Many couples dream of starting a family at some point. However, conceiving a child doesn’t always go smoothly, and some couples struggle with it more than others. These challenges can affect a person both emotionally and mentally, making them feel drained and overwhelmed.
Statistically speaking, this is the case for 1 in 6 couples. If you’re not going through the infertility journey yourself, it can be difficult to imagine the pain and stress associated with it. Still, there are several things you can do to help the other person cope with their tremendous load. Below four tips on how to show support to your loved one during the infertility journey.
Ask open-ended questions…but don’t ask too much.
Being too curious or nosy isn’t exactly the best way to support someone who is going through an infertility journey. Asking things such as “Have you tried…?” or “Have you considered adopting instead?” can make the situation more painful and stressful than it already is. Also, don’t ask too many questions, despite the best intentions.
Instead, focus on asking open-ended questions such as “Do you want to talk?” or “Is there something I can do?”. Doing so will help create a safe space and encourage them to share their experience. Even so, keep in mind that we’re all different. While some may not want to talk about it, others will find opening up quite helpful.
Do your research…but don’t offer unsolicited advice.
You may not be able to imagine what the other person is going through. You also may not be able to understand them very well at times. Because of this, it can be easy to start making assumptions. Instead of doing that, do research on the impact of infertility on couples as well as the condition in general.
Not only will this knowledge give you insight into what it might be like for them, but it’ll also make it easier to understand them when they’re talking about their condition (if they feel comfortable sharing their journey). Still, this doesn’t mean you should start offering unsolicited advice. Sometimes, it just helps to talk less in general, so be there for the, and just listen.
Give them space… but let them know they have someone to talk to
We all deal with challenges in our own unique way. The same goes for problems that involve dealing with infertility. While some individuals have no problem talking openly about what they’re going through, others just don’t feel comfortable sharing about this rather private matter.
According to Trogolo Obstetrics and Gynecology, infertility can occur due to a variety of reasons, and couples who are struggling with it need a safe space where they can address their concerns. Rather than looking for clues and constantly asking questions, give the other person space. Let them know that you’re there, though, because no one shouldn’t be going through this alone.
Don’t complain or compare…but do make them feel include.d
It’s common for couples struggling with infertility to feel that they’re doing something wrong. When you’re trying everything you can to conceive and get no results , it can be incredibly stressful. The last thing you want to do is add more stress to an already overwhelming situation by making comparisons. Refrain from telling them about your friend’s experience with infertility, and definitely don’t make any suggestions involving IVFFs or adoption. Chances are, they’ve probably tried (or plan to try) every possible solution out there.
If you are pregnant yourself or already have children, make sure there aren’t any painful reminders when talking about your experience. Surely, your bump may be causing some serious backache, and you might be worried about how you’re going to lose baby weight after pregnancy. However, you should avoid mentioning that when talking to a loved one who’s struggling with infertility. Still, make sure to include them in any children-centered events. They may not show up, but it’s very important that they know that they have the option and that they’re included.
Addressing fertility issues can be quite a stressful experience for a couple, and it is often accompanied by a rollercoaster of emotions. From pain and anger to sadness and hope, there are a lot of feelings that they need to handle all at once.
By doing your best to let your loved one know that they’re not alone and that you’re there for them, you can provide the support and love they need to continue fighting their battle with infertility and help them stay strong during this challenging journey.
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