If you use search engines such as Google, Yahoo or any other search engine, and navigate the internet you can find multiple definitions of what BMI or Body Mass Index is. In short, it’s a measurement of a person’s body fat, calculated using height and weight.
Although this indicator can make some people feel self-conscious, it does help doctors define a desired weight window where getting pregnant is easier. Doctors have kept statistics that measure the BMI of a women who is able to get pregnant. Women who have a high BMI may be fit and have a very easy pregnancy, but doctors have found that the probability of complications rise as the BMI gets either too high or too low. The chances of getting pregnant easily increase when a woman’s BMI is in the range of 25.5 to 33.
If a women does not fall into the window of 25.5 to 33, does that mean that she cannot get pregnant? No, of course not. What it does do, however, is lower the possibility of an uncomplicated pregnancy.
Let’s discuss how having a BMI that is higher or lower than the window we spoke of affect a pregnancy. It can take a woman that has a BMI of 35 or higher 2 times longer to get pregnant. If a woman has an under-the-window BMI it can take her 4 times as long to get pregnant. Even though in surrogacy the fertilization takes place outside the body, the part that is most important is the embryo attaching to the uterus lining to begin the baby’s development.
According to the Diabetes Research Institute, diabetes is a condition in which the system releasing sugar and glucose into the body to provide it with energy does not work. During pregnancy, women with higher BMI frequently develop gestational diabetes. This condition usually only lasts during the pregnancy, and does not mean that the woman will have diabetes after giving birth. However, the greater frequency of gestational diabetes in women with higher BMI is one reason for the BMI guidelines.
When people have BMIs that are either high or low, they can suffer from blood pressure issues. This can lead to preeclampsia, which affects 5 to 8% of women who have a child, according to the Genetics Home Reference organization. The condition can cause women to have the baby sooner that it would have normally been born. Having been born early can also unchain a series of other conditions that can affect the baby and the carrier. If a woman has a BMI of 35, the risk of preeclampsia doubles in comparison to one that has a BMI of 25.
In general, the kind of risks and conditions that can present themselves for women not within the BMI window increase. We spoke of the carrier’s weight, but what of that of the baby? High birth weight babies carry the possibility of diabetes for life. This type of disease can be avoided with the Surrogate or the mother living a healthy lifestyle. This healthy lifestyle usually means having a BMI within the window of 25.5. to 33. Again, this does not mean that a person with a high BMI cannot lead a healthy lifestyle, it just means that doctors at the IVF clinic prefer to work with people within the BMI window to reduce the risks that any pregnancy can face.
One of the most precious moments in life is the actual birth. This moment where the baby is born, can be one of the most heartwarming and special moment in a woman’s life. When the carrier’s BMI is high there are risks related to miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects. In addition, labor can be complicated. Many doctors prefer to perform a C-Section instead of having to deal with shoulder dystocia where after the baby’s head is delivered the rest of its body does not come out that easily. There is also a risk of the Surrogate or mother hemorrhaging and have anesthesia complications as well.
For any pregnancy, the most important thing is the well-being of the child and the carrier. The gift of being able to have a child is not granted to everyone. This is why it is very important to protect the woman who carries a child. She too must do her part as well, for example having a healthy lifestyle as well as generate the optimal conditions for her pregnancy and the baby’s development. Although having a high BMI is not a certain indicator that all risks will be present in a pregnancy, it is in the best interest of the child and carrier that the carrier finds herself within the BMI window.
We at Omega Family Global care for the well-being of our amazing surrogates and work with those that find themselves in the BMI window to ensure a fantastic surrogacy journey, for her, the baby and the Intended Parents.