises before birth.

While surrogacy gives you the chance to help another family become parents, you can expect some changes that may  concern you. For instance, weight loss may  prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, Joy of Life is an expert in the surrogacy industry, so there’s no need to worry.

New Mom

5 Tips for New Moms

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Moms-to-be have a lot to ponder during any gestational period. On top of that, piling on the complex social, medical, and financial obstacles involved in getting a surrogate mother can make it easy for the parents-to-be to feel engulfed by the whole surrogacy process. In turn, our intended parents may end up skipping the next important step in their journey: preparing for parenthood.

In conclusion the tips compiled below from experts at Joy of Life coupled with knowledgeable parents, will hopefully elevate your confidence and allow you to embrace your upcoming role in parenthood.

1. Soothing Your Wailing Newborn

Crying is in the nature of newborn babies. Deciphering a baby’s cries can feel like trying to unlock a secret language. When your baby cries, don’t get frustrated. Comforting your baby by patting his or her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm is a good way to help the baby relax and burp more quickly.

2. Getting Back to Work

To slowly transition back to work, you can rehearse your routine for getting dressed, feeding the baby,

and leaving the house on time. Once you actually get back to work, you can use the time you spend with your newborn by prepping quick meals or ordering takeout during the first few weeks. Or you can have your groceries delivered by a reputable seller.

3. Letting Baby Bond with Dad

Make sure your baby has enough bonding time with dad. Since dad’s tone of voice and touch differ from yours, this initiates the baby/daddy bond, thereby giving you a much-needed break. Furthermore, the baby learns to adapt to being around other people besides the mother.

While the first few times may be challenging, make sure the baby is well-fed and properly rested, allowing you at least 2 hours before your care giving services are needed. It is during this period that you should let the dad have alone time with the baby.

4. Keeping the Baby’s Crib Layered

To help you be more efficient when it comes to changing the baby’s diaper at night, on the baby’s crib mattress, place a double layer of sheets and water-resistant mattress covers, one layer at a time. Then, you simply take off the first two layers, change the baby’s diaper, and then tuck him or her back in the crib without having to fumble for bedding in the middle of the night.

5. Coming Together For Greatness

At Joy of Life, we take into consideration the laundry list of reservations that new moms and dads may have. Ultimately, our highly competent coordinators will walk with you on the journey toward parenthood and offer guidance along the way with our top-notch practices, such as the ones outlined above.

For more information on surrogacy and the services we provide, feel free to contact us today!