Best Practices
Laws & Rights
Health & Well Being
Fertility

Affording a Baby

Before embarking on the amazing journey of having a baby it is very important to consider the costs of having and raising a child.  In the case of a co-parenting arrangement there are two households and for all intents and purposes double the costs.  Having a baby can put a family under a huge amount of financial stress as they struggle to meet the costs of basics like healthcare, housing and education. Take an informed look at your own budget.  Expenses that you need to budget for include:

1.            Health insurance & Medical Bills: If you have health insurance you are probably expecting that it will cover basics like your monthly pregnancy check-ups and delivery, and routine check-ups and vaccinations for your baby.  Make sure to examine your health insurance policy carefully to be sure what it covers.  Remember that co-payments to your pediatrician can rack up especially during your new baby's first year. Always check if there is a generic formulation of a medication as it will save you a lot of money.

2.            Childcare: Many new parents enlist the services of a baby nurse, and eventually a nanny, to help them through the early stages of new parenthood and beyond.  This would be especially helpful for a co-parenting situation when you will be most probably living in separate homes and not in a position to tag team for feedings at night. Of course if you are lucky enough to have active parents they can also be extremely useful for taking a little bit of the pressure off but allowing you a date night with your partner or even just a shower.

3.            Nutrition:  Whether you choose to breastfeed, use formula, or a combination thereof, it is surprisingly expensive to feed someone with such a tiny little stomach.  If you are planning on breastfeeding and you plan to leave your child for longer than two hours for work or other reasons you will need to pump milk and therefore need a breast pump.  You will also need bottles, a drying rack, burp cloths, bottle cleaning brushes and a bottle warmer.

4.            Diapers & Pharmaceuticals: You will get to know the baby aisle of your local pharmacy and super market extremely well.  To avoid boredom it pays to stock up on things like diapers, diaper cream, baby wipes, gripe water, formula (if you aren't breastfeeding), baby friendly washing detergent like Dreft, baby thermometers and pacifiers.

5.            Clothing:  Baby clothing is adorable and irresistible!  For the most part babies are happiest in comfortable easy cotton clothing - buy organic cottons if you can.  Just remember how quickly babies grow, that they cannot read labels and that they are not sensitive to fashion trends.

6.            Furniture & Baby Gear: You can go crazy decorating your nursery but actually there are only a few basics that you absolutely need. There is no argument from most parents that being organized and having "the right" baby gear and products makes a parents life easier but be sensible, read reviews and ask friends with children what they actually used.  Some of the essentials include: crib, mattress, bedding, blankets, dresser which can double as a change table, glider or rocking chair, car seat(s), stroller, diaper bag, high chair, bottle warmer, diaper pail, baby bath, baby monitors, baby gym and mobile, child proofing devices, toys and books.

Nesting is made very easy nowadays with all of the online websites that cater to expectant families.  Before you register seek the guidance of blogs and websites and ask friends with kids advice about the products that they found invaluable.  Remember when you are registering to be very specific about what you want.

References:

www.babycenter.com/0_checklist-baby-reg … ves_632.bc
www.giggle.com

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Modamily strikes partnership with mymatchchecker.com for background checks

Modamily has partnered with mymatchchecker to provide our member's with a trusted source for complete background check

services.

MyMatchChecker was founded by two retired, ranking police executives, Andrew Scott and Robert Buchholz. Both fathers of daughters and retired law enforcement officials. They developed MyMatchChecker to help people make informed online connection decisions before they agree to co-parent a child or find a known sperm donor. While many sites, such as eHarmony, do run members through the Sexual Offenders Registry—this is simply not enough. Keeping their families safe and keeping the public safe are their lives’ work. They offer four levels of background checks, each providing a more in-depth search than the previous. The basic level 1 search includes Multi-State Criminal History, Multi-State Sex Offenders Registry and the FBI Terrorist Watch List. Each subsequent level gives you access to all of these and more. Enter the promo code: MODAMILY and receive 10% off. Goto http://mymatchchecker.com for more info.

 

 

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Previous topic: Fertility
Next topic: Laws & Rights

Laws & Rights

Co-parenting laws and rights are a very complex in the United States and indeed in the rest of the world.  In the United States each state has its own set of laws regarding co-parenting and each situation is decided on a case-by-case basis.

