How to support
It’s natural to be unsure how to best support someone who is trying to conceive. Often you want to help and say the ‘right’ thing, but you also don’t want to upset them or make it worse. Every situation is different and it is highly dependent on your relationship with the person and their situation, but as a general rule, these are 5 good ways to support someone trying to conceive.
Try not to offer solutions
Often the couple know their options, have read a lot about the subject and understand what the implication to their situation are. There’s nothing you can do or say fix to this. Don’t feel you have to do anything other than listen. Don’t be tempted to tell them what to do, what to think or how to feel. Give them a safe place to feel sad and angry at how unfair life is, knowing you won’t try and rationalise it for them.
Don’t diminish their pain
Issues with fertility can be a genuinely life-changing experience and studies have demonstrated that for some women, there can be a significant psychological impact. To support someone trying to conceive, try not to diminish their suffering and don’t take it personally if they withdraw from social situations or distance themselves from you. If you don’t know what to say or how to support them, it’s absolutely OK to say ‘I don’t know what to say’ or ‘How can I best support you?’ Here are some pointers to help you support a friend when they are struggling.
Show you care
Little acts of kindness, distraction and reminders they are in your thoughts are usually welcome. Things like popping to their house with cake, going out for dinner, sending a care package (like from Don’t Buy Her Flowers), sending them a card or message them with something to make them smile are all lovely gestures. Just remember they might not respond straight away or might find it hard to be distracted from their pain, but they will still appreciate the gesture.
Think about how you can sensitively include them
All sorts of announcements and events can become difficult for someone trying to conceive, for example, pregnancy announcements, christenings, or other children’s birthday parties. It can be tempting to avoid telling someone trying to conceive, something you know is going to upset them, but being excluded can be equally upsetting. Finding a way to tell them the news and give them time to process it before having to see people or see it on Facebook gives them that space to process it privately. Or invite them to your child’s party, but don’t be upset or offended if they don’t come.
Show them that you love them unconditionally
Reassuring them that no matter what happens in the future, you love them and will support them no matter what. Knowing that whether they become parents or not, they are important to you can make a huge difference.
The Fertility Network UK offers support for infertility.
We have a team of experts across Surrey, ready to support you in your journey to conceive.