Knowing what to say to someone dealing with infertility can be difficult. I have seen the paralyzing fear from others wanting to make sure they say the right thing, which usually ends up with them not saying anything at all. Everyone handles infertility differently, which is why it is important to understand how your friend wishes to discuss this topic. While sensitive, it should not to be construed as off limits.
As I mentioned on my page, A Nudging, infertility is a sensitive topic. I have found resources and support are minimal. I want to provide encouragement to those not only dealing with infertility, but also for friends or family members who want to lift them up.
For more ways to encourage someone dealing with infertility or a season of waiting head to my E+DAY page. I have also included ways to encourage the men in your life dealing with infertility.
Phrases to avoid saying to someone dealing with infertility:
- “Relax. Stop stressing about it.”
- Saying this, adds stress to the situation. Something as life changing as trying to have a family is hard not to stress/think about. Just. Don’t.
- “I know what you mean about waiting. It took us 3 months to get pregnant.” (or any amount of time that is less than what your infertile friend has been trying)
- While waiting any amount of time to have a child is not ideal and frustrating, a situation like this might be best not to bring up, unless your friend asks. Be honest and tell her, but keep in mind your friend may refer to waiting in years, not months. Therefore, your infertile friend’s perspective is going to be much different.
- “I had a friend who adopted and got pregnant soon after.”
- While this may be the case for your friend, the percentage of this happening is very slim. This sort of thinking makes it appear the motive to adopt is to hopefully than get pregnant. Adopting is a choice a couple makes because they feel God calling them to do it.
- “Have you thought about adopting.”
- This may be an appropriate question to ask, eventually. Adoption is just as expensive as other medical treatments and provides no guarantees. In addition, adoption is not for everyone.
- “Maybe if you stop thinking about getting pregnant that will help.”
- There is no getting your mind off getting pregnant when your heart longs for a child every single day. There are ways to distract their thoughts, but they never go away.
Things that are helpful to say/do for someone dealing with infertility:
- Ask how they would like to discuss their infertility journey. You’ll get a sense of what they prefer. Once you know, follow through and ask for updates.
- Asking your friend this shows you care about their feelings and want to do what is best for them in the situation.
- Listen. Hear what they aren’t saying.
- More than anything they need to know they have someone who cares enough to listen to their feelings, hurts and frustrations.
- Pray, pray, pray.
- They need your prayers and spiritual power more than ever.
- Send them random texts/notes to encourage them.
- Maybe they have a favorite coffee shop, boutique or activity. Spread a little cheer by taking them out or getting them a gift card. For more ideas, visit the E+DAY page
- Don’t forget about them.
- If you have a family of your own, life is busy. It can be easy to forget our friends who do not have kids. Be sure to check in with them and include them in activities.
- If you are pregnant, if possible, tell your infertile friend in person and do it before posting to social media.
- Trust me, they will want to know you are pregnant. It is a matter of respect by choosing to tell them in person before the rest of the world knows.
- Talk to them like they are any normal person.
- Infertility is anything but normal, so treating them like any other friend, helps immensely.
Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.
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