In the middle of the night I awoke to find a brilliant comment from someone with a few great questions. I thought I would answer them in a post instead of burying them in a comment/reply chain. These are some of the questions we had to ask at the outset of our baby making journey. We didn’t know where to start so we blindly went in to the process and navigated it as best we could. We were pretty successful with some great medical care and luck so I am happy to share what we learned along the way.
Hi! I’m thinking about adding an addition to my tiny family and don’t know where to start. I’d like to get checked out by a doctor to make sure I can house a little baby for 9 months. Where would I need to go, the Obgyn or rather a common doctor or maybe both? I’m vegan like you and would like to stay vegan during my pregnancy if possible. Did you do that as well? Sorry for all the questions but I really can’t find answers. Thanks?
Question 1: Where to Start?
The very first thing I would do is figure out if your insurance covers fertility issues. Some insurance covers testing but doesn’t cover fertility treatment (i.e. IUI, IVF). If you are in a situation where you know you will need the assistance of a fertility doctor (i.e. same-sex couple, single mama, old fashioned way not working, advanced age), that is where I would start. Then I would find a fertility center near your home or work because you will be there frequently during testing and monitoring (mostly blood tests and ultrasounds). You will need to visit your gyno for your yearly check-up if you have not already. The fertility center will need those records.
The benefits of going to a fertility doctor include not wasting time and money guessing when you’re ovulating and also they will be able to tell you if you’re healthy. They obviously can not guarantee that you’ll get pregnant the first go round but they can take the guess work out of a lot! I would at least do a consultation so you can see what it is all about. You’ll get to meet with the doctor, nurses and financial team who can answer all of your questions.
The truth is that making a baby when you can not do it the old fashioned way, is that, it is expensive. Our fertility center had a great financial team that helped with figuring out insurance and how to pay. Sperm is expensive unless you have a supply handy (unintentional pun). Also, sperm banks just won’t let you take sperm home like a “do it yourself” kit. Almost all of the banks need a note from a doctor to release sperm and most doctors won’t give you permission to do it at home. Why? Because it’s risky and the odds are so low of it working at home.
Our fertility center had videos, checklists, etc. to help make sure you are ready for your first appointment. We listened to everything our doctor said without much question. Maybe naively since we had no idea what we were doing but we did end up pregnant the first go round. I give them a lot of credit for that but know that getting pregnant even under the best circumstances are very low odds so luck was a huge part too!
If you’re doing things the old fashioned way, you can ignore the above unless you’ve been trying for a while and think there is cause for concern. Talking to your doctor is always a good call.
ALSO ALSO ALSO – I want to make sure everyone knows that fertility clinics are not just for those who are experiencing infertility. They are for same-sex couples and single mamas and whoever else needs some extra assistance having a baby!
Questions 2: Vegan Pregnancy?
My wife was vegan her entire pregnancy. She treated her body like a vegan baby making shrine every day even through gut wrenching morning sickness. She had no pregnancy/health issues. She ate well. She stayed healthy the entire time. No blood pressure issues, no swelling, no gestational diabetes, etc. People will ask you a million questions about being vegan and pregnant especially where nutrients and protein are concerned. Mostly because they don’t understand and just can not compute. All well informed vegans know protein is not an issue. You have to be smart about your diet and be confident. I would suggest giving Alicia Silverstone’s book Kind Mama a read. Even if you don’t subscribe to everything she says, it is a great vegan nutritional guide. There is a lot of information on the internet about having a healthy pregnancy. We found that it was easy to adapt those things to the vegan lifestyle as well. My wife would adapt foods (i.e.walnuts for brain development) into her meals that helped with each stage of development of our growing baby. She ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast while she was pregnant (and still does for breastfeeding benefits).
Lisa’s Morning Oatmeal:
- 1/2 cup McCann’s Irish Oatmeal (3 minute kind)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1-2 TBS flax meal
- 1-2 TBS raw pumpkin seeds
- 1-2 TBS organic raisins
- 1 TBS pure maple syrup
- Dash of ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice
- Splash or two of non-dairy milk
- Boil water on stove top.
- Add water to Oatmeal in a bowl or to-go cup (16 oz at least).
- Add flax meal, pumpkin seeds, raisins and maple syrup and mix.
- Add desired amount of cinnamon or pumpkin spice to taste.
- Add a splash of non-dairy milk to make it a little more creamy and also alter oatmeal consistency. All those add-ins will make the oatmeal a little thick so adding a splash of milk will help!
I hope I answered your questions and you find this helpful. If this only leads to more questions, please ask. I am happy to answer all of your questions and be a sounding board!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor do I claim to be. All information is opinion but based life experience.