BMI or body mass is a universal tool used to measure overweight and obesity. It defines the relationship between body weight and height. BMI=703×weight (lbs)/[height (in)]2. In surrogacy, almost all professionals will require that you fall within a certain BMI range in order to become a surrogate. This may seem like an insensitive requirement, but, like most rules, they’re there for an important reason.

Why is a Surrogate’s BMI Important?

There are a number of reasons why a woman’s BMI is important to her eligibility as a surrogate.

  • A higher BMI has been associated with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, pregnancy hypertension, an increased rate of cesarean section, postpartum hemorrhage and other pregnancy complications.
  • A higher BMI has been linked to complications with the baby after the birth.
  • A too-low BMI has been associated with an increased risk for preterm delivery and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) babies.
  • A too-high or too-low BMI takes longer for you to become pregnant — about twice as long if you have a higher BMI versus a healthy BMI. With surrogacy, time is literally money for the intended parents, because it means more embryo transfers.

These requirements can be frustrating for healthy women who don’t seem themselves as “malnourished” or “obese,” as the BMI index may label them, or who fall outside the required range for surrogates.

What are the BMI Requirements for Surrogacy?

Every prospective surrogate must have a healthy BMI in order to carry a child for intended parents. While weight isn’t the only indicator of good health, it is an important factor in a successful pregnancy.

That said, surrogate BMI requirements are often subjective. Different fertility specialists have different opinions on what is a disqualifying surrogate mother weight and what will allow a woman to move forward with this journey. While the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends certain general requirements for gestational carriers, its guidelines do not touch on the recommended weight of a surrogate. It’s left up to surrogacy professionals to set a weight range that they believe is most conducive to a healthy pregnancy.

Generally, many surrogacy professionals will set BMI requirements for surrogacy between 19 and 33. This range excludes most women who are medically underweight or obese — both dangerous situations in which to carry a child.

Prospective surrogates should always research potential surrogacy professionals and talk to a specialist to learn more about their specific surrogate mother weight and BMI requirements.

BMI Weight Status Categories

The BMI statistical categories below are based on BMI scores and apply to adults of age 20 years and upwards. The World Health Organisation (WHO) regards a healthy adult BMI to be between 18.5 and 25.

Interested in learning more about surrogacy at Hellobaby Surrogacy? Check out our parents page for information about becoming a parent through surrogacy or our surrogate page to learn about becoming a surrogate! You can also follow along on our Facebook and Twitter as we share updates, resources, and client stories daily!

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