Tag Archives: Pregnancy Health

How Old Is Too Old For A Safe Pregnancy?

Many women now opt to have children when they are in their 30’s and 40’s and some women are choosing to wait until they are in their 50’s. Some women prefer to travel and enjoy their career before making the decision to have a baby, but what are the dangers?

Last month scientists announced they had discovered a way to reverse the menopause and rejuvenating women’s ovaries which means later life pregnancies could become a definite possibility. A few weeks ago an Australian woman gave birth at the age of 62 with the help of IVF and it has raised the debate again of whether a woman should have a baby at such a later stage in her life.

A woman’s ability to conceive naturally lessons as she get’s older. Our eggs are stored in our ovaries and released every month when we menstruate. Apparently around 400 eggs are released monthly until the 4 million we started with are all gone and we hit the menopause.

The number of women having children in their 30’s has doubled over the last 25 years when it was more common for women to get pregnant in their 20’s.  So what are the risks getting pregnant later on in life?

Apparently women over the age of 30 are twice as likely to suffer from complications such as pre-eclampsia (life threatening high blood pressure) and twice as likely to have gestational diabetes.  The risk of dying during pregnancy or Childbirth increases along with the risk of the unborn baby having downs syndrome and more than half of women aged 40 or over need a caesarean and can’t give birth naturally which can cause complications for both mother and unborn child.

These risks get worse when a woman waits until she is in her 40’s or 50’s. Mothers in this age group are 5 to 6 times more likely to die after the first few weeks of giving birth compared to younger mothers. There is also more chance a woman will have a miscarriage than a live birth in this age bracket and babies born to mothers of this age are 2 times more likely to be born prematurely and have a low birth rate.

IVF is an option many women take when deciding to have a baby later on in life as it can give a greater chance of success, especially if the woman has gone through or is going through the menopause. The woman can take a donor egg and embryo from a younger, fertile woman which gives her a better chance of getting pregnant.

But this is also risky as a pregnancy later in life puts a woman at a higher risk of a stroke. IVF also has a smaller chance of success the older the mother is. Some IVF clinics do not offer IVF treatment to women over 50 but there is no law that suggests a cut off age so clinics can take each case on an individual basis.

Deciding to have a baby later on in life is something a woman should consider carefully to make sure she understands the risks involved and can make an informed decision on whether a later life pregnancy is the best option for her and her unborn baby.

[interaction id=”5624d46847771a9960fe4a18″]

Step Away From the Rainbow Onesie… And Other Lesbian Baby Shower Tips

When it comes to attending the baby shower of a lesbian couple, whether you are also a lesbian or happen to be straight, there really shouldn’t be a difference between a same-sex baby shower versus one thrown by a straight couple.

The truth is, lesbian parents are going to need the same things as straight parents to raise and care for their baby. So there’s really no need to treat a lesbian baby shower any differently than any other shower you’ve been to.

But if you’re still struggling with what to do, how to act, or what to get the baby and moms to be, here are some helpful tips to help you avoid a potentially awkward shower moment…

Get Usual Baby Gifts

Just because it’s a lesbian couple, doesn’t mean you should get everything in rainbow print or bright rainbow-like colors. Let’s face it, this isn’t a gay pride parade, it’s a baby shower. Stick with the typical cute baby outfits and toys. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the diapers…lots and lots of diapers.


Recognize Both Moms to Be

This is important since both women will be taking equal responsibility with raising the baby. Don’t assume that one will take on a “mother” role while the other takes the “father” role. The couple will create their own blend of roles unique to them. It’s not up to you to figure that out for them.

Don’t Ask Who the Father Is

This is lesbian no-no 101. Whether it’s your first lesbian baby shower or not, you should never ask the couple this question. First of all, it’s really none of your business. And secondly, you’re basically insinuating to the moms to be that they are not going to be adequate enough to raise their child without a father figure. Even if you know the circumstances behind the pregnancy, this is never an appropriate question to ask.

Don’t Over-think It

Chances are if you were invited to the shower, you’re close to one of the moms to be or both. Just because it’s a lesbian couple doesn’t mean different rules apply. Over-thinking what kind of gift to give or what to say to the couple is too much unnecessary stress. Put any preconceived notions aside and just have fun at the shower with your friends.

