Whooping cough (Pertussis) is a highly contagious infection that leads to uncontrollable coughing. Whooping cough has been referred to as the 100-day cough due to the severity of coughing fits and the length of time one is ill. Other cold symptoms can be present, such as a fever and runny nose.

Even with vaccinations, the incidence of whooping cough has risen in the last twenty years. When whooping cough is severe, it can cause death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are no deaths due to Whooping cough or Pertussis in pregnant women. The low rates of Whooping cough is due to the use of routine vaccination during pregnancy.

Doctors recommend getting a Whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine in your third trimester of every pregnancy up until you go into labor. The Tdap vaccine also protects against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. The vaccine provides added protection for the pregnant women and baby from whooping cough. The vaccine is safe for pregnant women and there is no evidence that the vaccine will put the baby at risk.

Whooping Cough Vaccine

Whooping cough can be dangerous for babies, causing coughing fits, gasping for air, serious lung infections, hospitalization, and in some circumstances, death. The protection you get from the Tdap vaccine passes on to the baby during pregnancy, which is important for the health of the baby. The antibodies are passed on from the mother to child. The benefits of the vaccine for the baby are many and outweigh the risks, if any.

Talk to your medical provider about getting the vaccination during your routine prenatal appointment. It is important to get a Whooping cough vaccination during each pregnancy. Also, family should consider getting the vaccination as well to reduce any risk of getting infected with Whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus or polio.

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Surrogacy 101

by Admin on April 9, 2018

When you feel that there are no options left to have kids, you can always consider surrogacy. Surrogacy is a process that uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) to fuse an egg and sperm so that it can be inserted into a surrogate’s womb. In some cases, a surrogate is a family member or friend that volunteers or it can be someone you pay through an accredited agency. This is known as gestational surrogacy—a woman bearing a genetically unrelated child for another person or couple via an IVF procedure to transfer the embryo to the surrogate. There are significant costs, time, emotions and legalities associated with the surrogacy process that you need to consider.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gestational surrogacy has increased over the last decade. Between 1999 and 2013, there were over 18,000 infants born via surrogacy. Each year, approximately 750 babies are born using surrogacy in the United States.

Surrogacy Agency

Surrogacy offers a viable option for some women who may have health risks associated with being pregnant. Also, surrogacy is often an option for women who have a serious medical condition or a history of cancer (that can recur) where a pregnancy would be risky or fatal for the mother. Surrogacy is an option for women without a uterus or if the uterus is unable to carry a pregnancy to term.  Not to mention, surrogacy is used when a single man or same-gender male couple choose to have a genetically-related child.

If you have any questions or are interested in surrogacy, we are here to answer your questions. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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Male Infertility

by Admin on April 2, 2018

Not many men readily talk about their experience with male infertility. Men are stereotypically macho and full of pride; however, they may be dealing with depression related to male infertility.

Male infertility is the inability to impregnate a woman naturally. Infertility in males can be due to semen deficiency or low semen quality. This affects sperm production or sperm transport (the sperm has low mobility), making it difficult to have a successful pregnancy. The cases of male infertility affect approximately 7% of men. In about 30% of infertility cases, the reason is male fecundity.

The reasons for low sperm count is many. Some include a pre-existing condition, use of alcohol or drugs, hernia, hormone disorders, exposure to radiation, injury to the groin area or wearing restrictive clothing. Other causes could be related to history of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STD) or urinary tract infections (UTI).

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Men suffering from fertility issues are identified as under the age of 35 who have tried to have children for over a year with a female counterpart unsuccessfully. Both parties have to undergo physical exams and screenings to rule out who is infertile. A male will undergo a blood test, semen analysis, and physical examination. In our society, we typically hear of females being infertile, but many times it is the male who cannot cause pregnancy in a fertile female.

Men can take measures to increase sperm count, by exercising regularly, taking vitamin and mineral supplements – including Vitamin C, D, and zinc, relaxing and living stress-free. Also, try to avoid alcohol or other drugs which may also lower sperm count.

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Is Pregnancy Brain Real?

by Admin on April 2, 2018

Many pregnant women joke about pregnancy brain or mommy brain, explained as minor memory lapses (others claim it is similar to short-term amnesia) that is a side effect of pregnancy. Pregnancy brain can include forgetting words or things, mixing up what to say, and misplacing items. It is common for pregnant women to experience this phenomenon which seems to cloud the brain.

