Do you know someone who is going through infertility? Do you want to know how best to support them? We asked Anne Dolan, LCSW, for her advice on how to support someone going through infertility and this is what she had to say.
How to let those dealing with infertility know that they are NOT ALONE:
- Tell them they are NOT ALONE and that you care about how they are doing. When it appears all their friends are easily getting pregnant, they often feel no longer part of the group.
- REACH OUT. If you think someone may be dealing with infertility reach out to them and ask if they would like to talk.
- LISTEN and avoid making suggestions or trying to “fix it”.
- Ask if they would like to do something together with you to help get a break from thinking about infertility all the time. Gentle PHYSICAL ACTIVITY with someone else, like walking or going to a museum, can help lessen obsessive thinking about infertility.
- At a get together with others, when the conversation is all about kids and childbirth stories, CHANGE THE TOPIC to something less painful for them.
- On days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and child focused holidays LET THEM KNOW you are thinking about them and that you know those days must be difficult.
- BE UNDERSTANDING if they decide not to attend a baby shower. These are very hard to deal with when their arms are aching for a child of their own.
- ACCEPT WITHOUT JUDGING that they may not always feel strong enough to return a phone call or email.
- If they have a pregnancy loss or miscarriage, OFFER to bring food, or SEND sympathy cards with words that you are thinking of them at their time of loss.
- BE A FRIEND in good times and bad. Infertility is a major crisis.