Express Your Happiness for the Couple

It’s a universal gesture to offer your congratulations to the couple at a baby shower, as well as expressing how happy you are for them. It shouldn’t be any different for a lesbian couple. Chances are you were invited to the shower because you’re a friend anyway, so it goes without saying that you’ll be happy for them and their soon to be new family.

[interaction id=”5624d46847771a9960fe4a18″]



Getting Pregnant: Known Donor vs. Sperm Bank – Which To Choose?

So you and your partner have decided to get pregnant…congratulations on the big decision. Now it’s time for the next big choice…should you use a sperm donor you know, or should you go with the anonymity of a sperm bank?

Both options can have their pros and cons, and it’s definitely an important choice to make. Just remember that there is no wrong or right choice. There’s only the choice that fits the needs of you and your partner.

Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a known donor versus a sperm bank…

Known Donor:

Many lesbian couples tend to consider this as an option first, since they already know the donor and can get an idea of what the child may look like, any health issues that could arise, and the overall personality of the potential friend or acquaintance that will be donating.

But there are other factors to consider if you and your partner decide to go the known donor route….

The Pros of a Known Donor:

  • Fresh Sperm: Yeah, it may sound gross, but the reality here is that sperm from a sperm bank is going to be frozen. Fresh sperm gives you more of a change from the insemination to take, which increases your chances of getting pregnant.
  • Known Medical History, Physical Appearance…etc: You won’t have to play much of a guessing game in terms of how your child will look physically, or what his or her personality will be like since you already know the donor. Plus you have the advantage of knowing any medical issues that could come up.
  • Co-Parenting Potential: This is only if it’s wanted. Most lesbian couples may choose to not have the known donor in the child’s life as a father or caretaker, but the option is always there if you find you need help or just want your child to know the donor.

Cons of a Known Donor:

  • Visitation Rights Potential: There’s always that “maybe” that your known donor may want to sue for visitation rights or custody. While that doesn’t mean it will happen, it might be something that will always stay at the back of your mind, causing unnecessary stress.
  • Differences of Opinion: If you do chose to keep him in your child’s life, his opinion on how to raise him or her may differ from you and your partners, causing conflict. Always keep this in mind if you choose to include the known with raising your son or daughter.
  • Costs Can Add Up: While the sperm may be free, other costs can arise such as the legal fees for drawing up contracts, sperm analysis. STD testing, and any other tests that may need to be done. You may also have to pay for travel expenses if your donor lives a large distance from you and your partner.

Sperm Bank:

It’s a popular choice from all types of couples, including the lesbian couple. That’s because of the anonymity as well as the convenience of knowing the sperm is viable and tested for diseases.

Here are some things to consider if you and your partner decide to get pregnant with a sperm bank…

Pros of a Sperm Bank:

  • Waived Parental Rights: Sperm donors are required to waive all parental rights. This means you’ll never have to worry about an unexpected visit from the donor or legal fights for custody. Essentially, once you buy the sperm, you own it.
  • Disease Screening: Tests for common STDs and genetic diseases are already done by the sperm bank, so you don’t have to worry about having it done yourself.
  • Open or Known Donor Options: A lot of sperm banks offer this option. It means that the donor would be willing to be contacted when the child turns eighteen, if you and your partner agree to this, of course.

Cons of a Sperm Bank:

  • Expensive: It’s definitely not cheap to get sperm through a sperm bank. With all of that convenience and tested sperm comes a price…and it’s usually very high. Be sure it’s an investment you and your partner can handle financially.
  • Frozen Sperm: The frozen sperm isn’t going to be as fast-moving or fast-acting as fresh sperm. This could make the getting pregnant process a bit longer than desired. So you’ll have to have patience if using a sperm donor from a sperm bank
  • Impersonal: While anonymity works for most couples, you still don’t know everything about the donor like you would if you have a known donor in mind.


When it comes to making the important decision of what kind of sperm donation to use, you and your partner need to sit down and discuss the options, pros and cons, and what you think will work best for the both of you.

Taking the time will make a big difference on not only your child’s future, but you and your partner’s as well.

5 Key Tips For Finding A Lesbian-Friendly Pediatrician

Searching for a pediatrician to care for your child can often times seem like a long and daunting task, no matter the sexual orientation of the couple.

