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.

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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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Working Out While Pregnant

by Admin on February 5, 2018

Many women wonder if exercise is appropriate during pregnancy. While pregnancy is not the time you want to start working out to lose weight or start a high-impact kickboxing class, it is a good idea to engage in light to moderate activity if you are healthy and if you have been physically active in the past.  Please consult your physician to get the green light to work out during pregnancy and to make sure that you will not be put at risk for miscarriage or other complications.

Exercise is Important

Exercise can help with some of the discomforts associated with pregnancy and can actually help during labor. There are many health benefits associated with working out for 20 to 30 minutes a few days a week.  Some of the benefits include reducing body aches and swelling, increasing your energy, improving your mood, improving posture, helping with sleep and preventing gestational diabetes.

We recommend avoiding exercise during pregnancy that requires intense bursts of jumping, hopping, skipping or bouncing. Also, please be careful to avoid any exercise that could cause falling or other injuries. Do not exercise when it is extremely hot or humid and do not exercise to the point of exhaustion.

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We also recommend wearing loose fitting, comfortable clothing, and the correct fitting tennis shoes to optimize your exercise that you are doing. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after your workout. Also, it may be helpful to eat a high-protein snack pre- and post-workout.  It is helpful to stretch lightly after exercise and get up slowly in order to prevent dizziness.

Get ready to get your body moving, your blood flowing and get those steps in. Many pregnant women like to practice yoga, swim, hike or take walks. These are all great ways to stay healthy by exercising in moderation.

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Talking to Kids about Donor Conception

by Admin on January 15, 2018

If you are considering egg donation or surrogacy, you may be facing the “conversation” with your child in the future.

There are two ways to go about this conversation.

Be honest and up front from the beginning. This will instill a sense of honesty and trust in your relationship building the values you will want your kids to follow. Yes, this is difficult and may make you feel queasy at the thought of explaining this to a child. However, they will know how much they were wanted and the time and effort you took to have a child.

Or you can choose to not tell and hope they don’t find out.

If you decide to stay quiet and keep the secret, it still may be discovered at some point. The truth eventually can be figured out and at that point trust could be lost. In the coming years as technology is becoming more advanced, learning about and testing DNA and genetics will be easier. If your child starts inquiring about why they don’t look so much like you, they may start investigating and finding out more than you thought they would. Kids are smart.

It is ultimately your personal choice to decide whether to share with others the information about egg donation or surrogacy. Everyone has an opinion. So regardless of whether you tell your family, friends, child, etc. you have to make that decision so you can sleep well at night.

Intended Parents

If you are interested in explaining the process you went through to your child, there are plenty of resources and books that are age-appropriate. You will have to determine what age is appropriate to start discuss how they were conceived. Perhaps you can consult your egg donor or surrogacy agency to discuss how others have started the conversation. There may be references you can speak with to learn the best way to disclose information.

Even after all the time you spend contemplating about how to tell your child, he or she may have a hard time with the information you share with them. They will probably have questions and concerns that you should prepare for. We know you will do the best thing for you and your family.

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Baby Bonding

by Admin on January 15, 2018

An emotional bond that develops between a mother and her child is very special and necessary for the child’s development. Forming such a bond is not always immediate. It takes time and long-term nurturing to make that a bond organically flourishes. Bonding gives the baby a sense of security and helps parents feel connected to their new bundle of joy.

Some mothers who cannot conceive naturally and are considering surrogacy often wonder if they will bond with their child. Now the research shows that the attachment between any child and parent can take weeks or months, whether through natural conception or surrogacy. The bond does not always begin in utero or the moment the baby is born.

So rest assured if you are considering surrogacy — the bond will develop with time. Some bonds can be immediate for some mothers, while others stare at the baby wondering if they made a huge mistake. Try not to feel anxious or guilty if a bond takes longer to build.  The process takes time, so be patient.

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Bonding also happens in many ways. When your newborn is put in your arms at the hospital and you touch her, gaze at her, and coo at her can begin the bonding process. Even when you feed the baby, bathe the baby or change those diapers — this all adds to the bond that will develop in time.

