Statistics say that 1 in 7 will suffer from infertility, and infertility seems to be on the rise. With more and more environmental toxins, and reproductive hormones in the water supply, infertility is likely to continue on the rise. If you see someone sporting a baby pink and baby blue ribbon this month, they are showing support for Infertility Awareness Month.
Besides wearing a ribbon, how can you support those in your life that may be suffering from infertility? Here are three ways that you could help…
First of all, be supportive in general. Let your friends and family know that if they are experiencing tough times, that you can lend them an ear. And do your best to simply listen. Most people are not seeking solutions. If they are seeking solutions or answers to a specific question, they would explicitly ask about solutions. However, most of the time, there is a great emotional need to simply express the difficulties that they are experiencing, and to have someone listen with empathy.
Next, if you know someone is suffering from infertility, try not to say anything to make them feel better. As in, don’t say something like, “Oh, you get more time with your husband!” Or, “Wow, if only I had the time and freedom to go out on a date every week with my husband…” These placating statements usually do not help to make the woman feel any better. She knows to count her lucky stars, and to enjoy her time with her husband while she has it. She especially does not need to hear things like this from a woman that already has children. (Although honestly, these statements are typically not helpful coming from anyone, unless the other person is also suffering at that moment in time from infertility.)
Thirdly, just be aware that most couples that are suffering from infertility do not tell everyone in their circles, and in fact, many will not tell anyone. So it’s a good idea to keep questions about family planning to yourself. You could be causing someone a lot of extra stress, when really you are just trying to make small talk.
Most sufferers of infertility do still enjoy seeing photos of little ones that they know, and sharing joy is always a positive experience, so do still feel free to post pictures if you have little ones, or a cute puppy or kitten. Most anyone can use a little pick me up via social media in the form of a gummy baby smile or a kitten attacking it’s tail.