Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Marriott Surrogate Employee Sues

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Marriott Surrogate Employee Sues

A surrogate employed by Marriott hotels is suing her employer over her inability to take lactation breaks while working.

According to Slate Magazine,

Marriott employee in California is suing the hotel chain for discrimination under both state and federal law, alleging that Marriott denied her legally mandated lactation breaks. Marriott says it was not required by law to give plaintiff Mary Gonzales, a cashier and accountant at the LAX Marriott, breaks to pump breast milk because Gonzales is a gestational surrogate, not a mother with an infant at home.

As a surrogate, Gonzales gave birth in April 2014 and, upon returning to work in June, took two 30-minute breaks each day to pump breast milk to send to the child’s parents. Once her obligation to send milk to that family ended at the end of the month, she decided to continue pumping for the “personal health benefits” of lactation and to donate to the Preemies Milk Bank and women who are unable to breastfeed. Gonzales alleges that her boss told her she could continue taking lactation breaks for another 30 days; when those 30 days were up, she began using her 30-minute lunch break instead, and ate lunch during her 10-minute morning rest break. As a result, Gonzales says, she suffered from clogged ducts, breast pain, blisters, and loss of sleep as she had to pump at night.

What many are questioning is should this be covered under the law?  As the response from Marriott stated, “personal health benefits’ of lactation—which it compares to ‘exercising during the workday’—is unfounded.” What are your thoughts on this case?

Read more here about the Pregnant Surrogate Employed by Marriott Suing over Lactation Breaks.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogacy Pregnancy Lactation

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Surrogacy Pregnancy Lactation

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Pregnant Chicken???

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Pregnant Chicken???

What a pregnant chicken?  Who knew – but this site at Pregnant Chicken is awesome because it addresses how having a toddler and being pregnant can cramp your style.  And, because we here at Conceptual Options are all about pregnancy and surrogacy, we think our surrogates will easily find this site helpful.

According to Pregnant Chicken,

Did anyone else think their second pregnancy would be easier than the first? I guess I thought I’d be an expert and so I was all, OH I GOT THIS. Ah, how naive. I didn’t take into account that there was a toddler around who didn’t give a rat’s ass that I was growing a new life. Kristin sent us this guest post and I remembered how many things were so much harder the second time around.

I’ve been lucky enough to have two “normal” pregnancies with no complications so far, and for that I am thankful. But, I will not lie, this second pregnancy has been much harder than my first. Maybe it’s because I just blocked out some of the less-glamorous aspects of being pregnant from my memory after the first time, or maybe it’s because I now have an energetic little toddler running around 24/7. Either way, the simple, small tasks of everyday life have become increasingly more and more difficult when you have a toddler and a baby bump.

Read more here at Pregnant Chicken, and let us know what you think.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Pregnant Chicken

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Pregnant Chicken

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Kim Kardashian Denies Surrogacy Rumors

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Kim Kardashian Denies Surrogacy Rumors

No matter what anyone thinks of Kim Kardashian and her pregnancy, it is fairly obvious that having a surrogate would provide her with additional time in front of the camera.  So, the fact that she is now denying all rumors of having a surrogate is actually a sad commentary on the way that the world (the haters specifically) looks at other people, especially celebrities.  Hear what she has to say…

According to E Online,

The pregnant Keeping Up With the Kardashians star took to Instagram to post a completely naked picture of herself in order to show followers what she looks like at this stage of her pregnancy. In her caption she slams those who dare criticize her growing baby bump, telling the haters, “Everyone’s body is different, every pregnancy is very different!”

She and husband Kanye Westwere very vocal about their fertility struggles the second time around, so she says she is “blessed” to be expecting her baby boy. The E! star went through it all when she was pregnant with North West, so this time around she isn’t taking any nonsense from anybody.

“First they say I’m too skinny so I have to be faking it…Now they say I’m too big so I have to be faking it…SMH! Some days I’m photographed before I eat & look smaller, some days I’ve just eaten & I look bigger. It’s all a part of the process,” she captioned the racy pic. “I think you all know me well enough to know I would document the process if I got a surrogate. Everyone’s body is different, every pregnancy is very different! I’ve learned to love my body at every stage! I’m going to get even bigger & that’s beautiful too! I’m blessed to even be pregnant & even luckier to not have preeclampsia as far as I know, so I don’t have the swelling issue this time!

Read more here about Kim Kardashian and her naked selfie proof.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy: Kim Kardashian Surrogacy Rumors

Conceptual Options Surrogacy: Kim Kardashian Surrogacy Rumors

 

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Woman Gives Birth to Her Identical Twin’s Baby

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Woman Gives Birth to Her Identical Twin’s Baby

Gotta love these stories!  We wanted to share this heart-warming story with all of those women thinking about becoming a surrogate for another woman – sister or not!

