The topic of pregnant lesbians is one of heated debate. Bringing a child into the world is a tremendous responsibility for any parent. Same sex couples have significant obstacles to overcome and single women who decide to become pregnant have additional considerations to make.
Planning for Pregnancy
Not all pregnancies are planned, but it is important to prepare for special circumstances. This includes communicating with a physician, possible caretakers, and partners. Considerations can include a strong support system to help the woman through gestation, labor, and delivery.
Friend and Family Support Systems
Many families are supportive of their relatives throughout their lives. Some pregnant lesbians have wonderful resources within their network of family and friends. Those closest to the woman can give guidance and support as in many cases of heterosexual pregnancies.
Community Support Systems
The gay community offers many resources for pregnant lesbians to consider. Topics include single parenting, same-sex couples raising children, and evolving family structures. Helpful resources include:
- National Center for Lesbian Rights offers the latest news, legal developments and issues as well as a Legal Recognition of LGBT Families document.
- Colage offers support for children growing up in homes with same sex parents.
- Babystart offers advice for women who want to become pregnant, including strategies for conception.
- Lesbian Moms Meetup allows visitors to search for other mothers in their region.
Lesbian Health Research Center
The Lesbian Health Research Center offers information about family structures, considerations, and LGBT parenting groups.
Lesbian Health Research Center
3333 California Street, Suite 340
San Francisco, CA 94118
LGBT Parenting Groups
Finding parenting groups for pregnant lesbians can be challenging. Some resources offer online support and helpful workshops for expecting mothers. Family Services of Toronto is a great example of an organization dedicated to helping new mothers share information and experiences while providing resources and advocacy.
Baby Center's LGBT Parenting Group offers a venue for sharing ideas and experiences. The forum allows members to post questions and concerns, providing opportunities for feedback from other women in similar situations.
Insurance for Pregnant Women
Health insurance is critical since the costs of labor and delivery are overwhelming if the pregnant lesbian is not properly covered. The American Pregnancy Association features resources to help women pay for healthcare during pregnancy.
One of the biggest obstacles lesbians face is becoming pregnant for obvious reasons. Alternative approaches are required for conception to occur. Approaches include:
- Intercourse with a man
- Home artificial insemination, using donated sperm from a sperm bank
- Clinical insemination conducted on site in a clinic for a considerable price
Success is dependant on a number of conditions and it is important to note that the approaches are not for infertility problems. Factors such as timing, age, and frequency of inseminations can have an effect on chances of succeeding. Many women have found success using these approaches.
Famous Lesbian Mothers
The topic of pregnant lesbians has been pushed to the headlines in light of famous lesbian mothers. Melissa Ethridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels made headlines with their pregnancy with donor David Crosby. CBS News covered the story on June 30, 2000.
Other powerful women are listed among lesbian moms, including:
- Amanda Bearse
- Actress Sara Gilbert
- Comedian and television producer Judy Gold
- Mary Cheney
- Senator Jolie Justus
- Actress Cynthia Nixon
- Mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, E. Denise Simmons
- Olympic gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes
- Photographer Annie Leibowitz
Women in same-sex relationships who are healthy and fertile should have little trouble conceiving a baby. The biological aspects of the gestational period are the same as they are for women in heterosexual relationships. Proper planning and positive support systems can help make the experience easier for the mother.
Just as in any pregnancy, regular visits to a physician, healthy diet, and exercise are important for the health of the mother and child. Baby development in the womb requires care, no matter what the situation is.