Preparing for an Out-of-State Baby Shower

It’s common these days for family and friends to be scattered across the country or around the world. And it’s great to keep in touch via the phone and virtual methods of communication, but sometimes—like during a loved one’s baby shower—you just really want to be there in person. If you’re planning or have been invited to a baby shower for an out-of-town friend or you’re traveling to your own baby shower in a place where you don’t typically live, read on for ideas about how to prepare. Traveling to Your Own Baby Shower  If someone is throwing you a The post Preparing for an Out-of-State Baby Shower appeared first on The Pulse.

Preparing for an Out-of-State Baby Shower

It’s common these days for family and friends to be scattered across the country or around the world. And it’s great to keep in touch via the phone and virtual methods of communication, but sometimes—like during a loved one’s baby shower—you just really want to be there in person. If you’re planning or have been invited to a baby shower for an out-of-town friend or you’re traveling to your own baby shower in a place where you don’t typically live, read on for ideas about how to prepare.

Traveling to Your Own Baby Shower 

If someone is throwing you a baby shower away from home, there are several things to keep in mind. Up first: timing. It’s not usually recommended to go too far from home after week 36 or so of pregnancy. If you’re traveling a short distance, it might be okay, but a plane flight later in your third trimester is likely not the best plan. Talk to your doctor or midwife about their recommendations for travel and then let whoever is planning your shower know what timing works for you.

There are likely to be presents at a party for you and your baby-to-be—yay! The trouble with having an out-of-town baby shower is getting all of those presents back home so you and your baby can use them. If you are driving to your baby shower, you might be able to get away with some creative packing, but if you have a small car or are flying, getting everything home may be tricky. This is another point at which to speak with your baby shower’s host. Can this person include a registry link in the invite through which guests can send the gifts directly to your house? Is a registry that includes non-traditional gifts, such as gift cards, an option? If someone else is traveling from where you live to your shower—another relative or friend, for instance—can you share the load of bringing the gifts back?

Finally, how will you travel to the shower and where will you stay? Pregnancy is no time to feel annoyed about logistics or finances when people are trying to celebrate you and your family, so ask for help if you need it with travel and lodging.

Planning an Out-of-Town Baby Shower 

If you have a dear friend or relative who is pregnant, you may want to celebrate this person with a baby shower, but if they live in a different place, it can be challenging to work out the details. First, check in with your pregnant loved one about what would work best for them. If you’re set on throwing a shower, but they’re overwhelmed at the thought of traveling, consider alternatives. Virtual baby showers are a good option, and helping out with a shower that’s local to your pregnant friend might be another option. You can do lots of things to coordinate and plan a shower from far away, including making and sending invitations, making decorations, and planning games. You can also help think through logistics, such as the schedule of the shower, where it will be held, and what sort of activities or food make the most sense. It’s possible to contribute, even if you live far away.

Attending an Out-of-Town Baby Shower 

If you’ve been invited to attend a baby shower that’s not where you live, lovely! You can decide to go or not to—it’s up to you. If you do attend, you’ll want to coordinate travel and lodging, as well as getting a gift for the expectant family. If you do not attend, it might make sense to send a gift, but you don’t have to do that if it doesn’t work for you. Regardless, make sure that you give plenty of notice to the host of whether to expect you or not. If you’re not able to make it, but are close to the expectant parents, it’s generally appreciated to check in with them and offer good wishes and regrets, perhaps with a phone call or by sending a card or email.

A word about COVID-19 

During a pandemic—especially one caused by a virus that’s more likely to cause severe disease in pregnant people—it’s important to be cautious whether you’re attending, hosting, or being honored at an in-person shower. Ways to make in-person baby showers safer include: getting vaccinated, wearing masks, having the shower outside, and making the guest list small. If you’re at all concerned about your risk or the risk of the pregnant person at a shower, don’t go.

The post Preparing for an Out-of-State Baby Shower appeared first on The Pulse.

