This post is brought to you by The Stork OTC and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Though infertility is not something that I’ve had to deal with personally, I’m sure that we’ve all known at least one person who has struggled with this sensitive issue. Sometimes, however, we may not know how to support them or we may not know what to say. Or we may think we know what to say, but then it turns out to be the completely wrong thing. So how can we be supportive to a friend struggling with infertility? Here are some tips and advice for supporting a friend through infertility.
First, it may be helpful to understand what infertility is.
Simply put, infertility is the inability to conceive. There are many possible causes behind infertility and it could have to do with either the man or the woman. It is certainly not something to be ashamed of, though when everyone else around them is becoming pregnant; it may be easy for a woman to get down on herself or blame herself.
So how can you support a friend struggling through infertility beyond just a simple thumbs up and “hugs” comment on Facebook?
Here are some resources to help you:
- Challenges of living with fertile friends and family members
- Path2Parenthood shares some great advice for those struggling to conceive when everyone around them seems to be getting pregnant.
- The Delicate line between infertility and friendship
- Path2Parenthood shares advice to those struggling on how emotional and relationship boundaries can be altered in surprising ways when one half of the friendship duo become pregnant.
- Dealing with infertility over the Holidays
- This podcast from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association speaks of the feelings, and stresses that your friend or family member might experience over the holidays. Knowing this can help you to be more supportive during the holiday festivities.
As a Supporter to Family Member(s) Navigating Infertility
- A great piece from RESOLVE on how infertility might influence behaviours of all generations of families. “Although infertility is widely acknowledged as a crisis for individuals and couples, it is less recognized as a trauma that impacts their families. Yet, involuntary childlessness is an intergenerational crisis that has the ability to strain, even damage, family relationships over time by impairing communications and interactions.”
- Path2Parenthood’s article on how Mother/Daughter dynamics can hit a new level when trying to conceive. “Daughters often need their mothers when struggling with infertility and while many daughters are able to turn to their parent for support, others are not. In fact, the complexities of mother- daughter relationships can hit a new level of high, when fertility issues arise. Do mothers realize how powerful they are in their daughter’s lives? Their glances, their silences, all mean something to their daughters, so naturally daughters may look to their mothers as they travel through the fertility maze.”
- RESOLVE- “People dealing with infertility see things every day in the world that remind them of their plight. And society has formed opinions about infertility that are used in various channels. This section will share what a “day in the life of an infertile woman” is like, and discuss some societal facts that impact her.”
Above all? Be there. Be present. Let them know that you are there and available to them.
If infertility is something that you yourself are struggling with, have you considered The Stork OTC?
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And if you’d like to learn more about infertility issues, you’re welcomed to join The Motherhood about this topic on Tuesday, September 22 at 1PM EST. We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #TheStorkOTC hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Vite: http://vite.io/thestorkotc
What tips or advice would you share for supporting a friend through infertility?