Monthly Archives: September 2013

Canadian Surrogate - Pregnancy Symptoms; What about this belly ache?

Published September 26, 2013

Canadian Surrogate – This month I have had the same question from many surrogates, and so went looking for an article that addresses the issue of lower belly pain. I was able to find an article that both addresses this concern, as well as potential ways to alleviate some of the discomfort.

Being pregnant myself, I am definitely more aware of my body these days, and can relate to my surrogates who are having these concerns. I’m hoping that this article will address these issues, and give us all some ideas to help us through these times.

surrogacy_surrogate_infertility_pregnancy_infertile Surrogate pregnancy growing pains

Article found here http://www.babycenter.ca/a205/round-ligament-pain
It’s quite typical for your lower abdomen to ache. This aching, as opposed to cramping, is caused by the stretching of the muscles and ligaments (the tough, flexible tissues that connect your bones) supporting your uterus (womb) (Aquilera 2005; Davis 1996). It is often called round ligament pain.

Hormones produced by your body during pregnancy cause the stretching (Andrews and O



Canadian Fertility Consultants - Surrogate connections made at CFC events this weekend

Published September 22, 2013

This weekend Canadian Fertility Consultants hosted three Surrogate connection events, that were very well received by Surrogates in our program. On Saturday night, many of our Surrogates got together in Ottawa to celebrate Surrogate Sisterhood. It was a chance for some of our newbies to learn from our more seasoned surrogates- those who have done two or more surrogacy journeys. It is truly the best way to learn about potential pit falls in relationships, get advice on the legal contracts, and to hear how others coped, when a journey is over, and it’s time to turn the page, onto another chapter of life.

Also on Saturday, a couple of our Alberta girls got together for a dinner in Calgary- One a first time surrogate, not pregnant yet, While the other was nearing the end of her second journey. Again, I heard from the women that they had a great time, and were able to bond over this most amazing journey they were both on.

This morning, on Vancouver Island, the sleepy little town of Parksville was taken over by ou BC surros, who are known to get a little loud and crazy!!! The eleven ladies took over the Tigh Na Mara Seaside resort for a delicious Brunch, and girl time!!! I have heard from many of the women that not only was the food amazing, but meeting the others on the Island going through a Surrogacy was also fantastic!!!

I’m often asked why we host these events, and why CFC values the community of women so highly. It’s simple, connecting is Key!! It is such a blessing to know that you have sisters to go through this journey with. To know that if things start going sideways, you have someone to lean on, and when things are going well, you have someone to celebrate with. Until someone has gone through this journey, it is often difficult to know how you’ll feel, or react, or to lean on those who haven’t been there before. The community that grows among women celebrating Surrogacy, is amazing, and I am so blessed to be a part of it, everyday!



Surrogacy in Canada - Parental Leave changes necessary for Surrogacy, and Adoption

Published September 21, 2013

surrogacy_adoption

Surrogacy, or adoption leave provided by the government

Adoption and the Workplace- Time for change

Surrogacy in Canada – I added this article, as the rule applies in a similar way for surrogacy in Canada. I would however like to see it include body recovery time for birthing mother- although allow the full year for Intended Parent. Please let me know what you think- I would love to hear from Intended parents, and surrogates.

Barb and Maxine work for a large corporation whose profit for the last quarter was $400 million. Both women are new moms, currently at home caring for their children. Barb will be at home for 52 weeks and will receive 85% of her regular salary. Maxine, on the other hand, is able to stay home for only 35 weeks during which she receives 55% of her usual salary. What’s the difference? Barb is a biological mother; Maxine is an adoptive mother.
Both the Federal Government and the employer are treating these women differently, based on the way they have chosen to build their families. Their employer, like many organizations, tops up the payments received from Employment Insurance so that employees receive full (or near full) salaries while they are off work. In Maxine’s case, however, their employer does not extend the benefit to adoptive parents.