You must know your state's laws and follow them as closely as possible.  The best way to do this is to consult a Family Law attorney who will be able to advise you about the law in your particular state. Here are some links that can help you:

Using a Known vs. Anonymous Donor: 
http://www.theafa.org/article/using-a-k … hallenges/

Sample Known Donor agreement:
http://www.maiamidwifery.com/downloads/ … eement.pdf

Sperm donor laws by country:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sperm_dona … by_country
http://www.maiamidwifery.com/index.htm

Genetic Testing for Sperm Donors:
http://www.spermbankcalifornia.com/dire … donor.html

Co-parenting Laws in the UK:
http://www.nataliegambleassociates.com/ … renting/3/

Surrogacy and egg donation: 
http://www.zimbio.com/Surrogacy+and+Egg … +Joys+Life

Read more >

Co-Parenting Agreement

Having a baby is perhaps the biggest decision that you will ever make. As a co-parent without the bond of romantic ties you are in the rare and privileged position of being able to objectively agree in advance on all of the aspects and arrangements associated with having a baby.  Because you are not bound by marriage and its associated laws it is absolutely essential to make an agreement with your co-parenting partner.  Every relationship is unique and the parties will have specific concerns that need to be addressed but there are some fundamental issues that should be decided upon.  Some of the situations that you might want to address might include:

1.        Who will be present during labor and birth?
2.        Will you have a natural birth or an elective C-Section?
3.        How will you name your baby?
4.        If the baby is a boy, will you circumcise him or not?
5.        Will you vaccinate your baby, or not?
6.        Will you breastfeed your baby and for how long?
7.        With this in mind what will the custody arrangements be?
8.        Will you hire a baby nurse or nanny?
9.        Who is responsible for paying for what?
10.      Will you send your child to a public or private school?

Below is a link to a sample co-parenting agreement that will give you a basic understanding of what needs to be agreed upon.

The Human Rights Campaign is a grass roots civil rights organization that promotes and supports the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.  Co-parenting is a concept that is not new to these groups; for the LGBT community it is essential whether an individual or a couple to find a member of the opposite sex to get pregnant.  The HRC have developed a sample co-parenting agreement that is a good foundation for any couple interested in entering into a co-parenting arrangement.  Below is a link to this sample agreement.  Once you have read through the agreement and made decisions about the various questions and made any amendments that apply to your specific co-parenting arrangement it is important to have a lawyer look at the agreement and to have the agreement notarized.

Resources:

http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/co-p … -agreement

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Previous topic: Best Practices
Next topic: Health & Well Being

Pre-Conception Psychological Counseling

In a perfect world we at Modamily would suggest that prior to conception potential co-parenting partners take the time to visit a family counselor who has experience with co-parenting.  Co-parenting and known donor arrangements have a lot of complex, familial, legal and medical issues to consider.

Family counseling is also an invaluable way to assess your compatibility as co-parents.  Having an objective third party in the room who can listen to both parties perspectives about what they are looking for and give objective advice and direction about your relationship can be very helpful in determining compatibility.  Once you chose to move forward and co-parent together they can also help you to lay a solid foundation for your relationship and navigating issues that need to be discussed and resolved to ensure a smooth way forward.

Resources:
www.maiamidwifery.com

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Pre-Pregnancy Health Checkup

Now that you had made the decision to get pregnant and have a baby it’s time to visit your Ob-gyn for a pre-pregnancy checkup.  In a perfect world this check up would take place three month prior to conception and prior to entering in a co-parenting arrangement.  You doctor will want to start by getting a full medical history from both you and your partner.  They will also want to run a number of tests to ensure that you are both healthy and ready to have a baby and that you a compatible with your chosen co-parenting partner for having a baby together.

Pre-Pregnancy Testing:   
 
Women:
 
Your Ob-gyn will tell you exact what tests you need but they might include monitoring any pre-existing medical issues and illness including diabetes, high blood pressure or thyroid problems.
 
Other important tests that you should get before getting pregnant would include the following:

*          Pap Smear

*          Clinical breast examination

*          Urinalysis: If you have sugar in your urine you will have a Glucose Tolerance test to check for diabetes.  Uncontrolled blood sugar can have dire consequence for a developing baby.  If you have diabetes, it is recommended that you visit a diabetes specialist prior to conceiving.

