Single Mom by Choice (SMBC) – First key fertility journey steps
Deciding to become a single mom by choice is the beginning of a new chapter in one’s life – one where you are in the driver’s seat, making the decisions that feel good to you with creating the family of your dreams. A single mom by choice, or SMBC, is a mom who chooses to have a child on her own, typically using donor sperm to conceive. Being an SMBC brings with it so much joy, and autonomy! While there are several key steps in the process, you can take these steps one at a time, and at your own pace.
Here are the first steps to get you started.
STEP 1: Find a fertility clinic
You will want to know more about your physical health as you prepare for your pregnancy journey and you should start by consulting with your OB/GYN, Fertility Specialist, and in some cases, a Reproductive Endocrinologist. These professionals will be an integral part to your journey to parenthood. You will start with a fertility assessment, testing bloodwork, ultrasound exams, genetic carrier screening, and more. Your chosen medical professional will discuss procedure types like IUI (Intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization) which are both procedures that use will a sperm donor.
STEP 2: Find a sperm donor
One of your most significant initial steps in pursuing single parenthood by choice is deciding on a sperm donor.
Many SMBCs chose to use donor sperm from a sperm bank. Your first step is to decide on a sperm bank and ask questions about donor screening including infectious disease screening, genetic testing, and sperm quality, donor family limits, and more. Once you have found a sperm you are happy with, it’s time to make an important decision: which donor will you use?
Once you find a donor you prefer, it will be important to have vials ready when you need them. It is suggested that you buy and store enough for several rounds of treatment if needed. Also, if you are interested in a sibling later, that option may be available to you.
Considering a known donor? For some single moms by choice, there may be a known donor in mind who is a part of your life and who may already be ready to donate their sperm.
If you are considering using a donor, be sure to review the associated costs in your budget for the following:
- Genetic testing
- Infections disease testing
- Sperm quality testing
- Sperm storage fees
STEP 3: Begin (or continue) your physical preparation for pregnancy
As you narrow down your donor choices, you may also want to prepare your body for pregnancy.
Pregnancy may have complex effects on the body, so it is important to do everything you can to incorporate healthy habits and prepare your body appropriately. Having a physical check-up and starting a prenatal vitamin may help get you into peak condition for getting pregnant.
STEP 4: Build your community
As you consider the donor on your path to becoming a parent, it may be a good time to build your support network while you plan your timeline to parenthood. Talk to friends and family about how they are willing to support your single parenthood by choice. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is accurate, and it is a good idea to establish this village ahead of time.
Think about your own social life, too. Do you have any mom friends or other people in your life who may be expecting? You may want to find a prenatal class to join once you are pregnant and to start building potential long-term friendships. Doing so can expand your support circle to include other parents who will eventually have kids the same age as yours.
STEP 5: Start your treatments and think positively
The road to parenthood is unique for everyone.
Becoming a single mom by choice can be incredibly exciting and empowering. Fulfill your dream of becoming a mom and whatever your journey may hold, we hope these steps help you along the way to defining parenthood on your terms.
START YOUR JOURNEY
If you have questions or feeling ready to start your fertility journey as a single mom by choice, or SMBC, contact Tripod Fertility today. Click here to start.