The Federal Government pays Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to provide financial assistance to new parents (currently 55% of average insurable earnings to a maximum of $413 / week). Maternity benefits are payable to biological mothers for a maximum of 15 weeks. Parental benefits are payable to parents (biological or adoptive) for a maximum of 35 weeks. Thus biological parents are eligible for 50 weeks of employment insurance while adoptive parents hit the maximum at only 35 weeks. One adoptive parent is mounting a Charter of Rights challenge on this very issue in the E.I. Legislation.
Biological parents are provided with EI benefits over a one- year period comprised of:
a) 2 week disqualification period (i.e. no EI payments) and
b) 15 weeks of maternity benefits; and
c) 35 weeks of parental benefits
Total: 52 weeks

Many employers also pay top-up wage compensation to their employees for the two-week E.I. disqualification period by topping up their wage to between 85% and 100% of their normal salary (i.e. the employer pays all of this benefit during the first two weeks). For the next 15 weeks, the top-up reduces by the amount of the E.I. maternity benefits (described above). Some employers also top-up the employees’ salary for the full 35 weeks of parental benefits as well.
As a result of complaints we received about how adopting parents were treated in the workplace, Sunrise conducted a limited and informal poll of its clients to see how widespread the differential treatment of adoptive and biological parents by employers is, and we were stunned by the responses. Many of our clients reported situations in which a biological parent receives top up payments, while an adoptive parent is refused. Here are some examples of what we heard:
Government of British Columbia: The B.C. Provincial Government is one of least discriminatory employers we heard about. It offers a top-up to both biological and adoptive parents (to its unionized and non-unionized employees.) It also offers adoptive parents a Pre-Placement Adoptive Leave. This leave allows adoptive parents to attend pre-placement visits for their homestudy or to complete legal requirements for the adoption while collecting 85% of their regular salary.
Government of Canada: A federal civil servant, who is an adoptive parent, received 93% of her wage by top-up for 37 weeks. The real irony is that the Federal Government treats its adoptive parent employees better than most employers do, but discriminates against all adoptive parents with its EI policy!
Police: The RCMP (a federal government employer) offers both adopting and biological parents the top-up for 37 weeks. Other police forces in British Columbia (Municipal forces) generally do not pay the top-up to adoptive parents. (The municipal public force in Saanich, B.C., however, does pay the top-up for 37 weeks).
Municipalities: One adopting parent reported that the Municipality she worked for finally gave her the top-up right after she filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

Hospitals: Regional Health Districts are the employer for nurses in British Columbia. One adoptive parent reported that in his hospital, biological parents receive a top-up on the EI Maternity Benefit only. No one receives a top-up on the Parental Benefit. Since adoptive parents don’t qualify for maternity benefits, they don’t receive any top-up at all.
Universities: Universities do not seem to take a consistent approach in how they treat their employee parents. Adopting parents employed by universities told us about a wide variety of benefits payable to adopting parents. Often these were inconsistent, unusual, and at times discriminatory.
At the University of British Columbia, adopting parents get topped-up for 12 weeks, while biological mothers receive 20 weeks. At the University of Toronto, adopting parents receive 27 weeks of top-up, and biological mothers receive 3 weeks more. At Capilano College, parents on parental leave are topped-up to 80% of salary, and for parents on maternity leave to 90% of salary.
Professors at Simon Fraser University are the only employees we found who were treated absolutely identically whether they were biological or adoptive parents. To do this, the maternity benefits not paid to adoptive parents by EI are covered by the university. Kudos to SFU!

Schools: We heard from many teachers across the province. School Districts in British Columbia bargain separately with the teachers’ union (BCTF). As a result, adopting parents (who are also teachers) receive different benefits depending on where they work. For example, Surrey Teachers do receive the top-up of 95% of salary for the first 2 weeks, 70% for next 15 weeks and zero for the balance of parental leave. North Vancouver District teachers receive 95% for the first 2 weeks, but then 70% for only the next 10 weeks (while biological mothers receive it for the next 15 weeks). Most other school districts do not pay top-ups at all to teachers. There is no rational basis for treating teachers, who choose to create their families by adoption, differently. One parent was told that top-ups are not paid to adopting parents because the school district follows Government of Canada rulings. This doesn’t accord with our findings; all federal government departments that we heard from do top up adopting parents.
One adopting parent employed by the Coquitlam School Board was recently refused the top-up. When she told her employer that she was filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, she immediately received a top-up.