According to Fox News,

After finding out her identical twin sister was unable to have a baby, a Long Island, New York, woman offered to carry her sister’s baby. On Wednesday, August 5, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who will be referred to as her nephew, Patch.com reported.

In 2009, Allison Ardolino Dinkelacker was 30 weeks pregnant with her first child when she learned she had stage 3 breast cancer. She needed to start chemotherapy immediately, and her son Dylan was born by emergency caesarean section at 31 weeks.

Cancer-free but unable to conceive again because her cancer was brought on by hormones, Allison wanted another child to grow her family. Her twin sister, Dawn Ardolino Policastro, came with her to a doctor’s appointment, where they were told that were Allison to survive a pregnancy, she’d be unable to carry another child.

Read more here about the identical twin who carried her sister’s baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Identical Twins Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Identical Twins Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Pregnancy News: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg & Wife Expecting

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & Pregnancy News: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg & Wife Expecting

On Friday afternoon, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced—via a Facebook post and photo starring their dog—that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child: a girl who gave her soon-to-be father a thumbs-up “like” in an ultrasound.

Along with that exciting news, Zuckerberg also disclosed that the couple had been trying for years to get pregnant and had suffered three miscarriages.

Chan is at a point in this pregnancy where the risk of miscarriage is very low, but Zuckerberg shared their past experiences in order to open up the dialogue the emotional toll of a lost pregnancy.

At Conceptual Options we know that every pregnancy is a gift, as is evidenced by the struggles that many couples, like Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan face every day.  Congrats to the Facebook team and Mark and Priscilla!

He wrote:

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you—as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.

In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.”

Read more here on Slate about Mark Zuckerberg and his wife expecting a baby girl.

Conceptual Options Facebook Founder Pregnancy Annoucement - it's a girl!

Conceptual Options Facebook Founder Pregnancy Annoucement – it’s a girl!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

As we all know, Princess Charlotte was just born to the royal couple, Kate and William, last month.  But, Kate’s morning sickness was the original media story – for both Charlotte and George.  Instead of speculating on the gender and possible name of the new royal baby, all news outlets had been focusing on Kate’s horrendous battle with morning sickness.  Now, that the worst is behind Kate, we wanted to remind everyone about morning sickness, and how you can counter the effects to provide you a safe and healthy (and happy) pregnancy.

As was with her first pregnancy, the Duchess has once again been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Unfortunately, this isn’t just your regular “I feel a tad nauseous” type of morning sickness, we are talking about a sickness so severe that it can cause hospitalization and even death if not properly treated.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of all pregnant woman experience some sort of morning sickness during their first trimester. Whereas only a very small percentage of women (1% – 2%) are diagnosed with HG.

What is the difference between your typical morning sickness and HG? Below is a chart by the American Pregnancy Association, detailing the differences:

Morning Sickness: Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
Nausea that subsides at 12 weeks or soon after Nausea that does not subside
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food down

Additional signs and symptoms of HG include:

  • Rapid Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure

Why does HG and or morning sickness even happen? Although research has not nailed down the exact cause, it is believed that it may be due to a rise in hormone levels. Specifically, the rapidly rising levels of the hormones: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen.

What is hCG? When an egg is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall, the placenta  starts to develop. This developing placenta then begins to release hcG. The function of this hormone is to basically ensure the production of progesterone, thereby preventing a woman’s body from having her period, which in turns helps to maintain a pregnancy.

What about estrogen? What is it and what does it do? During pregnancy, estrogen is also produced by the placenta. It’s role is to help the uterus grow, and to maintain the uterine lining, it also helps increase blood circulation and after birth helps with milk production.

The increased combination of these two hormones can throw things off in your system, producing the symptoms mentioned above. However, typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, in fact, many doctors think morning sickness is actually a good sign! Studies have found that women who have signs of morning sickness are less likely to miscarry and even have a reduced risk of preterm birth. But, not having morning sickness does not mean that you are at a higher risk of these things either, just means you lucked out!  Although typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or baby, hyperemesis gravidarum, if severe enough and left untreated, can be harmful.

How is it treated? For mild cases dietary changes, antacids and rest will do the trick. However for more severe cases, the mom-to-be will most likely be hospitalized so she can be hooked to an IV to replenish all her lost nutrients and electrolytes.

According to research,  here are some things you can do to relieve morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Drink fluids before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid warm places since heat can add to nausea
  • Acupressure  also has been used by many to help relieve the duration and severity of the sickness.

During pregnancy, a women’s body is put through a million different physical changes.. some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Regardless, it is very important for all women to be their own advocates. If something does not feel right, please speak to your doctor right away.

