How to Support a Friend Struggling with Infertility | I don't blog, but if I did...

How to Support a Friend Struggling with Infertility

 

It seems that having a baby should be the easiest thing in the world. Unfortunately, almost 1/6 couples struggles with infertility of some kind in their efforts to conceive. There are countless reasons why conception doesn’t come easy, and often the journey to finding out why ends without answers.

I’ve had numerous friends suffer miscarriages and infertility, and each time, I’ve learned a little more about how best to support them. It’s hard to know what to say, but a little love goes a long way.

Egg Health, a fertility awareness and educational platform brought to you by OvaScience, is a great place to bookmark for advice from experts in the field, educational information on the latest fertility technologies and advancements, and tips on how to manage the emotions associated with infertility. Egg Health also provides helpful suggestions on how to cope with baby showers, from surviving baby showers to heart-to-hearts to the best resources for support and information.

Here are some ways you can support those suffering with infertility.

Be Sensitive

Someone struggling to conceive probably doesn’t want to hear how your back’s aching in your third trimester. Be mindful that they’d do anything to have that ache themselves.

Listen
Sometimes your friend will just need to talk, but may not be seeking advice. Sit and truly listen, offering support when needed.

Remember Them On Mother’s and Father’s Day
Letting those struggling to conceive know that you’re thinking of them, and you hope that soon they’ll be celebrating this special day is a touching way to show your support.

Ask How You Can Help
Maybe you can cook a meal for them, or just be there for an appointment. Maybe they have other children you can watch for them, or maybe a coffee date to chat is helpful. Asking your friend what they need demonstrates that you’re truly concerned and want to help them however they need it.

Validate Their Feelings
Struggling with infertility is a unique kind of pain, because they suffer the loss of potential and dreams. Try not to minimize or brush off your friend’s struggle, but support them in the process.

Remember The Other Partner
There are often two people involved in this process – one is often left out of the comforting because they won’t be the ones trying to carry a baby. But feelings for all those involved will be raw, and needing support.

Ask Questions
Ask how the process is going, or how they’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to inquire, with sensitivity. Often just sharing the burden of the process will help people in the journey.

Educate Yourself
In addition to asking your friend questions, take it upon yourself to learn about infertility and the options people have. There are so many new advancements to support those trying to conceive, such as AUGMENT from OvaScience. This doesn’t mean you need to suggest anything, it just means you’ll be prepared to have discussions when your friend needs to talk.

Avoid Giving Advice
Those suffering with infertility know the options, and aren’t in need of any advice. Just support.

Acknowledge Their Strength
Infertility is hard on people in so many ways. It’s taxing on their emotions, it’s hard physically, and it stresses relationships. Let your friend know they’re strong, cut them some slack, and show them that you can be strong when they cannot.

 

This post is sponsored by OvaScience, a global fertility company dedicated to improving treatment options for women around the world. OvaScience is discovering, developing and commercializing new fertility treatments. Watch THIS video to find out more about their proprietary process.

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2 Responses to “How to Support a Friend Struggling with Infertility”

  1. Jane

    I’ve got a couple of things to add here.

    Firstly. Pregnancy is bloody hard work. I might give anything to be able to be pregnant, but, if my friend’s struggling, I want to know, I can sympathise and I want to help. I’m always totally excited when my friends are pregnant. Jealous as hell, yes, but so pleased for them. Because. Babies are awesome. One of my friends had dreadful asphasia and couldn’t work as a result during her pregnancy. I’d hate her to have felt she had to hide this.

    Secondly: Giving a link with advice about fertility and then telling people not to give advice to the infertile: contradictory much? I know you’re aiming at educating the fecund, but, let’s face it. The company is wanting to sell fertility treatment. Which leads me to:

    Thirdly. I absolutely do not want my friends profiting from writing about how to support me in my infertility. I’m possibly being excessively sensitive. After all. It’s only been going on two years. I’ve only had the one positive test (and that lasted all of 48 hours, but yay! I can apparently get pregnant! I just can’t stay pregnant!). This is what upsets me most about this post.

    At the same time, your blog is a source of income and you’ve got every right to leverage that however you want!

    But: friends disagree. And we get over it. And when all is said and done, its better to talk and open the debate. So, I will get over myself and stop being annoyed in about a day.

    Xx

    • alexandria

      First, I had no idea you’d been struggling, and for that, I am very sorry.

      I am also sorry my post offends you, Jane. I tread very lightly with sponsored material here, and I felt it was a topic worthy of inclusion. I also felt the service was interesting (and was thanked for posting about it by another friend who is now considering the option).

      I’m also sorry you don’t want me profiting off writing about how to support you — I’ve also profited from sharing my still birth story, and other extremely sensitive topics.

      I suppose it’s true, we cannot always agree.

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