Falling Between the Cracks
Some adopting parents are in a catch-22 situation and the problem may not be resolved until a parent takes action. We heard from several British Columbia parents who reported that employers dodge responsibility by saying it is up to the union to ask for benefits through the collective bargaining process.
One city police department we heard from only offers the top-up to biological parents. A Port Moody police officer said, I am a union member and was entitled to nothing under the collective agreement. However, we were in the middle of negotiating a new one, and I asked for a provision to be added. I was unsuccessful.
Pursuant to Labour Relations legislation, unions are required to represent minority interests (like those of adopting parents). Failure to do so can lead to a complaint with the Labour Relations Board. Exercising that legal right against your Union, however, can be a scary prospect.

Another adoptive parent reported:
I wasn’t sure if there are many others in the same boat as myself, and considering the extremely daunting task of applying for change in our organization (my employer is Vancouver Coastal Health), I have not bothered to try. I would have to put forth a motion to the union (membership = 40,000) and the union would then vote on whether or not to pursue this issue with the Health Authority and ultimately the Government. Another union colleague who adopted several years ago felt the same as I do now.
any adopting parents had similar experiences when they approached their union. They were told that nothing could be done. Studies in the USA show that less than 1% of eligible employees receive adoption employment benefits. No wonder adoptive parents can feel lost in big unions!

What Can Be Done?
In a landmark 2002 study, 94% of respondents stated that adopting parents should receive the same benefits in the workplace as biological parents4. It is clear our society feels overwhelmingly that adopting and biological parents should be treated equally.
This doesn’t seem right. Large government employers (such as hospitals, health districts, municipalities and school boards) should not justify continuing to discriminate by claiming that the unions need to ask for it. They should take responsibility and end the discriminatory treatment.

Employers should treat parents equally, whether they give birth or adopt. If an employer pays an E.I. top-up to a biological parent, then the same compensation should be paid to an adopting parent. To not do so is discrimination.
The need for change is apparent and many parents expressed an interest in making that change happen. Unless adopting parents object, this discrimination will not end. One possibility is to file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. The most effective solution may be for adoptive parents to lobby their MLAs and MPs for legislative change. How about a law that simply says adopting parents and biological parents must be treated the same in any workplace. (After all 94% of society already thinks this is what should happen)
Talk to your employer and/or your union officials. If your organization tops up biological parents, insist that they treat adoptive parents equally.
Related Links:
http://www.bcadoption.com
www.hrsdc.gc.ca
www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org
www.bcparent.ca/articles/adoption/overcoming_discrimination

This can be formatted for your specific surrogacy situation- I just love to see that Intended or Adoptive parents are getting the voice that they so deserve-
AF’s Instant Letter: Adoption Benefits
Adoption assistance benefits are moving into the mainstream. If your company doesn’t offer them-or if they’re inadequate-AF’s here to help you take matters into your own hands.
Use this Adoptive Families Instant Letter to launch your campaign to convince your employer to offer expense reimbursement and paid leave.

Download and customize it (or print it out here) and then send it to your human resources director, your boss, your boss’ boss-and anyone in-between who will listen. Help your company join the ranks of enlightened employers who acknowledge the fact that adoption is an important way to build families-and help make your (or someone else’s) adoption a reality.

