Today is Day 2 of National Infertility Awareness Week, and I wanted to share a great article I came across today on Resolve’s Facebook page. The title of the LA Times article is “My Turn: What to Expect When We’re Not Yet Expecting” by Carrie Friedman, author of “Pregnant Pause: My Journey Through Obnoxious Questions, Baby Lust, Meddling Relatives, and Pre-Partum Depression.”
The article is short and sweet…providing helpful tips to well-meaning friends and family members of those who are struggling with infertility. Ms. Friedman recommends 5 things NOT to say. It boils down to words not necessarily being necessary because–unless you’ve been through infertility yourself–you will more than likely say something that will only sadden/upset/strike a nerve (you get the picture, right?) the couple that is undergoing fertility treatments.
Just listening and being there (present, but not necessarily trying to figure out what to say that will comfort) are enough to show that you care. As I mentioned in prior posts, staying away because you are uncomfortable with the circumstances due to your uncertainty of what to say or do will only serve to make the couple feel further removed from ones they love and/or isolated from others in their experience. Feelings of isolation is one of many risk factors that can lead to perinatal depression if your fertility treatment succeeds and you find yourself an expectant parent (which I hope will be the case for you, I truly do). Refer to my previous post on infertility and correlation with PPD.