Blood Tests:

For women prior to conception your doctor may order the following blood tests to test:

ABO-Rh Blood Typing

CBC - A complete blood count to see whether you need to take iron supplements as being pregnant can make iron deficiency anemia worse

A blood test if it’s not clear whether you are immune to Rubella or German Measles, and Chicken Pox

Thyroid Problems (TSH test)

Cholesterol

Triglycerides,

Liver function

Glucose Tolerance Test

Mercury Level Test

The doctor will also recommend that both parties check for the presence of any the following diseases, many of which are sexually transmitted, including:

 

HIV Antibody (AIDS test)

Chlamydia by PCR

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Antibody

Gonorrhea

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen

Hepatitis B Core Antibody

Hepatitis C Viral Antobody

Syphillis (RPR)

Herpes

 

You will also be offered a carrier screening to see whether you’re a genetic carrier

for cystic fibrosis. If you are it is very important that your partner be tested.

 

Depending on your medical history and ethnic background, and particularly if you

or your partner are of African American, African,  Jewish or French Canadian

ancestry, you may wish to ask you doctor to test whether you are a genetic carrier

of the following diseases:

 

Sickle-cell Anemia ***

Tay-Sachs Disease **

Thalassemia

Canavan Disease *

Gaucher Disease *

Fanconi Anemia *

Niemann-Pick Disease *

 

*For prospective parents with Jewish ancestry

** For prospective parents with Jewish or French Canadian ancestry

*** For prospective parents with African American or African ancestry

Read more >

Pre-Pregnancy Health Check-Ups for just Men:

For men, prior to conception it is wise to do a semen (sperm) analysis to determine the sperm count, motility (how active the sperm are) and morphology.

Resources:
http://www.spermbankcalifornia.com/male-sperm-test.html

Vaccinations

If you are not up to date on your vaccinations this would be the time to get up to date.  Contracting certain diseases can have devastating consequences if contracted during pregnancy.  A few specific vaccinations including the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), Varicella (the virus that causes Chicken Pox) and Hepatitis A vaccines increase the risk of birth defects.  Doctors will advise that you wait at least 28 day after receiving some of these vaccinations before trying to conceive.

Other vaccines your doctor may advise you to get include:

*          HPV Vaccine: If you are 26 or younger
*          Hepatitis B: If you haven’t been immunized and are at risk for getting the disease
*          TDAP Vaccine: This includes a Tetanus booster as well as a booster for Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Diphtheria
*          Flu Vaccine: Get a current flu vaccine if it is flu season

Let your Ob-gyn know if you plan to travel out of the country in the near future or during your pregnancy as additional vaccines maybe required if you travel to part of the world, and some are unsafe to get once you’re pregnant.

Read more >

Genetic Screening

If you or your partner has certain risk factors your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor.   Such risk factors would include a family history of genetic disease, if you will be 35 or older when you give birth, or if you have had recurrent miscarriages.

Read more >

Pre-Conception Nutrition

Pre-conception nutrition is a vital part of preparing for pregnancy. You can dramatically increase your chances of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby by eating well.  The saying that you are what you eat comes into play ten fold when you are trying to get pregnant. Begin making health changes to your diet at least 3 month but preferably a year before you conceive.

Following are some valuable tips for your fertility diet:

1.            Folic Acid: At least three months prior to conceiving both women and men should be taking a daily prenatal vitamin that is recommended by your doctor that has at least 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid.  Folic acid may also be obtained naturally through dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals. In addition to improving fertility this B vitamin can help to reduce a baby's risk of neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.  Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube.  The incidence of spina bifida can be decreased by up to 70% when daily folic acid supplements are taken prior to conception.

2.            Calcium: It is recommended that women get at least 1,000 mgs of calcium a day if they are considering getting pregnant. Calcium may be obtained from natural sources such as milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon, sardines, and rice.

3.            Zinc: There are several studies that indicate that deficiencies in zinc can have a negative affect on both male and female fertility.  It contributes to semen and testosterone production in men and in ovulation and fertility in women.  Maintaining the recommended dietary allowance of zinc of 15 mg a day can help keep your reproductive system functioning well.

4.            Water: Drink plenty of water and if possible alkaline water. Alkaline water is even better as it reduces the acidity of the body and can increase your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.

