About the Author: Stephanie Levich is the Founder of Family Match Consulting, LLC. which assists clients with egg donor and surrogate searches and general fertility consulting. Stephanie has been named one of America’s Top Entrepreneurs Under the age of 30 by Inc. Magazine and has been featured in various publications including Valley Life, and Forbes Woman. She is very grateful for the miracle of IVF which helped bring her to her very proudest accomplishments; her two children. You can learn more about Stephanie and the many ways she helps women suffering from infertility on her Facebook page.
Do you have a friend or family member that is struggling to get pregnant? 1 in 8 people are diagnosed with infertility so there’s a good chance you do. How can you best support the people in your life that are struggling? Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave certain things left unsaid. Here are 5 things you may want to avoid saying to friends or family that are struggling to get pregnant:
“I know someone who tried for years and then realized she should stop trying so hard and just relax a little bit, and what-do-you-know, she got pregnant right away!!!”
It’s well meaning. You are trying to give your friend hope by sharing your story. But I promise you, she’s tried to relax. She’s tried standing on her head after sex, checking her temperature and using ovulation predictor kits to detect ovulation. Every sex position possible. Elevating her legs after sex. Special baby making friendly lubricant. No lubricant at all. Acupuncture. Avoiding caffeine, while eating copious amounts of pineapple because she read somewhere that it may help. And praying to whatever higher power she prays to (or doesn’t) that THIS time will work. I know you want to offer some tip or advice because you genuinely want to help but in most cases, it’s best to just offer your shoulder to cry on, your ear to listen, and the biggest hugs imaginable when needed.
“You are young, you have plenty of time.”
A women’s fertility begins to decline at around 30, and more significantly at age 35 and then just continues to drop. Some women, depending on their age, really don’t have plenty of time. (Also a reason that “just relaxing” is much easier said than done.)
If your friend declines your invitation to your baby shower or child’s birthday party, don’t get upset.
It’s not personal. REALLY, it’s not. Your friend wants to be there. But she’s protecting herself because while you are oooing and ahhing over the adorable new onesies you are opening, she will be fighting back tears wondering if it will ever be her turn.
Don’t complain about your pregnancy to friends that are trying to get pregnant.
Your friends that are trying to get pregnant would give their left arm to be nauseous, throwing up, exhausted, and peeing 10 times a night if it meant they would become a mommy. Pregnancy can be tough, nobody is discounting that, but just try and be sensitive.
“You could always just adopt!”
I was adopted. I have no issues with adoption and even considered it at one point throughout my own infertility journey. However, this is not something that anyone going through fertility treatments wants to hear. I promise you that most people going through infertility recognize that adoption is something they may need to consider at some point down the line. I can’t tell you how many people recommended that I “just” adopt while I was trying to get pregnant. The word “just” makes it seem like a simple endeavor! Like I’ll “just” run to the market and pick up eggs! Adoption “just” costs tens of thousands of dollars, takes a huge amount of time, and can be an emotional rollercoaster so I’d definitely leave out the word “just” if you must talk about adoption.
Are you someone that has been through infertility? Or do you know someone who is struggling? What are some tips you would give to others?