According to research, pregnancy brain is legit! This so-called mommy brain may make you feel like you are losing your mind or that you have a few screws loose, but this is only temporary. Don’t worry, you will start remembering where you put your keys and you may even stop putting the cereal in the fridge.

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One study from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia revealed that pregnant women do experience impaired or declined cognitive function. This research was based on 20 different studies with 709 pregnant women and 521 non-pregnant women. The conclusion was that pregnant women do have maternally-induced memory issues and decreased cognitive and executive functions compared to women who were not pregnant. In addition, it was cited that mommy brain is most prevalent during the third trimester. This now makes perfect sense!

Granted, there is still additional research needed to identify what impact this has on the pregnancy. At least now you can take action if you forget to do something for work or if you miss your doctor appointment. You can be more aware and plan accordingly so that pregnancy brain doesn’t slow you down or affect your day-to-day routine.

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YES! We cannot stress this enough. If you are pregnant, please get a flu vaccination as soon as possible. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all pregnant women get a flu shot to protect both themselves and the baby. If you are on the fence about getting a flu shot during your pregnancy, either because you just hate shots or you don’t want to experience side effects from the vaccine, consider some of the benefits of the flu shot.

First off, the protection you get from the flu vaccine doesn’t only protect you from the nasty virus, it also passes on to the baby during pregnancy.  Pregnancy actually lowers your immune system, so the vaccine can help protect the baby or minimize the symptoms of the flu. In fact, if a mother gets a flu shot during her pregnancy, the protection extends to the baby after birth. This is especially important since babies under six months are too young to get vaccinated against the flu. There is research that shows when a flu vaccine is given to the mother (or surrogate), there is a 70 percent less chance of the baby getting the virus.

The flu can be dangerous for you and the baby, causing low birth weight, premature birth, stillbirth, hospitalization, or in some very serious circumstances, death. The flu shot is safe for pregnant women and it doesn’t matter what trimester you are in. Just don’t get the nasal spray flu vaccine as that is a live, weakened virus. The flu shot is a few seconds of pain for a worthy outcome of increased health for you and the baby.

While many have their own opinion regarding vaccinations, we recommend that you talk to your doctor for more information and any risk associated with getting or opting out of the flu shot.

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Costs of Surrogacy

by Admin on April 2, 2018

If you are seriously considering a surrogacy agency and are conducting research, you might be wondering about the costs of surrogacy. There is no clear-cut answer since there are numerous costs involved that depend on each person’s circumstances or special cases. In general, we try to focus on the overall value of the surrogacy process to get to the end result instead of the costs associated with each step of the way.

Please note that the figures we are providing are estimates.

The average cost of surrogacy can range from $80,000 to $160,000. The base compensation for a surrogate mother is approximately  $35,000-$60,000 and up to pay for the effort and time they dedicate to carry a baby for another person.  A surrogate usually receives payments on top of the base compensation for things, such as maternity clothes, medication, and travel to and from medical appointments.  Most health insurance carriers exclude surrogacy so often the Intended Parents have to purchase a new surrogate friendly plan for their surrogate.

surrogate agency

The other types of fees associated with surrogacy are the professional management costs for the agency to navigate you through the entire journey. This includes the recruitment, vetting and education of qualified applicants. The professional agency manages all the ins and outs of the process and ensures that everyone is on the same page for a successful outcome.

Some other costs to consider are the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process to retrieve eggs from the donor or intended mother, fertilized, and transferred to the surrogate mother. Fees for IVF treatment are upwards of $20,000 and usually include blood tests, medical screenings, medications, and lab tests.

Everyone’s surrogacy experience is different, so please remember that when budgeting for a surrogacy. Please contact us with any questions you may have about costs for a surrogacy process.

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Many couples have trouble getting pregnant even after one year of trying. Here are some common fertility mistakes to avoid to increase your chances of conceiving.

First, don’t restrict your position during sex. Yes, there are those who say there are certain positions that have a higher likelihood to result in pregnancy. The truth is, if you are ovulating and your partner’s sperm has no issues, the chances of getting pregnant are the same regardless of the position.