Then, after you send the letter, tell us how things turned out at letters@adoptivefamilies.com.——————————————————————————–

Dear Employer:

As an employee of our company for more than [insert number] of years, I have appreciated [insert name of your company]’s generous benefits. At this time, however, our company does not offer [insert adoption expense reimbursement and/or paid leave] to adopting parents. Because I am in the process of adopting a child, these benefits are of vital importance to me.
Adoption benefits are good for business. A recent New York Times article reported that with more than 100,000 Americans adopting each year, adoption benefits are becoming a hot new perk in the panoply of workplace benefits. The article described how Bank Rhode Island, for example, introduced adoption benefits to retain a valued employee who had decided to adopt a child from China.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, established by the late founder of Wendy’s International, has identified the following advantages that adoption benefits offer companies:
Establishing equity
Mothers who choose to build their families through birth receive generous maternity benefits at [insert name of your company], including [insert number] weeks of paid time off. An adoptive parent, however, does not currently receive comparable paid leave, even though the effort involved in caring for an adopted child is the same.
Keeping pace with current benefit trends
The number of employers offering paid leave and adoption expense reimbursement for adoptive parents is growing. Of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies, the vast majority offers financial assistance and/or paid leave for adoption. Some companies, such as JP Morgan Chase, offer up to 12 weeks’ paid leave and reimburse up to $10,000 for adoption expenses; the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca International offers seven weeks’ paid leave and $5,000 in reimbursement. Adoption can be expensive, with average costs ranging from $20,000 to $25,000, according to the 2005 Adoptive Families magazine adoption cost survey (www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoption-cost). These figures do not take into account the income a parent may forego during an unpaid leave.
Low use rates
Less than half of one percent of any employee population will use adoption benefits during a year.
Building employee loyalty and goodwill
Employee satisfaction contributes significantly to productivity. Employer support of adoption can renew a sense of loyalty and a commitment to results. Even employees who do not adopt are pleased that their employer has included the needs of adoptive parents in the company’s agenda.
Giving back to the community
Financial assistance and leave time are critical to the success of an adoption. By making it easier for employees to adopt, an employer acknowledges the importance of families to children. Employer support of adoption can make a critical difference for the more than 100,000 children adopted annually in the United States and for their adoptive parents.
More information about these benefits to business can be found at the Dave Thomas Foundation’s Adoption Friendly Workplace Web site at www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with the appropriate staff at the firm. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this matter.
Sincerely,

[Your name and title here]



Gestational Surrogacy Canada - Q: Should my Surrogate be cared for by a Midwife?

Published September 18, 2013

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Gestational Surrogacy Canada – Q. What is a Midwife, how are they trained, and should my surrogate have one?

For this question I spoke to the below, and was sent this article via email-
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

What is a Midwife?

The Principles of Care
How Do I Find a Midwife?
Midwifery Education Program
Midwifery in Ontario

What is a midwife ?

Midwife means with woman. To midwives and their clients, pregnancy and birth are normal, healthy life events. Midwifery promotes normal childbirth and the prevention of health problems. In 1994, midwifery became an integrated part of the Ontario healthcare system and is provided free of charge to residents of the province. Midwives provide care in both the hospital and home setting.

A midwife is a primary caregiver, which means that she can provide all the care necessary for a healthy woman and her baby throughout pregnancy, birth and for six weeks afterward. Midwives refer women and babies to family doctors or specialist doctors like obstetricians and pediatricians if the care becomes complicated. Even if care is transferred to a doctor at the birth, midwives will remain involved in the care as a support to the mother and baby. As primary caregivers, midwives do the following :

a.. care for healthy, pregnant women and their babies;
b.. see women for all prenatal visits and give prenatal education;
c.. order laboratory and ultrasound testing if needed;
d.. arrange for consultations with or transfers to doctors if needed;
e.. give some medications during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum (after birth) period if needed;
f.. take responsibility for primary care during labour, birth and postpartum including delivering the baby;
g.. examine the newborn and care for mothers and babies for six weeks after the birth.
You do not need a referral from a physician to use midwifery services; you can call a midwife directly. However, it is best to call as early in pregnancy as possible to ensure that your midwife has space for you.

There are currently over 300 midwives registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario.

What are the principles of midwifery care ?