5.            Alcohol: Drink alcohol sparingly, and preferably not at all. Too much alcohol may reduce zinc levels. 

6.            Smoking: There is some research being done that may link smoking and certain rare heart defects.

7.            Recreational Drugs: Marijuana has been proven to affect sperm quality and sperm count, but there is no evidence to show that marijuana causes birth defects.

8.            Caffeine: Wean yourself off caffeine, including chocolate, and other caffeinated beverages, including tea and soft drinks. Research has shown that more than 200-300 milligrams of caffeine per day may reduce fertility by 27 percent.  Caffeine also reduces the body's ability to absorb iron and calcium.

9.            Carbohydrates: Reduce refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta and white rice and eat whole grains that are nutrient rich and can boost your fertility by providing you with essential antioxidants, B vitamins and iron.

10.            Fruits & Vegetables: Eat plenty of green, red and yellow fruits and vegetables.  The more vivid the color the more nutrient packed the produce.

11.            Mercury: Avoid fish that might contain too much mercury including shellfish, tuna, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin and shark, that can cause problems in pregnancy.

12.            Iron: Boost your iron intake: If you don’t eat much red meat or your follow a vegetarian or vegan diet take a multi-vitamin with iron.

13.            Listeria:  Listeria is a harm bacterium found in ready-to-eat meats and fish like lox, raw sushi, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized dairy products.  Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get sick from eating listeria-laced foods.  Those trying to get pregnant should also be on alert because listeriosis (the disease caused by listeria) can cause a miscarriage early in the first trimester - possibly before you even know that you are pregnant.

15.            Medications: Clean out your medicine cabinet.  Talk to your doctor about all of the medication that you take to make sure that they will not compromise your fertility or the health of your baby.

16.            Artificial Sweeteners: Eliminate any products containing saccharin and particularly cyclamate as they are not considered safe for anyone including pregnant women.

Lifestyle:

Exercise:

If you don’t have a healthy exercise program, devise one and follow it diligently.  If you are overweight or under weight your should aim to achieve a proper weight range by making the necessary dietary and exercise changes to get there prior to conception. A mother's pre-pregnancy weight has a direct influence on her baby's birth weight. Underweight women are more likely to give birth to small babies. Overweight women have increased risks for complications in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

Environment: 

Your work environment may put your pregnancy and your baby at risk.  According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health ongoing exposure to certain things like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, lead, nickel, mercury, chromium, ethylene glycol ethers, petrochemicals, benzene, perchloroethylene, and radiation can lower sperm quality and possibly lead to infertility or miscarriage. If you are exposed to any environmental hazards at home or at work you need to discuss this with your doctor.

Oral Health:

Visit your dentist to ensure that your oral health is in check.

Sleep:

Get plenty of rest as being well slept can have a strong bearing on your fertility.

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Previous topic: Laws & Rights
Next topic: Fertility

Insemination Options

 

 

Insemination is the introduction of sperm into the uterus of a woman for the objective of impregnating a female for reproduction.  There are a number of options for insemination for prospective co-parents.  They are as follows:

 

(1)            Natural Insemination (NI): Insemination by sexual intercourse is clinically referred to as Natural Insemination or NI.  Insemination normally takes place during and as a result of sexual intercourse between a male and a female when semen is ejaculated from the penis into the female’s reproductive tract.

 

In the case of co-parenting and a typical sperm donation situation NI will not ordinarily be an option for a variety of reasons.  However, if you do feel comfortable enough with your co-parenting partner to use NI it is extremely important that both parties have all necessary health screening tests.  They are as follows:

 

General Health Screening:

 

It is vital that both parties undergo a preconception health check up to determine that you are healthy and ready to get pregnant.  There are medical conditions that you may not be aware of that can affect your pregnancy

 

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Testing:

 

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) are infections generally acquired by sexual contact.  The microorganisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.

 

Some of these infections can also be transmitted non-sexually, such as from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth, or through blood transfusions or shared needles.

 

Some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases include:

 

AIDS/HIV

Chlamydia

Gential Herpes

Genital Warts or Human Papillomvirus (HPV)

Gonorrhea

Hepatitis B

Syphillis

Trichomoniasis

Yeast Infections

 

Family Health History:

 

It is important to discuss family health history with your co-parent or sperm donor.  There are certain diseases that run in families and it is advisable that you understand what health problems that have affected their parents, grandparents and even great grandparents.  Family history might include: Diabetes, high blood pressure, seizure disorders, mental retardation, cancer or twins.

