We’ve all been in situations where we are unsure of what to say, but feeling like we need to say something. The deafening silence can feel heavy as we search for the right words. Infertility is one of those tricky topics...as well intentioned as we might be, some of the things we say can be hurtful to hear. Last year, Amy Twitty created an insightful list of things to say, and not to say, to a friend or family member battling infertility. This year, for National Infertility Awareness week, we wanted to expand on her beautiful idea and create a list of our own. When we come alongside our loved ones as they fight to grow their families, we can make the long + difficult road of infertility just a little less lonely.

 

  • At least you don’t have stretch marks! {or basically any other sentence that starts with the words “at least”}
  • You just have to be patient.
  • Why don’t you *just* adopt?
  • You should adopt and then you’ll get pregnant!
  • Have you tried {eating more salmon, this essential oil, etc}? That worked for my friend’s sister!
  • You’re lucky you don’t have kids yet, just enjoy being able to sleep in and travel.
  • But you already have a child.
  • You can always just do IVF!
  • You are still so young...just relax, there is plenty of time.
  • Well so and so had to try for 10 years to have kids and you’ve only been waiting for 3!
  • If you would just relax/quit worrying/stop stressing, I know you’d get pregnant!

 

 

  • Assuming it is a certain person’s fault. It could be either partner, or unexplained.
  • Consistently complain about your kiddos. We get it… kids are hard! But maybe find another friend as a sounding board for the sleepless nights.
  • Minimizing their sadness for wanting a second {or third!} child.

 

  • I’m so sorry! {a sincere, heartfelt acknowledgement can go a long way}
  • I want you to know I am here for you.
  • What can I do for you today? What do you need?
  • If you want to talk about it, I’m here to listen.
  • Whatever path you decide to take, you know what is best for your family. You have my full support.
  • This isn’t fair. Your feelings {sadness, anger, loneliness} are valid.

 

  • Following up on big days! Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Consider giving them a heads up via text before announcing your pregnancy. Thoughtfully letting them know and giving them time to process can go a long way.
  • Inviting them to baby showers, dinner parties, or other get-togethers! But be understanding if they choose not to attend.
  • Offer to watch older children while they go on a date night.
  • Take some time to do a little research! If they are going through fertility treatments, IVF, or the adoption process, a friend that can have true discussion means the world.
  • And, most of all, we love Amy’s advice: “If someone comes to mind to do something for, my biggest suggestion is ACT on it. Send a text, drop a treat off, offer to help. You never know what it might do for someone.”