Why Does BMI Matter For Surrogacy?

One of the common requirements for becoming a surrogate is having a body mass index (BMI) between 19-32. This means that underweight women (BMI<18.5) and most obese women (BMI >30) cannot be approved as surrogates. We understand that this may seem insensitive, so we wanted to provide a resource for this requirement. We base our surrogate criteria off of best medical practices and recommendations to minimize risk for our surrogates, intended parents, and new babies.

Why Does BMI Matter For Surrogacy?

Some underweight and obese women have perfectly healthy pregnancies. In general, however, women who are underweight or obese experience higher risks during their pregnancies. That doesn’t guarantee a challenge-free pregnancy for women with a BMI between 19-32. Each pregnancy is different, and no one can accurately predict all possible risks. As a surrogacy agency, our priority is to lower the risks as much as possible for our surrogates, intended parents, and future babies. Our intended parents put all their trust in their surrogate, who is responsible for carrying and nurturing their most precious gift. Surrogacy requires an incredible emotional, physical, and financial investment. Working with surrogates who have a BMI between 19-32 is one of many ways that we guard that commitment by lessening the overall risks involved.

Pregnancy Complications Linked With Being Underweight

Women who are underweight can experience several different complications during pregnancy, including higher risks of anemia, endometriosis, and hemorrhaging. Underweight women are also more likely to need a cesarean delivery (C-section). If a pregnant woman is underweight, the baby is at higher risks of not weighing enough at birth and having delayed growth.

Pregnancy Complications Linked With Being Obese

Women who are obese are at much higher risk of very serious complications during pregnancy and delivery. These complications include miscarriage and stillbirth, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, and heart problems.

Obesity also makes it harder to perform regular prenatal tests, like ultrasounds, so it’s more difficult to monitor the baby’s health. Babies of obese pregnancies have a higher risk of birth defects, being pre-term, and having impaired growth. Obesity increases the chance of needing a C-section, but also increases the risks of complications with the procedure.

How Strict Are The BMI Requirements For Surrogacy?

Every requirement for surrogates is designed to protect the health, safety, and security of the surrogate, child, and intended parents, so they are understandably pretty strict. That being said, BMI is just one of the many factors used to determine eligibility, and there is occasionally room for some individual flexibility. For instance, although an obese BMI technically starts at 30, most health professionals allow for a BMI of up to 32 for surrogates. BMI by itself is not the only measure of health, so some candidates who are close to the target BMI range and meet all the other eligibility requirements may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Reach Out With Questions About Surrogacy Requirements

At Eggceptional Fertility, we make miracles happen, and our number one priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. If you’d like more information on becoming a surrogate and joining the Eggceptional family, reach out to us today.