There are three important principles of midwifery care :

Continuity of Care
Midwives usually work in small groups and are on 24-hour call. A pregnant woman will get to know a small group of midwives (2-4) to ensure that the she is comfortable and familiar with the caregivers who will attend her birth. Generally, two midwives will attend each birth and share the care throughout the pregnancy, labour, birth and after the birth for six weeks. They will offer education, counselling, advocacy and emotional support. Each midwife will take the time to build a relationship of trust and safety with each woman. If medical problems develop during pregnancy, labour, birth or postpartum, midwives work closely with specialist physicians and nursing staff.

Informed Choice
Midwives encourage each woman to take an active part in her care throughout her pregnancy and birth and will provide information to each woman so that she can make choices about her care. Midwives provide sufficient time during prenatal care to discuss questions about important issues like nutrition, birth plans, breastfeeding and parenting. Midwives recognize and support the mother as the main decision-maker.

Choice of Birthplace
The pregnant woman chooses whether she wants to give birth in a hospital or at home under the primary care of the midwife. Midwives are trained to attend births in both places as well as to help individual women choose the safest place for them. Many women who opt to have a hospital birth spend time at home with their midwife before going to hospital.

A midwife’s training prepares her to be responsible for decisions about labour, delivery, postpartum and newborn care both at home or in hospital. A midwife works closely with other community midwives, doctors and nurses to maintain a high standard of care.

How do I find a midwife ?
The Association of Ontario Midwives can provide information on where midwifery services are located in Ontario. You may contact them at the following address :

Association of Ontario Midwives
789 Don Mills Road, suite 201
Don Mills, Ontario
M3C 1T5
Canada
Tel : 416-425-9974
Fax : 416-425-6905
E-mail : admin@aom.on.ca
Web site : www.aom.on.ca

The College of Midwives of Ontario regulates the midwifery profession and provides an annual assessment and registration program for internationally trained midwives. Their address is :

College of Midwives of Ontario
Mailing Address : 55 St. Clair Avenue West, P.O. Box 27, Toronto
General Office Telephone : 416-327-0874
Fax : 416-327-8219
Email : admin@cmo.on.ca
Website : www.cmo.on.ca

Aboriginal midwives who practice in their own communities are not regulated under the Midwifery Act. For more information about Aboriginal Midwifery, contact :

Aboriginal Health Officer
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Hepburn Block, 8th Floor
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1R3
Canada
Tel : 416-327-8448
Fax : 416-314-5517

Midwifery Education Program

Midwives are trained through a 4-year Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery Degree Program. The Midwifery Education Program is a consortium consisting of McMaster University, Laurentian University, and Ryerson University.



Canadian Fertility Consultants - Another Delivery, Another Happy Family Created

Published September 12, 2013

It’s 3am, and I just hung up the phone with one of Canadian Fertility Consultants surrogates.

After texting a bit, I had to call. I wanted to know more details of her Facebook Post, He’s here, 8 pounds 2 ounces.

B’s labour had been going on most of yesterday, and I was watching the updates, unsure of when she’d head to the hospital, but knowing her amazing husband J would get her there (which is always a blessing to know).

It was only this morning that I would get a few more details on the delivery. B sounded so happy, telling me details of the delivery, and sharing just how cute? this little man was. He looks like his Dad, she said. Same nose and mouth. He definitely isn’t mine. Something I hear from surrogates all the time.

B is waiting for the parents to arrive. She’s gotten in her snuggles, and is watching him sleep. The hospital she’s at left him in her room. B is fine with that. She’s braver than I am. I couldn’t have done that during my surrogacy journeys. I was always afraid i’d bond with the baby.

Again i’m just amazed at B’s strength. She has been an absolute trooper during this pregnancy, including navigating a breech baby, subsequent visits to the chiropractor having the Webster technique performed, and delivering sans medication.

Good job B, and thanks so much for allowing CFC to share in this amazing journey with you…….

surrogate Surrogate Mother Delivers bundle of Joy to parents



Canadian Fertility Consultants - A Great turn out for Belleville Surrogate Night out

Published September 11, 2013

Canadian Fertility Consultants is currently hosting events to connect past future, and current Surrogates, and last night was our first of many events that we are hosting for September.