Many intended parents feel an immediate connection with the baby. Especially since they are involved in the surrogacy process from the start. Being present during the birthing process is especially important for bonding.  Once you get home, spend as much time as possible with your child. Wearing a baby in a baby carrier is a great way to foster bonding as well. Skin-to-skin contact with the newborn is also a great way to calm the baby and help with bonding.

We can offer you support throughout the surrogacy process to help ensure you are connected and bonded with your new baby. We encourage and help with any concerns regarding emotional attachment and can provide tools and resources.

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It’s the start of a new year and this is the time to reevaluate our life choices. This is the perfect opportunity to make positive changes we want for the upcoming year. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to stay fit, eat healthier, or start a family. We try our hardest to stick to these new pledges without failing at them.

For those facing the struggle of infertility, this New Year may bring the dream of having a child. Whether your resolution list includes surrogacy, egg donation or getting pregnant, we know that you don’t want to fail. Try not to pressure yourself to have this happen at this exact moment. Focus on the positive and your inner happiness so that you can move forward with your journey to create a family.

We know that it’s hard not to think about your journey into surrogacy and egg donation at every moment of your day. The added pressure won’t make this happen any quicker. We are here to help you succeed and to help guide you to build your family. It’s hard not to get frustrated with the process or slow progress. Many times you may want to give up. However, we can help you celebrate the small steps to get to the bigger goal.

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For those women who have a resolution to help a family who cannot conceive bring a child into their family this year, we are also here to make this a successful outcome. If you are interested in donating your eggs or in becoming a surrogate this year, we can help you succeed as well. There is no better gift than to help a family struggling with infertility build their own family. Having that as a resolution is a beautiful sentiment.

We are here to make your New Year’s resolution of building a family come true. Sticking to resolutions is not easy and we want you to be able to keep your resolution and succeed with your dream.

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Pregnancy Weight Gain during the Holidays

by Admin on December 21, 2017

The holidays are here and the temptations for delicious treats are everywhere. If you are pregnant and you want to indulge in goodies this time of year, we don’t blame you. Studies show that most people gain weight during the holidays from November to January.
In general, a woman with an average weight before pregnancy should gain between 25 and 35 pounds total. There are different guidelines for women who were overweight or underweight at the start of her pregnancy.
There are some things you can do to avoid holiday weight gain, especially when you are trying to maintain your weight during pregnancy.

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Keep your physical activity going during the holidays. With your doctor’s approval, you can work out during pregnancy, even when it’s chilly outside. This will help keep your weight in check and also help lower stress levels. Try to schedule your work out time in advance so that it’s already on your calendar.

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Find a workout buddy. Having someone hold you accountable at the gym, a fitness class or a quick stroll around the neighborhood is a great way to keep motivated.
Set food and snacking boundaries. Holiday parties are packed with foods that may not be ideal. These may be disguised as healthy, but in fact could be full of sugar or sodium that isn’t ideal for a pregnant woman, especially if there are issues with gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Limit yourself to one treat once or twice per week.
Come prepared to parties. If you show up on an empty stomach, chances are you will want to eat everything in sight. Instead, bring along some apple slices or almonds to satisfy some cravings without indulging in everything. Then if you want to nibble a little, remember to eat in moderation. A few bites can satisfy your cravings without having to finish a whole buffet plate.
So think about your New Year’s resolutions early and focus on eating healthy and enjoying holiday treats in moderation. These strategies can help minimize weight gain during pregnancy, but don’t worry if a few pounds sneak in.

Happy Holidays!

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Gestational Diabetes

by Admin on November 29, 2017

In general, your pancreas does a great job of balancing blood glucose, or sugar, by producing insulin. However, sometimes when you’re pregnant, your body works in a different way to benefit the growing baby. During pregnancy, the placenta creates an abundance of hormones that cause your body to resist insulin, also called insulin resistance, which makes it hard for the body to use insulin. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot be converted to energy when leaving the blood stream. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin, sometimes three times the normal amount. If the body can’t keep up with the increased amount of insulin, the result is gestational diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women who have never had diabetes experience high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.  An analysis in 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the prevalence of gestational diabetes is as high as 9.2%. Women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian have a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes.