 

Genetic Screening:

 

Further to this it would be important to do genetic screening to ensure that you are compatible for having a baby with your partner. 

 

Fertility Testing:

 

Finally we would strongly advise that you conduct fertility tests to make sure that you are in fact both fertile.  If your co-parenting partner or sperm donor's fertility is unknown, that is, there are no children, it is advisable to have him undergo a semen analysis to test for sperm count, motility and morphology.  A problem with semen or sperm affect more than one third of the couples who are unable to have children (infertile).

 

You should practice great caution with using natural insemination.  If you are feeling any pressure from any member on this site or from your selected your co-parenting partner to use natural insemination rather than artificial insemination you should report them to the controller of the site.

 

(2)            Artificial Insemination: This is the generic term for any procedure that introduces semen into the female reproductive tract to achieve conception by means other than sexual intercourse.  This procedure involves a syringe, catheter or other specialized device for insemination.  The sperm are deposited at the base of the cervix (vaginal insemination), in the cervix (intra-cervical insemination, or ICI), or into the uterine cavity (intrauterine insemination, or IUI).

 

There are a variety of reasons why a woman may chose to undergo artificial insemination rather than natural insemination, the most common of which is when using a sperm donation to achieve pregnancy.

 

(a)             Single: A woman may be single and want to raise a child alone.

(b)             Lesbian: A woman maybe a lesbian and either single or in a lesbian relationship and wish to start a family but not wish to have sexual intercourse with a male partner.

(c)             Infertile Couple: A woman may be in an hetro-sexual relationship either partnered or married but unable to conceive with her husband or partner

(d)             Genetic Reasons: A woman may not want to pass on certain genetic conditions from her partner or husband.

 

Whatever the reason for choosing this method it requires careful consideration and research.

 

Understand Your Own Fertility

 

Artificial insemination is best performed just prior to ovulation occurring.  It is important to learn how to detect your ovulation. This is the most fertile time of the menstrual cycle and usually occurs approximately 14 days after the first day of your menstrual cycle.  However, the timing of ovulation will vary depending on the length of an individual's menstrual cycle.

 

A woman's peak fertility window for conceiving can be detected by a number of factors.

 

Signs of Ovulation

 

*            Higher levels of LH, luteinizing hormone, which can be measured using an over the counter ovulation predictor kit, can very accurately calculate the most fertile time and as such the right time for insemination to be performed.

*            Slight rise in basal body temperature, typically 1/2 to 1 degree,  that can be measured by a thermometer.

*            Change in cervical mucas, or vaginal discharge may appear clearer thinner, and more stretchy

*            Slight pain or ache on one side of the abdomen

*            Abdominal bloating

*             Tender breasts

 

There are three different kinds of artificial insemination:

 

(a)             Intruterine Insemination (IUI): This is a procedure for treating infertility or for those who wish to use a sperm donation to achieve pregnancy.  The procedure for intrauterine insemination is fairly straight-forward, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes and is usually done in a doctor's office or fertility clinic.  A speculum is inserted into the woman's vaginal opening it up to allow a catheter attached to a syringe inside.  Sperm that have been "washed" and concentrated are placed directly into your uterus on the day after your ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized.  The specimen is injected and the catheter and speculum are removed.  The sperm are "washed" by separating them from the seminal plasma, white blood cells, prostaglandins, and other non-essential components that are naturally filtered out during sexual intercourse.  The procedure is most effective when performed within 12 hours of ovulation, as "washed" sperm do not have the same lifespan as "unwashed" sperm.  The hoped for outcome of IUI is for the sperm to swim into the fallopian tubes and fertilize the waiting egg, resulting in a pregnancy.  IUI can be coordinated with your normal cycle or done in conjunction with fertility medications.

 

(b)             Intracervical Insemination (ICI):

 

Intracervical insemination is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed in a doctor's office or fertility clinic, or in the comfort of your own home.  A speculum is inserted into the vaginal canal to allow the placement of the semen in the cervix.  The placement of the semen is accomplished through a syringe and catheter.  The procedure takes about five minutes.  After the sperm has been deposited in the cervix the speculum, syringe, and catheter are removed.