Read more here about Morning Sickness and How to Treat it in a healthy way for you and baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? A recent poll done by yours truly, indicated that many of us do not really understand what happens to our bodies every month.

I recently had a conversation with a woman in her 30’s about her fertility and menstruation. I was shocked by her lack of education about her own body. I was curious to know if this was an individual case or if other women lacked this knowledge as well. I started asking other women questions about their body’s – specifically about their periods. I was again surprised by how little women seemed to know about what was happening inside their own body.

So for this week’s blog topic, I want to discuss your menstrual cycle.

Your menstrual cycle has four distinct phases:

1. Follicular
2. Ovulation
3. Luteal
4. Menstruation.

1. Follicular phase
The follicular phase lasts about two weeks. The last 5 days are considered your fertile window. As an aside, a woman is only able to conceive on six days out of her entire cycle. So, women can only get pregnant on the day of ovulation or during the five days before ovulation.  Amazing!

Back to the follicular phase. During this phase your endocrine system specifically your pituitary gland, (a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain), releases a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone better known as FSH. This hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles.

Ovarian follicles are cells that each contain one immature egg. Although anywhere between 10 and 20 ovarian follicles may initially develop, by the end of the follicular phase, only one will remain. This means that you will only have one mature egg which will be released during the ovulation phase.

During this time the lining of your uterus (known as the endometrium) begins to thicken so it can be ready to receive a fertilized egg.

2. Ovulation
The day before you ovulate, your estrogen levels peak, triggering the lutenizing hormone (LH). The rise in LH causes your ovarian follicle to burst and release the egg. The egg moves into the fallopian tube and towards the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg will disintegrate.

 3. Luteal phase
During this phase the follicle that released the egg releases large amounts of hormone known as progesterone, this is to maintain the thick endometrium in case fertilization occurs. If fertilization does not occur, the progesterone levels will decline and the lining will disintegrate.

4. Menstruation
Menstruation occurs when the disintegrated endometrium flows out of the vagina.

There you have it, the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle.
Read more here about understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test-Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

There are reports that now claim that “Test tube babies” are not that rare these days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.5% of babies born in the US are conceived using what’s called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), of which the most common procedure is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to Business Insider UK,

Though thousands of IVF cycles are done every year in the US, it’s tricky to get a sense of an individual woman’s chance of conceiving with the procedure. Graphs from the CDC show exactly how often IVF resulted in a baby for women who went through the costly treatment using their own eggs, not donor eggs. A single IVF cycle costs an average of $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and women often need multiple tries to get pregnant.

About 36% of IVF cycles result in pregnancy, and 29.4% of cycles result in a baby…

A live birth rate of about 30% for IVF cycles is really pretty respectable. A healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant without assistance every month that she tries, according to the ASRM. That decreases to 5% chance each month for women aged 40.

For couples who try to conceive through IVF, a lot more is at stake financially, emotionally, and physically, even if the success rate is often better than the traditional method.

While looking at the national averages for IVF success rates is a good start for dispelling misconceptions, pregnancy and live birth rates differ from clinic to clinic, and the data don’t tell the whole story. There are many different causes of infertility, and IVF does not address the direct problem for every cause. Only a doctor can say what chance IVF has of success for a particular couple.

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Kim Kardashian is Pregnant – Hold the Surrogate!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Kim Kardashian is Pregnant – Hold the Surrogate!

For those of you who have been watching all of the media attention surrounding Kim Kardashian and her quest for a second baby, even if it involved using a surrogate – we have good news!  Kim K is pregnant.  We congratulate her and her family on the news.  And, we are happy that she and her family were willing to share their fertility struggles before the cameras.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy: Kim Kardashian is pregnant again!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy: Kim Kardashian is pregnant again!

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: German Grandmother Pregnant with Quadruplets

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: German Grandmother Pregnant with Quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman is set to become the world’s oldest mother of quadruplets.

According toBioNews,

Annegret Raunigk, a language teacher and mother of 13, went to a Ukrainian fertility clinic to undergo treatment using donated gametes because egg donation is illegal in Germany. It took over a year and a half to conceive and she is now in her 21st week of pregnancy, reports RTL.

In an interview with the German news broadcaster, Raunigk dismissed questions over whether her age would make caring for four infants difficult. ‘I’m healthy now, why wouldn’t I be in five years time?’ she said.

Raunigk also said she was not concerned about being judged by others. Although she did not say in the interview exactly why she decided to have more children, RTL quoted her as explaining that it was because her youngest daughter wanted a new brother or sister.

Raunigk’s oldest child is 44 and her youngest is nine years old – a birth that made headlines in Germany at the time. She also has seven grandchildren. Her children have five different fathers.

What are your thoughts?  Is 65 too old?  Who decides the age that is appropriate?

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News