Years ago, a single and pregnant woman was a woman who had divorced or lost her husband in an accident or got pregnant unplanned. Single pregnant women had to raise their baby alone. But these days, the number of single women who get pregnant through IVF and start a family by themselves is rising. Such women are normally in their 30s or 40s and choose single parenthood.
Pregnancy is one of the sweetest and most important stages of a woman's life. It looks fascinating when everything is ok, you fall in love and then plan for pregnancy. But when you do not have a partner, or your partner disagrees with having children, some single women choose the path of being a single mother.
Suppose you, as a single woman, have decided to be a single mom. In that case, you are probably feeling worried about friends and family member’s reaction. Moreover, you have lots of questions and doubts along the way and that’s exactly what we are going to answer in this article.
Why Choosing to Be a Single Mom?
There are many women who, despite their efforts, still haven't found their right partner. However, they like to form their own families. In fact, what they want is to be a mother and grow a tiny human inside, even if they don't like being a single mother.
As it has been said, women in their 30s and 40s worry more about their ability to conceive and become obsessed with their fertility potential. In addition, some women face unprogrammed pregnancies and want to give birth and keep their babies at all costs. It means that even if there is no father in the big picture, they want to raise a child alone.
If you are in a similar situation and want to go down this path, you need to answer a few questions and keep the following issues in mind.
Make an appointment with your doctor before you meet the sperm donor. Do the initial tests to measure your physical condition and fertility status for pregnancy. If it turns out that you have a problem related to getting pregnant, use the services of fertility clinics throughout the US; by “problem” we also mean finding sperm and a proper donor.
Knowing the medical and legal issues related to choosing a known donor or choosing from a sperm bank and the IVF process, in general, is something your doctor can explain.
Tips for Single Moms to Consider
Usually, two of the biggest concerns of single mothers are financial security and loneliness during pregnancy and raising their children. Regarding financial matters, you must be careful. Are you currently employed? How much do you earn? Is your job secure, and are you paid regularly? If you were to raise your child without getting any financial help from the father, would you be able to handle it? Indeed, you don't need to be rich to have a baby, but the costs of raising a child are definitely not low.
Pregnancy as a single mom is a lonelier experience than when you have a spouse or partner next to you. In the meantime, many women fear how their family or friends will react to the news of their pregnancy.
You must see if you can count on their help, even financially. Will your family support your decision, or would you prefer to delay the announcement of your pregnancy news? In any case, you should either form a support network of family members, friends, and colleagues who will accompany you for prenatal appointments, or make yourself strong and confident enough to endure loneliness.
Being Aware of Legal Issues
It is good to know the legal issues about parenthood and parenting claims. At some point, you may want to ask your child's father to fulfill his duties towards his child and offer a helping hand in his finances or educational problems.
Also, the father of your child may want to use his paternity rights or have a more significant role in your child's life. You should know what legal rights you and your child have.
Hire A Doula
As a pregnant single mom, you will need everything planned in advanced for your delivery day. In addition to getting help from your doctor and midwife, it is good to have a doula at your side. A doula can be a family member, close friend, or someone who provides such services. She will help you with daily activities during labor and the weeks after your baby is born.
Examples include: preparing food, preparing mother and baby's hospital bag (which should be done a few weeks before the due date), accompanying you when walking to reduce the pain of contractions, and helping with breastfeeding or changing the baby's diaper. Her emotional support, massage, and the likes of it will benefit you a lot.
Join Pregnant Women's Support Groups
We talked about the need to have self-confidence and rely on yourself, but it does not meant refusing the helping hands of others. A circle of supporters, even a virtual one, benefits single moms a lot.
You can reach out to other single women going through the IVF process like you. Or you can join forums and groups like Single Mothers by Choice (SMC). Or become a member of ESME, where pregnant singles raise their concerns and questions and answer to each other.
Pregnancy involves a lot of stress and anxiety, so you can check the things with other women, talk to them, or make a visit and, for example, go to your community pool, go shopping, or party together.
Exchanging books and cooking your favorite recipes and sharing them with your virtual friends are other activities that boost your morale. As a single expectant mom, you will still have the emotional support of other moms out there.
In this article, we tried to explain the different aspects of pregnancy as a single mom. Deciding to get conceived and raise a child as a single mother is not an easy decision. Still, we see many women around us who make this choice for various reasons and are satisfied with it.
This path is full of challenges, worries, questions, and doubts, but you can go through it safely Relying on your strong will and the courage you receive by your loved ones and friends.
As a single mother, during pregnancy, you not only have to check your physical condition regularly but also have other responsibilities to fulfill: proper food planning, participating in prenatal visits, going to work and tallying up your finances, choosing a birth plan, etc.
You are responsible for hiring a doula and doing everything necessary for your child to enter this world.