Hannah's Heart
Catholic Infertility
Support Group
Jacksonville, FL

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Ideas for How to Help Couples Who Are
Struggling with Infertility

How You Can Help Couples Struggling with Infertility

There are many ways in which you can be supportive and helpful to couples on this difficult journey.  Following are just a few ideas.

  • Please ask how we want to be told when you get pregnant.  Others may have other preferences, but for me, I would prefer email.  This may seem impersonal, but while I want to be happy for you, your news illuminates my own struggle and I will inevitably cry when I find out.  Over email, I can receive the news in the privacy of my own home and call you when I am composed and ready to truly rejoice with you.
  • Pray for us on our struggle, not just that we conceive, but also that we receive the necessary graces to endure this struggle and accept whatever God has in store for us.  Pray that we find purpose and meaning on this journey.  Remind us periodically that you are still thinking and praying for our family.
  • Understand that we may not always feel up to attending certain events, like baby showers, birthday parties or baptisms.  This journey is very difficult and there are times when we have to set boundaries for ourselves to avoid both undue personal pain and suffering as well as a public emotional outbursts.
  •  Be aware of what you talk about in our presence.  We realize and accept that people are going to talk about pregnancy, children and parenting, especially at our age.  However, please keep in mind that these conversations may be difficult for those of us struggling with infertility.  Take cues from us and try to include other topics in the conversation.  And, while we know that pregnancy and parenting can be very difficult, please try not to complain about them when we are around.  This is the most difficult to hear.  It would be kind of like complaining about how tired you are after a night of dancing to a friend in a wheelchair.  
  • Plan something fun!  In this journey, distraction is often the best coping mechanism!  Plan something fun to do with your friend that will help get her mind off the struggle, if even for a short time.
  • Often just sympathizing is really powerful.  There are no magic words that can take away the pain of this struggle.  But sometimes just feeling heard and understood can help so much.  Saying something like “Wow, that’s really tough.  I’m so sorry you’re going through that” may be all you need to do.