As we arrived at Montana’s in Belleville last night, girls shuffled in, from as far as Whitby to the West, and Kingston to the East. We were ready with name tags for everyone, as many of the girls had only connected on our Facebook group, and so putting a face to the name was tough for some. CFC was expecting 12 girls to show up, although as the table filled up, and another table was added, and then another, we quickly realized we were outgrowing the space provided to us. It ended up that 19 girls showed up, which was fantastic. The more the merrier.

No topic was off limits, as the Surrogates openly spoke about the effects off their journeys on their marriages, sex lives, as well as how it was affecting the relationship with their kids. It was great to be able to have such candid conversations, knowing that our non surrogate friends likely wouldn’t understand that venting is a healthy part of our journey as a surrogate. CFCs surrogates are such a great support to each other, sharing tips on C-section recovery, how to withstand extended periods of bed rest, as well as navigating the relationship with Intended parents.

Many of the girls who attended were in various stages of pregnancy, coming from different communities, married, unmarried, and different walks of life, however the Surrogacy connection is one that breaks down all barriers. Its a raw connection that runs deep, and is a true sisterhood!!

It is always a true blessing to be a part of an event like this, as it renews my faith in why what CFC does for Surrogates. It is so important to provide a supportive space for all of our Gestational carriers. It is through this support that the women in our program leave their journeys feeling empowered and blessed to have been a part of such a beautiful process.



Canadian Fertility Consultants is invited to a Birthday Party

Published September 09, 2013

Canadian Fertility Consultants is invited to a Birthday Party!!

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a Fantastic First Birthday Party for one of my client’s son. It was such a blessing to be invited to attend this Family event.

At this party I looked around, and was quickly reminded of why our job as Fertility consultants is so important. The clients were two great Dads, who used an egg donor, and a gestational carrier. CFC’s services were used to coordinate. The Dads were beaming!!. They were so excited to share this special day with all of us, showing off their son- who was walking, running, and of course charming us all.

I often take these moments to reflect on how far we have come- Forty years ago, this would have been unheard of, and yet it still seems that there is a world out there that doesn’t understand that Love is Love. The blessing of becoming a parent shouldn’t be reserved for those who fit the mold of what one segment of society thinks it should be, but rather that access to parenthood should be available to those who truly respect what a gift it is to become a parent, whether single, gay, or straight, and that it is our responsibility as a society to support and care for parents in our lives, who have been blessed with children in whatever way, be it through natural conception, assisted reproductive technology, adoption, or co parenting, and that all should be equally embraced and valued.

As a Mom I felt compelled to come home, and talk to my 10 year old Sara, telling her about this party, and the two Dads, just to check her temperature on the whole two dads thing, as I wanted to make sure that as a family, we were having the conversations about family building. She shrugged her shoulders, rolled her eyes, and said of course Mom, that’s your job, helping people have kids- who cares if its two dads, one mom, or whatever……..

I guess it was my deal, not hers. In any event, Im so glad that I was invited to this Birthday party, as it was a fun time, and even more importantly, an opportunity to reflect on what a blessing my job is, everyday!!!

width=200 Intended parents invite CFC to share Baby’s First birthday

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Surrogacy Canada - Question: I'm feeling really alone on my journey to become a Mom, how can I find support?

Published September 07, 2013

Answer: That’s a great question, and one that we get asked often. We often suggest joining a Support Group, and here’s why.

Surrogacy Canada – Support Group : One of the most beneficial reasons for joining a support group is decreasing the sense of isolation that so many people feel when they are experiencing fertility challenges. In a support group you’ll be supported while expressing feelings of anger, guilt, and sadness, as others in the group have likely dealt with these feelings on their journeys.

Couples who are having difficulty communicating with each other about their infertility struggles can often width=300width=300gain a better understanding of their partners’ reactions to infertility and learn how to support each other during times of stress.

Members can benefit from enhanced self-esteem when they improve their coping skills. Enhanced self-esteem often spills over into other areas of participants lives- helping them to deal with other life stresses that come up.