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All About Uterus Transplants

If you were born without a uterus or have some other type of uterine factor infertility, it used to be true that you didn’t have a single option if you wanted to carry your own baby. Now, that’s no longer the case. Uterus transplants, while still rare, are slowly gaining in popularity as researchers and physicians work toward making them safer and more effective. Here, we’ll discuss what’s involved in a uterus transplant, where you can get one if you are a candidate, and how people feel about having a baby with a donated uterus. What’s Involved in a Uterus The post All About Uterus Transplants appeared first on The Pulse.

All About Uterus Transplants


If you were born without a uterus or have some other type of uterine factor infertility, it used to be true that you didn’t have a single option if you wanted to carry your own baby. Now, that’s no longer the case. Uterus transplants, while still rare, are slowly gaining in popularity as researchers and physicians work toward making them safer and more effective. Here, we’ll discuss what’s involved in a uterus transplant, where you can get one if you are a candidate, and how people feel about having a baby with a donated uterus.

What’s Involved in a Uterus Transplant?

 Women with genetic anomalies that mean that a uterus does not grow, who have had a hysterectomy, or who have a uterus that doesn’t function in a way that allows it to be able to safely grow a baby may be eligible for a uterus transplant. There are four sites in the United States where uterus transplants are available, largely as part of ongoing clinical trials, including Baylor University Medical Center in Texas, the University of Pennsylvania, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There are also several programs around the world including in Sweden and Spain.

Each of these programs has extensive screening criteria to determine whether people qualify to move forward with transplantation. If you do qualify, you would first do an egg collection, so that embryos can be created with in vitro fertilization. Then you’d receive a uterus in a transplant operation, either from a living or deceased donor. It is therefore possible to donate your uterus either during life or after death if you meet the health-related criteria.

Once you receive the uterus and live with it for a while (usually about a year), an embryo will be transferred to your uterus. If your pregnancy is successful, your baby will be born via cesarean section. At some sites, you may have the option to try for a second child starting as early as six months after your baby is born, or you may have a hysterectomy shortly after your birth, during which the donated uterus is removed.

When you have any organ transplant, it’s necessary to stop your immune system—the part of your body that protects from invaders—from attacking the donor organ. It’s therefore necessary to take immune suppressant drugs from the time that you receive your donor uterus until it is removed after childbearing.

Despite the challenges of organ donation, transplantation, and subsequent pregnancy, there have been several babies born to mothers who received uterus transplants. In a particularly touching story from Penn Medicine News, two women—Chelsea and Cheryl—will be connected forever, as Chelsea received Cheryl’s uterus and then had a healthy baby boy, Telden. [1]

Why not surrogacy? 

In countries where it is legal to be a gestational carrier—that is, to grow and birth a baby for someone else—some people wonder why someone would choose uterine transplantation instead. The truth is that sometimes surrogacy doesn’t work out because it’s hard to find a surrogate or is prohibitively expensive. And sometimes, the biological desire to carry one’s own baby is just too strong. In a review article published in Transplantation in 2018, physician scientist Mats Brännström, who is the leader of the group doing uterus transplants in Sweden, and colleagues write that a survey from Japan suggests that uterine transplantation is preferable to gestational surrogacy for many people. [2]

In a study published in January 2021 in JAMA Network Open, researchers surveyed 182 transgender women and found that they overwhelmingly felt that vaginal and uterus transplant would improve their sexual experiences and quality of life. The majority of these women also desired children and would consider uterus transplant in order to carry them themselves. [3] The safety and feasibility of such a surgery has not yet been evaluated, but it may be possible in the future.

  1. Kluthe, “After Penn Medicine’s First Living Donor Uterus Transplant, Donor Meets Baby Carried in Her Transplanted Womb,” Penn Medicine News, 2021.
  2. Brännström et al., “Uterus Transplantation: A Rapidly Expanding Field,” Transplantation, 2018.
  3. P. Jones et al., “Perceptions and Motivations for Uterus Transplant in Transgender Women.” JAMA Network Open, 2021.

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