Lists. We love the top 10 lists, the 5 most important lists. These lists are neither. They are simply important yet basic things to know. So they are a place to start. In fact, we’d love it if you suggested more. Please do.
Ways to support someone experiencing infertility
1) Tell them you care. Whatever they are experiencing, remind them that they are not alone.
2) Take them out. To dinner, a pedicure, a game, a movie. Something focused on adults that is not family focused.
3) Offer to listen if they want to talk. Then listen. Offer to do nothing if they do not want to talk. Then keep in touch about the rest of their lives.
What NOT to say
1) Do NOT ask when they are going to have a child or if she is pregnant. For a close friend you may be able to sensitively ask about their family planning. We cannot simply ignore the subject, rather we must learn how to support with sensitivity.
2) Do NOT offer quick solutions, especially the “relax and it will be fine” solution. If solutions were that easy, there would not be millions (yes millions) of people experiencing infertility. Offering advice quickly ignores that you do not know their end goal and assumes you know the situation.
3) Do NOT compare their situation to someone else. When someone does share about their fertility journey, its about them. Keep it there.