 

The sperm used for this procedure is natural, "unwashed" sperm.  The cervix is responsible for "washing" the sperm as it travels into the uterus, therefore a natural specimen may be used.  If your order the sperm from a sperm bank then they have an "unwashed" option. If you are performing the Intracervical insemination at home or in a physicians office then a natural ejaculated sample can be used.

 

(c)             Intravaginal Insemination (IVI):

 

The most common method of insemination is Intravaginal, often referred to as the "turkey baster method". It is nicknamed the turkey baster method due to the fact that the semen is placed directly into the vaginal canal with a sterile syringe.  The use of a turkey baster is not recommended as a safe practice under any circumstances.  Fundamental the aim is for enough healthy sperm to swim through the vaginal canal, up into the cervix, and into the uterus and fallopian tubes to fins the egg and fertilize it.

 

Semen used for an Intravaginal insemination may be from a fresh ejaculation or from thawed donor sperm.  If you do not have access to fresh sperm from a know donor you can turn to a sperm donor bank or fertility clinic to purchase fresh frozen sperm.

 

It is strongly suggested that artificial insemination be performed at a fertility clinic with the assistance of a physician so all of the necessary health screening and fertility testing can be undertaken on the sperm donor.  The cost of and Intrauterine Insemination can be $500.00 or more.  For this reason amongst others many couples and single females are choosing to try it at home.

(3)            In-Vitro Insemination (IVF):

 

IVF is a process by which an egg is fertilized outside the body: in vitro (in glass).  IVF involves monitoring a woman's ovulatory process and removing ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from a woman’s ovaries.  The eggs are then fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure (in vitro) to form a zygote.  Once the fertilized egg or zygote forms into an embryo or embryos they are then returned and implanted in the woman’s uterus. 

 

IVF is a complex and expensive procedure.  For singles or couples who wish to co-parent or use a sperm donor it is worth considering other options before undertaking IVF.  However, where other methods such as fertility drugs, surgery and less invasive forms of artificial insemination have not worked it is a very successful method of conceiving.  Since its introduction in the US in 1981, IVF and other similar technique have resulted in more than 200,000 babies.

 

 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve in place of medical advice or consulting a doctor.

 

References:

 

http://www.fertilityplus.com/faq/homeinsem.html

http://www.inseminationsupplies.com/Insemination_at_Home.html

Read more >

Home Insemination

 

Home Insemination: 

 

This is a process of performing artificial insemination in the home environment rather than seeking the help of a fertility clinic.  Some people feel that getting pregnant at home has many advantages because it is a more relaxed and less sterile environment, there is very little cost with this process, your co-parenting partner can be involved with the process and is able to produce fresh sperm, and there is a high success rate with achieving pregnancy.

 

The disadvantage of home insemination is exactly that, it is a less sterile environment and there is an increased risk of infection.  As a disclaimer we would strongly suggest that anyone considering using this method should seek the advice of their ObGyn to understanding the process and the potential risks.

 

Another warning to single women who make the decision to use home insemination with a known donor; they should understand that in this case the donor will be viewed in the eyes of the law as the legal father.  Should you not wish for the donor to be legally involved your child's upbringing it is recommended that single women using a known donor seek the help of a regulated fertility clinic to perform insemination.

 

At least three months prior to conceiving you should make a trip to your chosen ObGyn to do a general health screening and to prescribe the right pre-natal vitamins for you.  Before you get pregnant is very important to make folic acid a part of your daily vitamin routine.  You should take 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day.

At this stage you should also start to closely monitor your ovulation.  Pinpointing your ovulation date, the day in your cycle when the egg is released, is critical when trying to conceive.  Fertilization of the egg can only occur within 6 to 24 hours after you ovulate.  For this reason correctly identifying your ovulation date should be at the top of your to do list when trying to conceive.  Use an over the counter ovulation predictor kit to track your ovulation cycle and record it on a chart.  The best timing for performing insemination to give the highest chance for conception is 24 to 36 hours after the detection of an LH surge.