CFC suggests to clients that finding support, whether within your own Social circle, or through Support groups, often offered by your fertility clinic. Sharing your journey is often a great way to connect with others, and a Support group is a great way to connect.



Gestational Surrogacy Canada - Question of the week: I'm on Bed rest, now what??

Published September 06, 2013

Gestational Surrogacy Canada – Each week I get many questions from Surrogates, about pregnancy, and birth. This week’s question reminded me how fragile pregnancy can be in the first few months.

Q: I am 14 weeks pregnant, and am bleeding. My OB wants me to be on bed rest. What does this mean for me, and for my Intended parents?

A: It is estimated that up to 20% of ivf pregnancy have some bleeding in the early stages, however if bleeding persists, or becomes problematic, your Dr may suggest bed rest until the bleeding subsides. If bleeding occurs, it is important to call your OB immediately, and then of course to call your intended parents to advise them of the bleeding. Your intended parents (distance permitting) may want to accompany you to the OBs office, or hospital to ensure that you, and baby are okay.

We have put together a list of questions to ask your Dr about bed rest, to ensure that you have all the information you need to create a care plan for your family. Here they are:

* How long do you anticipate I will be on bed rest?

*How much can I move around? Do I need to stay in bed? May I sit up? If yes, how much?

*Is it okay to stand? For how long?

*How much walking is okay?

*May I move to the sofa or to a lounge chair outside during the day? Sit at the table for meals?

*Is it okay to lift my toddler?

*What about household chores? May I make meals?

*Is it okay to drive?

*What about caring for my kids? What can and can’t I do?

*What level of sexual activity is safe? Do I need to avoid orgasm?

*May I take a break and go out to dinner or lunch or to church once in a while as long as I’m careful about avoiding any excessive activity?

*Should I keep track of the baby’s movements, and if so, how?

*Will I be having more frequent appt’s, or ultrasounds?

*What problems or symptoms should prompt a call to you?

It is so important to have these questions answered for yourself, but also for your intended parents, so that they can be a support to you, whether sending you prepared meals, or helping to find someone to come in to your home to care for you.

There are some great online resources for those on bed rest, here are a few that we particularly like:

http://www.keepemcookin.com/bedrest.aspx

http://www.sidelines.org/

http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/bed-rest-support/

Please continue to send in your questions, and we will do our best to answer them for you.

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Canadian Fertility Consultants - Book review: the Kangaroo Pouch

Published September 02, 2013

Canadian Fertility Consultants Book Review – Today I wanted to share the below book with you. It is a must read for anyone interested in, or participating in the Surrogacy process. It is also an amazing resource for Social worker’s Counselors, and Psychologists working with families involved in the process.

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The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story about Gestational Surrogacy for Young Children

Sarah Phillips Pellet
2 Reviews
Trafford Publishing, 2006 – Kangaroos – 24 pages
The Kangaroo Pouch introduces young children to the concept of surrogacy. Narrated by a young kangaroo character, whose mother has decided to help another family in their efforts to have a child, the story gently guides the reader through the surrogate’s decision-making process, the pregnancy, and the resulting baby that is then given back to the biological parents.
The book is designed to act not only as a conversation starter for surrogates with their own families; but also as a how-to manual for their children to refer to throughout the process.
The author, Sarah Phillips Pellet, who herself was a surrogate on behalf of a close family member, wrote The Kangaroo Pouch for this purpose with her own children in mind. When asked, How are you going to tell the kids? she thought, I’ll write a book, do some stick-figures to illustrate it, and read it to them. She did and discovered that her children would re-read the book throughout the duration of the pregnancy and afterwards. After the encouragement of many friends, relatives, and professionals to produce the book for other surrogates, she decided to have the book professionally illustrated by artist Laurie A. Faust.
The Kangaroo Pouch has been reviewed by both a child psychologist and a behavioral specialist to ensure that the story answers questions that a typical child would have and that it is communicated effectively.