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How to Support a Loved One during Infertility
Unless you’ve been through infertility, it is tough to imagine exactly how your loved one is feeling. Comparing her recent miscarriage to the time you had to put your dog down, though well-intended and a truly sad time for you, isn’t the most helpful way to help her cope with the emotions of infertility.
There are a slew of comments people say to women with infertility, most of them better left unsaid. Here is the list of most common offenders:
You said: “Maybe you’re not getting pregnant because you’re trying too hard. You should just relax or go on vacation and you will get pregnant!”
You should have said: “I know you’ve been trying so hard to have a baby. I read on FertilityAuthority.com that women under 35 who are trying to conceive for one year, or women over 35 who have been trying for six months should talk to a fertility doctor. You should call Fertility Authority’s Patient Care Advocates at 1-855-955-BABY (2229). I hear they are former fertility patients who can help you contact a fertility doctor they already know and trust. I’ll even come with you to the consultation!”
You said: “Maybe God (or whatever higher power you believe in) wants you to adopt. You shouldn’t do in vitro fertilization (IVF), you’ll end up like Octomom!”
You should have said: “I did a little research on FertilityAuthority’s website and there are lots of fertility treatment options for women with your diagnosis. I just want you to know I am here for you no matter how you build your family and if you consider IVF, I will help you with the fertility drug injections!”
You said: “You should definitely enjoy life as a couple right now! Heck, I’ll even let you borrow my kids if you want a taste of parenthood!”
You should have said: “I know you want to be a mom. I'm here for you no matter what, but I think you should check out FertileThoughts.com for extra support. Fertile Thoughts is a community of women just like you who are struggling with infertility.
More than anything else, your infertile friends and family just need to know you’re there for them. No advice required.