Conception Tips: Road to Motherhood

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Those of us in this game know it as the 2ww. Those awful days between your pregnancy attempt — whether that be a natural try at home or a medicated attempt at the fertility center — and the day you get your pregnancy test results. There are a few things to know about the two-week wait, but the most important is: Time will never move more slowly in your entire life than it does here. This is how we all go into the 2ww. No big deal. This stage usually lasts the first day, or maybe a full 36 hours.

This stage usually begins on the second or third day.

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And you desperately find pregnancy symptoms in your daily routine:. It must be the baby. When does implantation occur?

How soon after implantation can you get a positive pregnancy test? You read pages and pages of fertility boards from , even though you know treatments are totally different now. You search for any woman who had a dream like you did with the color tourmaline in it during their 2ww and ended up being pregnant. An increase in oxytocin during breastfeeding may help explain why researchers have found that breastfeeding mothers are more sensitive to the sound of their babies' cries than non-breastfeeding mothers.

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We don't know if it's the act of breastfeeding or the oxytocin or any other factor. What scientists do know, Feldman says, is that becoming a parent looks—at least in the brain—a lot like falling in love.

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Which helps explain how many new parents describe feeling when they meet their newborns. At the brain level, the networks that become especially sensitized are those that involve vigilance and social salience—the amygdala—as well as dopamine networks that incentivize prioritizing the infant.

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  6. Your Guide to Pregnancy and Motherhood | Atrium Health.

The greatest brain changes occur with a mother's first child, though it's not clear whether a mother's brain ever goes back to what it was like before childbirth, several neurologists told me. And yet brain changes aren't limited to new moms. Men show similar brain changes when they're deeply involved in caregiving.

Oxytocin does not seem to drive nurturing behavior in men the way it does in women, Feldman and other researchers found in a study last year. Instead, a man's parental brain is supported by a socio-cognitive network that develops in the brain of both sexes later in life, whereas women appear to have evolved to have a "brain-hormone-behavior constellation" that's automatically primed for mothering.

Another way to look at it: the blueprint for mothering behavior exists in the brain even before a woman has children. Perhaps, then, motherhood really is like secret space in a woman's brain, waiting to be discovered. In other words, the act of simply caring for one's baby forges new neural pathways—undiscovered rooms in the parental brain.

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We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Adrienne LaFrance is the executive editor of The Atlantic.

Triple Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?

She was previously a senior editor and staff writer at The Atlantic, and the editor of TheAtlantic. The emotional stress of those years now a distant memory as another wave of contractions washes over her. She threw herself into her co-owned business, Maud and Lil Organic Cotton.

But selling baby toys became a cruel reminder as heavily pregnant women and parents toting newborns walked in and out of her store each day.

Giving up on your eggs: the last-ditch hope for older IVF mothers

No woman opts for donor eggs if there is any chance they can use their own, says Sydney reproductive scientist Dr Denyse Asher who works exclusively with women and couples who need donor eggs. My blood, my diet, my voice, my energy are a huge influence on what they are becoming. Medical director of IVF Australia Associate Professor Peter Illingworth the success of egg donor embryo transfers "depends entirely on the age of the donor", not the recipient.

Donors in South Africa and parts of Europe were paid for their eggs and their identity was confidential. Many women who choose to donate eggs were young university students who plan to use the payments to pay tuition fees. In Australia, the average age of an egg donor was The older the donor, the less chance of a live birth 24 per cent for donors under 30, 22 per cent for year old donors, 17 per cent for donors aged and 7. The egg donation was also rising locally, accounting for almost six per cent of all IVF cycles in Australia and New Zealand in , up from next to zero five years previously.

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Roughly 90 per cent of Australian donors are recruited by the recipient, Professor Illingworth said. Often a sister, niece or the daughter of a close friend. It was illegal to pay donors for eggs and their identity must be disclosed. Other friends had undergone donor egg cycles in Greece and Spain. She emailed the clinic her own baby photos and more recent shots to help them find an egg donor who bore some resemblance. She chose a sperm donor from Denmark.