 

Following is a list of supplies that you will need to perform insemination at home:

 

*            1-ml Sterile needless, latex-free syringe

*            Syringe extender tips or sterile ICI catheter

*            Sterile semen collection cup

*            Sterile disposable vaginal speculum

*            Pre-seed Personal Lubricant

*             Flashlight

 

How to Perform a Home Insemination:

 

1.            Remove the sterile semen collection cup and have the male ejaculate into it.   When using frozen donor sperm make sure to get detailed instructions from the sperm bank for proper thawing techniques.

 

2.            Remove the syringe and insemination catheter from their individually wrapped packaging.

 

3.            Attach the syringe extender or catheter to the top of the syringe.

 

4.            Lay on a flat, comfortable surface like a bed.  It is recommended that your hips be in an elevated position by placing two or three pillows underneath your bottom.  Your legs should be bent at the knee in a comfortable, relaxed position similar to that of having a pelvic examination at your ObGyn.

 

5.            Lubricate the vaginal speculum with Preseed personal lubricant.  Preseed is one of the only products on the market that will not kill the sperm inside the vaginal cavity.

 

6.            Gently insert the vaginal speculum inside of the vaginal cavity. Open the speculum once it is comfortably in place to enlarge the vaginal cavity.

 

7.            Illuminate the inside of the vaginal cavity with a flashlight.  The objective of this step is to locate and examine the cervix. As ovulation approaches the mouth of the cervix will be open and typically egg white cervical mucus will be surrounding it. 

 

8.            Draw back on the syringe once with nothing but air, then push the air out again.  Draw back on the syringe again but this time have the end of it in the semen.  The vacuum created by pulling back on the stopper will suck the semen into the syringe. Try to tap out any air bubbles since you do not want to inject air into your vagina.  You can do this by slowly rotating the syringe until the opening is facing up. Tap the air bubbles to the top and then push the plunger in on the catheter just a small amount - enough to get rid of the air without squirting semen out.

 

9.            Once the syringe is full of sperm slowly guide the syringe, or catheter, into the vagina until it reaches the outside of the cervix.  Your goal is to coat the outside of the cervix and to deposit as much sperm as possible as close to the cervix as you can get it.

 

10.            Gently squeeze the semen filled syringe into or very close to the base of the cervix mouth.   Be sure to extract the semen very slowly so it falls and pools onto the cervix.  It is advisable to take at least 30 seconds from the time you start squeezing the syringe until the time you finish injecting the semen.  Squeezing it quickly might cause the semen to squirt and bounce off the cervix away from the opening where your fertile mucus releases.

 

11.            After semen extraction then gently remove the catheter and syringe from the vaginal cavity.

 

12.            After the catheter and syringe have been removed then the speculum can be closed and gently removed.

 

13.            Try to have an orgasm.  Having an orgasm will help the cervix dip into the vaginal pool and suck up the sperm.  This can help get more sperm closer to the egg and may speed sperm travel.

 

14.            The woman should stay in this position with her legs and buttocks elevated on pillows for at least 15 minutes after the insemination has been performed.

 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve in place of medical advice or consulting a doctor.

 

References:

 

http://www.fertilityplus.com/faq/homeinsem.html

http://www.inseminationsupplies.com/Insemination_at_Home.html

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Acupuncture for Fertility >

A form of alternative medicine used to improve fertility and and possibly treat infertility. A few of possible benefits of acupuncture, according to the preliminary research:Improved pregnancy rates during IVF treatment cycles, when acupuncture takes place on the day of embryo transfer. Increased blood flow to the uterus, leading to an improved endometrial lining. Reduced stress and anxiety levels. Possible improvement in ovulation for women with PCOS. Possible improvement in sperm count and quality in men with infertility. Possible regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which in turn could help regulate ovulation.

Adoption >

a legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relation between persons not related by blood; the adopted child is entitled to all privileges belonging to a natural child of the adoptive parents (including the right to inherit)

Alcohol >

A colorless volatile flammable liquid, C2H5OH, synthesized or obtained by fermentation of sugars and starches and widely used, either pure or denatured, as a solvent and in drugs, cleaning solutions, explosives, and intoxicating beverages. It is recommended not to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Amniocentesis >

The sampling of amniotic fluid using a hollow needle inserted into the uterus, to screen for developmental abnormalities in a fetus.