After all, this is the person that is going to look after the well-being, health, and growth of your newborn well into his or her teen years, so choosing the right fit is a definite must.

However, for same-sex couples, finding a pediatrician can sometimes be even more difficult or even a bit scary. There’s no question that discrimination against LGBT couples in the medical world does exist, but that shouldn’t discourage you from finding the best possible care for your child.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when looking for an LGBT-friendly pediatrician…

Do Your Research

There are some really great resources out there when it comes to searching for the right pediatrician.

Check out The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) or The Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index websites for directories of healthcare providers that could be well-suited for you, your partner, and your child.

Doing the proper research prior to your child’s birth is also ideal since you don’t want to be stuck without a pediatrician after he or she is born, and the process of searching and interviewing can take quite a lot of time.

Ask for Referrals from Friends

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a pediatrician. Ask your same-sex couple friends who are parents who their pediatrician is and if they are happy with them.

You can also ask your same-sex friends who don’t have children who their healthcare provider is to see if their office can refer you to a pediatrician that is LBGT-friendly.

Set Up Interviews

If you’ve found a doctor you think might potentially be a good fit, set up an appointment so that you and your partner can get a feel for him or her. Be sure to write down any questions you might have.

It’s also important to make sure the doctor feels comfortable answering any questions you might have in the same manner he or she would with a straight couple, as well as making sure both parents are interacted with equally.

You don’t want a pediatrician who feels that one of you is more of the “parent” than the other.

[interaction id=”5624d46847771a9960fe4a18″]

Honesty is the Best Policy

Make sure you are up front with your potential pediatrician right from the start. It’s not only important to be open and honest about your sexuality, but also with your intent to raise the child in a same-sex household.

And as with any doctor, be open and honest about your medical histories as well as with any concerns either of you may have.

Work With Your Doctor

Whether it’s the first time your chosen doctor has worked with an LGBT family, or they have plenty of experience with same-sex couples, don’t be afraid to help your doctor with any questions he or she might have.

All of you have the child’s best interests at heart, so working together will ensure the child will be as healthy and happy as they can be…and the mommies will be just as happy knowing their child is in good, caring hands!

Baby Planning 101: 5 Things To Do Before The Newborn Arrival

When the time is nearing for your baby to arrive, things can get a bit hectic around the house.

And while you and your partner have probably gone over the newborn necessities checklist so many times you can recite it by heart, there’s a chance you may have missed something in all of the baby planning chaos.

Here’s a look at a few things that will help you maximize that checklist and get you as prepared as two new moms can possibly be for the big change that’s about to come your way

Choose a Paediatrician

Although this seems like an obvious thing to do, it can often times be forgotten until parents realize their baby is sick. And if you haven’t chosen a pediatrician before your child is born, it can be difficult to find one at the last minute that you entrust your child’s wellbeing with.

So take your time before the birth to find the perfect pediatrician fit for you.

A good way to do this it through recommendations from friends and family. And don’t be afraid to make calls and set up consultations to help you find the right doctor.

Freeze Meals Ahead of Time

Once the baby is home, it’s going to be a hectic and stressful time, not to mention tiring. Let’s face it, nobody is going to be in the mood to cook. Before your due date, be sure to stock up your fridge with healthy food options. It’s also a great idea to make freezable meals ahead of time.

That way all you have to do is warm them up in the oven and your good to go without having to worry about what to cook for dinner on top of everything else.

Pack Your Hospital Bag

It’s a good idea to have a hospital bad packed for you and the baby ahead of time. Must haves to include in the bag are toiletries and personal items, socks, lip balm, and snacks. Personalize your bad so that it fits your needs, and don’t forget to have your partner bring her own bag as well since she’s most likely going to be spending her time at the hospital with you.

Wash Crib Sheets and Baby Clothes

It’s always a good idea to wash anything that will be coming in to contact with the baby’s skin. And while you don’t have to wash everything all at once, pre-wash at least a week’s worth of clothing before the baby’s arrival so you don’t have to worry about doing laundry while you’re recovering from childbirth and taking care of the baby.

Make a Labor Playlist

It might not even be something you considered putting on your checklist, but so many moms have sworn by the calming feelings the get from listing to music while in labor. So take the time to go through your favorite songs and make  yourself a playlist. Music has proven to be therapeutic for many different situations, and childbirth is no exception.