8 Ways to Support an Infertile Friend

by Laura Christianson

From the time we’re girls playing with dolls, most of us dream of becoming mothers. But for the one in six women who experience infertility, the struggle to conceive or to carry a pregnancy to term is a nightmare. Women in the midst of a fertility crisis need a caring friend.

Here are eight ways you can provide hope and healing:

1.  Love by listening.

Don’t give advice or try to fix things. Just be there. Warm hugs are the best gift you can give.

2.  Learn about fertility treatment.

Infertility is a medical condition that often necessitates medical intervention. If your friend is undergoing treatment, learn about the procedures so you can better understand the physical and emotional symptoms she’s experiencing.

3.  Do something normal together.

Invite her to lunch or a movie.

4.  Arrange a childfree visit.

Being around children may be difficult for your friend. If you have children, avoid talking excessively about your own pregnancy, childbirth experiences, or children.

5.  Cheer on adoption.

If your friend decides to adopt, show the same enthusiasm you would exhibit if she was physically pregnant.

6.  If you become pregnant, share the news in person, if possible.

Understand that your friend will experience a mixture of emotions—happiness for you and sadness for herself. Don’t pressure her to attend a baby shower.

7.  Extend sympathy.

If she loses a baby to miscarriage or failed adoption, send a card, flowers, or a small gift in memory of the child.

8.  Pray.

If you are a person if faith, pray specifically – on a daily basis – for something related to her struggle. E-mail your friend, letting her know that she’s in your thoughts and prayers.

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