Just browse through celebrity magazines to see the constant use of the term “independent motherhood”. But, what does it really mean? What are the challenges? Why are many women choosing to father their children without the help of a male figure ?
It is not just today that women are gaining more space in society. Whether in the professional or intellectual field, they are focused on their own growth. With this, many of them put relationships or motherhood itself in the background.
Why choose independent maternity?
This question is a little difficult to answer, since it deals with several questions of the female intimate. A large percentage of women who decide on independent motherhood make this decision because of their age or even after some failed relationships.
The desire to be a mother ends up being greater than maintaining traditional family standards with father and mother and they give up sharing this moment with a partner and even sharing a child’s education with another person.
A very well thought out decision
Although in theory independent motherhood is an easy term to be approached, in practice the situation is a little different. There are a number of doubts and insecurities that the mother will generate.
The arrival of a child is already difficult for a couple, even if well structured, imagine for a woman alone and who will have 100% of the responsibilities for you.
Conceive, generate, give birth, breastfeed , deal with the newborn . A little further, educating, teaching values, talking about its origin is an arduous task that every woman who decides for independent motherhood has to know that she will face it alone. How will you explain your decision in the future? Will you have the support of family members?
In a street survey, some people were asked how they viewed “new family models”. Unmarried couples raising children? Gay couples raising children? About each of these growing trends, more than 40% said they were indifferent.
Many of these people did not really care about the increase in the number of women who never had children (55% said it did not matter). There was, however, one big exception when asked about the increase in single women opting for independent motherhood, 69% of those people said it was a bad thing.
Generally, when the woman decides for independent motherhood, she has the support of her close family , that is, father, mother, siblings and a few friends. The rest will always ask that classic question: “Why don’t you go out and be with someone? ”
But following this vision of an immediate solution, would it be ethical to get pregnant on purpose, without knowing the opinion of the other person involved? What are the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, or even congenital diseases for the baby ?
Really dealing with a new situation bothers people and this prejudice is visible every time the subject is addressed.
Is there an ideal age to be a mother?
Since the last advances in medicine in the area of fertilization, people have come to believe that motherhood can be postponed peacefully until after forty years without consequences. This idea has also been repeatedly disseminated by the media, which is always showing actresses who had older children, as if this were the most normal and simple thing in the world.
Of course, with the processes of fertilization, insemination, medicines, tests and all the technology, it is possible to have children older, and in a safer way. But the woman’s biological clock has not changed because of that.
It has always been and continues to be advisable to have children until the age of 35 , when the fertility rate is still high and there is less risk for both mother and baby.
Motherhood after that age is possible, of course, but after forty, with older eggs, in addition to falling fertility, the risk of some health problem is much greater.
How to Choose a Donor for Independent Maternity
In Brazil, semen donation is completely anonymous and free . Potential donors have their identity preserved by law and are prohibited from receiving any remuneration for the act. Several tests are carried out to certify the health and quality of the semen, in addition, questionnaires are answered and there are also sessions with psychologists.
After six months, the tests are repeated to ensure that no communicable disease has manifested itself in that period. Although the protocol for semen donation is one of the safest in the world, it is also the most time consuming for those looking for a donor, which makes the process more difficult. There are few accredited donors in the country and within the standards.
Requirements to be a semen donor
Some requirements must be met strictly in order to be a possible semen donor .
- Be between 18 and 45 years old;
- Being healthy and not belonging to any risk group for STDs – Sexually transmitted diseases;
- Not having genetic or congenital diseases in the family;
- Have availability to take the exams and appear at least 6 times at the bank to make the donation.
The largest semen bank in the country, Pro-Seed, is located in São Paulo. In the semen bank, the collection and all necessary exams are carried out, after this step, the material is sold to fertilization clinics throughout Brazil, always keeping donors anonymous. And, because there are few, the cost of each sample is not cheap, the price varies between R $ 1.5 thousand and R $ 2.2 thousand .
