For friends and family: Infertility etiquette

Infertility is obviously a difficult situation those trying to conceive. But it also impacts their families. Infertility can cause stress, strain and sometimes harm to family relationships. One of the main factors in that trauma is poor communication.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association understands that family dynamics can make talking about infertility difficult, and sometimes even destructive, for those dealing with the trauma. So they have created some very helpful guides for individuals, couples and families to better understand infertility and what it can do to everyone involved.

In the next few posts, we will offer some of the pointers they suggest. The first topic is Infertility Etiquette. “Most people don’t know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support,” they note.

Among the things not to say are:

  • Don’t tell them to relax
  • Don’t minimize the problem
  • Don’t say there are worse things that could happen
  • Don’t be crude

On the other hand, you can help by letting them know that you care. “Knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren’t going through this alone,” RESOLVE says.

RESOLVE goes into more detail about each of these, and others. Visit their web page and click on Infertility Etiquette. After you’re done reading, please take a moment to post your own suggestions or experiences with these issues in the Reply boy, below.

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