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Most often your doctor will put in an order for you to have a glucose screening as general prenatal care. Please don’t worry. It is recommended that pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks get screened for gestational diabetes. The test is simple. Either the doctor’s office or lab will give you a syrupy glucose drink. The drink contains approximately 50 grams of glucose and it tastes like flavored soda. You can have the choice of different flavors: orange, lime or cola. There are specific instructions that you need to follow which explains how to consume the drink and when to get your blood drawn at the lab. Basically, you will need to drink this within five minutes. Then, one hour later, you will have a blood sample taken to determine your blood sugar level. Your doctor will discuss the results with you. If the test comes back with an abnormal or high level, you will need to take a three-hour Glucose Tolerance Test. Once those results come back, the doctor will let you know if you have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is controlled with a specific diet. A dietician can help you plan your meals, teach you about physical fitness and you will also learn how to check your blood sugar.
If you are pregnant and experience unusual thirst, vaginal or bladder infections, frequent urination, blurred vision, or nausea you should let your doctor know. This can largely be controlled for the most part with diet and exercise and it generally resolves after pregnancy.

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Classical Music for Baby

by Admin on November 29, 2017

Does classical music benefit the development of an unborn baby?
Although there is no official way to know, there has been some research that supports the notion that fetuses move when music is played. It is difficult to assess what the movements really are since the unborn baby cannot directly be observed very well. There is data that focuses on older children and the benefits of classical music, just not for fetuses at this point.  The thought is that music can help toddlers boost their spatial reasoning skills tested 3- and 4-year-olds. Many experts deduce that if music has so many great benefits for toddlers, perhaps babies and even fetuses would have the same benefits.
Some parents vouch that their babies recognize a familiar song that was played when they were in the womb. Researchers do not have conclusive evidence, but some parents believe this and continue to play music for the baby in the womb.
If a pregnant women wants to play music for the unborn child, it is best to use a regular sound system or car radio. Experts do not recommend using headphones on your belly because the music could be too loud or overstimulating for the baby. There have been studies in the 1990s by the American Academy of Pediatrics correlating exposure to loud noise over a long period with premature birth, lower birth weights, and high frequency hearing loss. Please be aware that these studies included pregnant women who worked in high noise areas.Surrogate Mothers
Since the research on this topic is so minimal, medical professionals have mixed opinions on whether music is beneficial or bothersome to fetuses. Pregnant women are advised to play music to relax and unwind, which can be an indirect benefit for the baby. We don’t recommend trying to teach the unborn baby Mozart’s symphonies. If you choose to play some calming music for the unborn baby, keep the sound at a moderate level, similar to what you would hear at a department store. This will keep the baby from getting startled.

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Baby Blues

by Admin on November 16, 2017

Many people wonder what it’s like to go through the whole process of pregnancy and childbirth, but not have a baby to care for afterwards.

How do you know if a surrogate has Postpartum Depression (PPD)?
How should you act around a surrogate after she’s given birth?
How long should you wait to connect with the surrogate after she gave birth to the baby?
Is she an emotional wreck?
How do you address the situation in a sensitive manner?

These are all very normal questions about how to react to surrogacy after the baby is born. The reality is, surrogates do understand how others may perceive the situation to be. There is no reason to walk on eggshells and we will explain why.

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First off, we should not assume that a surrogate will experience PPD because she “gave up the baby”. Symptoms of PPD include loss of appetite, insomnia, irritability or the blues. The fact is, surrogates generally have to participate in health and mental screenings with a psychologist to help with their mental well-being. Women who decide to be surrogates understand the final outcome of the process — to give the baby to the intended parents. So if PPD does occur, it is a side effect directly related to the birth, not necessarily because the surrogate wanted to keep the baby. Approximately 10-20% of women experience PPD which is a hormone imbalance, regardless of whether they are a surrogate or not. The bottom line is that there is no causal relationship between being a surrogate and experiencing PPD.

Surrogates may not feel back to their normal selves after birth, which is normal and has nothing to do with giving the baby to the intended parents. Post-birth, some surrogates may experience nostalgia for the surrogacy process, or simply a void after having completed such a moving opportunity. However, most surrogates are happy to know that they delivered a healthy child to a welcoming home. They are satisfied to see the parents cry tears of joy as they finally hold their baby.

If you know anyone experiencing the blues related to a pregnancy, the best thing to do is be supportive to make sure she gets the proper help she needs to feel better. Counseling or therapy with a medical health professional or social worker can be helpful.

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