How Donor Choice is Made
It is through the clinic that the choice of donor is made. A spreadsheet is provided with data from each donor such as ethnicity, ancestry, hair color, eyes, weight, height, profession and hobbies.
Each donor is identified by a unique number and it is possible to choose up to 3 options on the forms. The vast majority of women who choose independent motherhood seek to choose a donor with characteristics similar to theirs, so the child will have a great chance of being more like the family.
Qualities are also welcome, for example, if the woman is short she can choose a taller man so that her baby, when she reaches adulthood, can have a stature bigger than yours. You can take advantage of genetic probabilities such as vetoing the trend towards hereditary obesity, eyes, hair, skills and profession.
How the Procedure is Done
The first thing to know when deciding on independent motherhood is which method to use. Nowadays there are several procedures to get the baby you dreamed of.
In general, when a woman decides to produce independently, it is almost always after the ideal age for pregnancy , therefore several factors will be observed, such as the condition of the eggs, general conditions of the reproductive system.
Women’s Evaluation Tests
For this, the doctor will start the process by performing some tests. The first step in completing the dream of independent motherhood is:
- Hormonal evaluation in women;
- Complete ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries;
- Chromium check;
- Tests to detect sexually transmitted diseases.
In more complex cases, the specialist will request another series of more specific tests. Among the treatment methods, the most addressed initially is that of Fertility Drugs .
How Fertility Drugs Work
Fertility drugs are injected or taken in pill form. These drugs release hormones that induce ovulation and increase egg production, making the uterus more receptive to embryonic implantation.
Success rates: 40 to 45% of women who take the pills and ovulate become pregnant. But if there is damage or blockage in the tubes or scars of endometriosis, that percentage is reduced to almost zero.
Pros and Cons of Medicines
Pros: medications are typically the first choice in fertility treatment due to their low cost and relative convenience.
Cons: possible swelling, headaches, hot flashes and nausea . Side effects are worse with cycles, and include risk of multiple births, premature birth and formation of large ovarian cysts.
Costs: There is a very wide variation in price depending on the treatment site, whether the medication is in pill or injectable form and whether blood tests and serial ultrasound are included to monitor the follicles that generate the eggs.
Artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, which method to choose?
Both techniques are considered efficient for the conception of a baby and the fulfillment of the dream of becoming a mother, even through independent motherhood.
Artificial Insemination (IUI)
How it works: The specially prepared (“washed”) sperm is inserted directly into the uterus through a thin and flexible catheter during intrauterine insemination. After ovulation inducers it is the most common fertility method .
If the woman opts for this method, the doctor may recommend that fertility drugs be discontinued, to increase the chances of fertilization.
Success rates: depends on the woman’s age and the quality of the semen used . In general, there is a 15 to 20% chance of conception per cycle, with a 60 to 70% chance of pregnancy after 6 cycles.
Pros: a simple procedure that can be performed in a doctor’s office.
Cons: can result in multiple births.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
How it works: The process is carried out in cycles in which the eggs are extracted and fertilized with the semen in a laboratory. Once the embryos develop, one or two are implanted in the uterus and the rest are stored for future implantations.
Success rates: varies according to age, 41% of women (under the age of 35); 32% (35 to 37 years old) and 23% (38 to 40 years old) become pregnant.
Pros: It has a relatively high success rate compared to other methods .
Cons: the treatment is expensive and physically exhausting, requires a strict regimen of fertility drugs before the start of each cycle.
In Iceland, about 67% of babies are born in independent maternity . A combination of generous social programs and a society focused on new experiences ended up making the traditional union (man x woman) obsolete.
A unique culture of independent motherhood was created. The lack of social stigma and a relaxed attitude towards marriage and sexual morality make the family with a single mother in Iceland more viable.
Living in a small community means that relatives are often close and can dedicate themselves to childcare . This does not mean, of course, that independent motherhood is easy. Independent motherhood challenges myths, raises awareness and overcomes all stereotypes that diminish and degrade single-parent families.
See also: Mother Solo – Dedication Without Limits
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.