Artificial Insemination >

the introduction of semen into the vagina or uterus by mechanical or instrumental means rather than by sexual intercourse. The procedure is planned to coincide with the expected time of ovulation so that fertilization can occur. Kinds of artificial insemination are artificial insemination-donor (AID) and artificial insemination-husband (AIH). Also called artificial impregnation.

Baby >

A very young child, esp. one newly or recently born.

Biological Clock >

The progression or time period from puberty to menopause, marking a woman's ability to bear children.

Birth >

The emergence of a baby or other young from the body of its mother; the start of life as a physically separate being.

Birth Control >

The practice of preventing unwanted pregnancies, typically by use of contraception.

Breast Feeding >

nursing: nourishing at the breast.

C-Section >

Caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which one or more incisions are made through a mother's abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterotomy) to deliver one or more babies

Childbirth >

The action of giving birth to a child.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) >

A test made in early pregnancy to detect congenital abnormalities in the fetus.

Co-Parenting >

co-parenting describes a parenting situation where the parents are not in a marriage or romantic relationship with one another.

Conception >

the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism.

Cord Blood Bank >

A cord blood bank is a facility which stores umbilical cord blood for future use. Both private and public cord blood banks have developed since the mid- to late-1990s in response to the potential for cord blood transplants in treating diseases of the blood and immune systems.

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Donor >

Sperm donation is the provision (or ‘donation’) by a man, (known as a ‘sperm donor’), of his sperm, with the intention that it be used to impregnate a woman who is not his sexual partner. While the sperm donor is the natural or biological father of every child produced as a result of his donations, he is generally not intended to be the legal or de jure father. Depending on the jurisdiction and its laws, he may or may not later be eligible to seek parental rights or be held responsible for parental obligations.

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LGBT or gay parenting refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people parenting one or more children. This includes children raised by same-sex couples (same-sex parenting), children raised by single LGBT parents, and children raised by an opposite-sex couple where at least one partner is LGBT. LGBT people can become parents through various means including current or former relationships, coparenting, adoption, donor insemination, and surrogacy.[2]Scientific research has been generally consistent in showing that gay and lesbian parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents. Major associations of mental health professionals in the U.S., Canada, and Australia have not identified credible empirical research that suggests otherwise. Based on the robust nature of the evidence available in the field, the Third District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida was satisfied in 2010 that the issue is so far beyond dispute that it would be irrational to hold otherwise, and concluded that the best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption.

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Home Insemination >

A woman or couple may want to consider home insemination for a variety of reasons. You may be single and still want a family, or you may be married and just can’t conceive. She may decide on an alternative lifestyle or not want to pass on genetic issues from her partner. Whatever the reason may be it is an important decision that requires research. If you are going to perform an insemination at home with a fresh sample of sperm you MUST only perform two of the three types of insemination. Only an Intravaginal insemination or an Intracervical insemination should be considered at home using a fresh sample of semen or thawed ICI donor sperm. During an intracervical insemination (ICI) the semen is placed near or in the cervix. The canal of the cervix is is approximately 1.6 inches long and it leads to the uterus. The length of the cervical canal varies from female to female. A fresh sample of semen or thawed ICI donor sperm is never placed higher than the cervix into the uterus. As sperm swim through the canal of the cervix the additional chemicals in the semen are removed naturally. The chemicals in the raw semen contain are called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins can cause the uterus to contract, sometimes violently, therefore prostaglandins must be removed if the sperm is to be placed inside the uterus. This is why fresh ejaculated semen or thawed, unwashed ICI sperm should NEVER be placed beyond the cervix.

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IUI >

A procedure in which a fine catheter (tube) is inserted through the cervix (the natural opening of the uterus) into the uterus (the womb) to deposit a sperm sample directly into the uterus. The purpose of IUI is to achieve fertilization and pregnancy.

IVF >

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which eggs (ova) from a woman's ovary are removed. They are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized egg (embryo) is returned to the woman's uterus.

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Modamily >

The premier social network to find a co-parent or sperm donor.

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The process of trying to get pregnant via sexual intercourse.

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Toxoplasmosis >

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasmagondii that can threaten the health of an unborn child. You can get the infection from handling soil or cat litter that contains cat feces infected with the parasite. You can also get it from eating undercooked meat from animals infected with the parasite or from uncooked foods that have come in contact with contaminated meat. If you have been infected with Toxoplasma once, you usually will not become infected again.

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