Second, don’t ignore the man’s health. Often times, the woman feels like she is the reason for infertility. Infertility is not just a woman’s problem. A man’s sperm production and/or sperm motility can be the cause of infertility. A physician can conduct a sperm analysis to find out if your partner’s sperm is normal and if it can swim normally towards the egg.

expecting mothers

Third, if you are having trouble conceiving, don’t have sex more than once a day when you are ovulating. Having sex multiple times per day actually decreases sperm count and reduces your chance of becoming pregnant.

Fourth, women try not to douche. Douching changes the pH of the vagina and can be the cause of an infection. A normal pH is necessary for the sperm to reach the egg.

Lastly, try not to stress. This is the hardest part, but stress reduces your chances of getting pregnant. So try to relax and don’t focus on the fact that you may not be pregnant yet.

Contact our offices to find out more about infertility and talk to our specialists if you are infertile and want to try other options.

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Best Age to Have a Baby

by Admin on April 2, 2018

Is there a perfect age to have a baby? Parenting is no easy feat – it comes with challenges, stress, obstacles and the biggest love and rewards you can imagine. But, if you’re deciding to become a parent, is there a right time to do so?

If you ask any parent, the overall consensus is that there is no right or age time to have a baby. Yes, this is different for everyone, since it is difficult to completely prepare for a pregnancy or baby until it actually happens.

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Let’s take a look at the numbers. A healthy woman in her twenties has a greater chance of getting pregnant each cycle and the percentages go down as she ages. However, there is research that has found that there is an ideal time for pregnancy which is before age 32 and up until age 37. This is because fertility and the fecundity of eggs decrease after that age range. The study found that at age 32, the outcomes of overall infant mortality, which is a measure of the baby’s health, was low. Basically, if you get pregnant before age 32, it allows for a more successful time period for conception, birth, and health outcomes for the baby and mother. However, there are women in their forties that have had healthy pregnancies and successful births at their later age. So, please take these numbers with a grain of salt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more American women who are pregnant in their thirties than in their twenties. While there is research suggesting an ideal age to get pregnant, this is just a recommendation. What do you think is the ideal age to start a family?

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How Often Can I Donate My Eggs?

by Admin on February 5, 2018

Women who have donated eggs before or women who are interested in egg donation for the first time may be curious about how often they can do so. Egg donors are often pleased with the process and in knowing they are helping others achieve their dream of having a child. This may warrant a woman to go through this process more than once.

The general guidelines for egg donation are based on the expertise of each specific fertility treatment center. First and foremost is the safety of the egg donor. The fertility experts will provide guidance for each woman, as each case is different. However, we are here to support your wish to donate your eggs and we want to see that come to fruition.

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It is common for women to donate their eggs more than once. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that there is no harm or risks associated with egg donation.  The fertility center will often have you see a doctor and review medical records to make sure there are no health concerns. In addition, there is a waiting period of at least two regular menstrual cycles between egg donations.

Fertility experts are most concerned with the age parameters for egg donation. The national guidelines are to have donors between the ages of 21 and 30. Some centers have even stricter guidelines. This is to ensure that there will be a successful chance of conception for the intended family.

IF you want to become an egg donor or have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here for you!

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Gay Parenting Options

by Admin on February 5, 2018

Being LGBTQ does not mean you can’t have kids of your own. There are many options for people of the LGBTQ community. Some choose to adopt or foster a child, while others have the longing to have their own biological child.

For gay couples, surrogacy is a viable option to build their family by having their own child. During this process, a surrogate will carry the baby for the gay couple. A donor’s egg is fertilized by the sperm of one of the fathers-to-be. Depending on what state you live in, the egg donor and the surrogate may need to be two different women.

We recommend making sure that your surrogate agency supports your LGBTQ concerns and will make the effort to match you with LGBTQ-friendly surrogates. We treat every one of our clients equally, in a compassionate and professional manner. Becoming a parent is an important decision and we want to offer you the support and guidance for your surrogacy journey.

gay parenting options

It is also important for gay couples who consider surrogacy to obtain legal advice regarding surrogate and egg donor agreements for protection throughout the process.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about building a family of your own.

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