First, well done for reading and wanting to help your infertility warrior - You are doing your research, visiting our website and obviously want to understand more.
On this page we combine some great resources to encourage you to understand what may be best to say (and not to say). There are many resources available, but we have consolidated a few to help everyone.
Amongst the information on our website, we have also included a conversation page, to help you stay in a safe a supportive dialog.
Our top tips, include keeping it simple such as:
The always beautiful infertility warrior Alice Rose also created the Think What Not to Say #TWNTS campaign. It is worth checking out her campaign which highlights what not to say. Her insights are shared with wit, humor and honesty.
The Centre for Perinatal Psychology has created the 'Bearing the Unbearable' campaign. It's designed to honour the emotional experience of parents - including parents without children earthside.
You can also check out Chelsea,
Hear from Chelsea and her wise words below.
Reaching out to the fertility warriors in your life goes a long way. A card, a letter, an email - even if it only says thinking of you, would go a long way.
(Bonus points for featuring Pineapples)
Ask if they feel like doing something together. Engage in activities that don’t involve children, pregnancies and treatments - It is easier than you might think!
- Go for a beverage (even mocktails are still yum!)
- Visit a hidden walking track, park, or beach
- See a movie
- Send a Fertility Friendly gift
- Animal shelters always love free dog walkers
- Go buy a beautiful bunch of flowers together
- Ask your Fertility Warrior on a picnic, or a enjoy a meal at a fancy restaurant that is all the rage
- Play golf together (driving ranges can be a good stress reliever)
- Play tourist in your local town/city
- Check out some local markets, art exhibition/gallery
"When I told my friend we were doing IVF she took it upon herself to learn everything she could about the process so that the next time we spoke she understood what we were going through which was a really beautiful moment. It warmed my heart that someone cared that much."
"When someone just simply lets me know they are thinking of me"
"My SIL sent me a block of chocolate a week, in the four weeks of IVF"
"Friends dropping off flowers and chocolates at our front door after a miscarriage. Definitely felt the love. It made the whole process more bearable and sure helped me move on! And then the next cycle my little boy was conceived. So I'd like to think that all the love pouring in helped conceive him"
"My partner arranged a small gift each day during the 2ww - it was so much fun"
Whilst you may not always know when and how to Support the Infertility Warrior in your life, you may be surprised that they dont always know either!
We encourage you to ask if it’s ok to ask.
For example “would you mind if i asked you about your ttc journey?” Or
“I was wondering if it’s ok for me to ask you how your ttc journey is going?”
(Special note : We’ve thrown in 'TTC' in the question because your warrior is likely to be impressed that you know the main acronym in their life)
Theres a long list of what doesn’t help but here are some handy hints :
- The R word (relax) is never what a ttc’er wants to hear. Instead try asking about what things your warrior is doing for themselves during their journey. You may be able to help them with this one.
- Buying a dog or a going holiday is not what a specialist will prescribe for infertility and neither should you. Instead try to acknowledge the greatness of the financial component of your warriors journey.
- Your friends-cousins-bestfriends-wife Betty might be an amazing hope story in your world, but not so in your warriors world. Try to provide hope and encouragement in other avenues.
- Silence is deafening, if you’re not reaching out because you don’t know what to say or how to help , we encourage you to let your warrior know that, but please stay in contact. It can feel lonely enough, without the deafening sounds of friends and family retreating far away from your infertility warrior.
- If adoption is a topic your infertility warrior would like to raise then chat away, but it can be unkind for you to mention or suggest adoption, unless it’s that you’re sharing your own news of adoption of a fur child.
- This may sound obvious but offering your children up or suggesting that your warrior “wouldn’t want the <insert gripe, such as crazy hormones, sleepless nights or crying babies> “ is a huge no-no. It happens a lot so if you think you’ve suggested this to your warrior, they probably haven’t forgotten and it’s ok to apologise for what you didn’t know - in fact they will likely really appreciate it.
Check out this great video from Google, who briefly capture infertility. Featuring our own beautiful board member Tiarne. 🧡
We have put together a little list of the common moments that are tough for infertility warriors.
These are just to give you advanced notice and an idea of when even a check in with them goes a long way. If in doubt, ask but start with something like "I want to support you the best way possible, are there any special moments or dates we should know are important to you?"
Another year ending, another beginning. The weight is heavy for those thinking about their future/intended family and that of they dreams to be with them already.
Another year of trying has passed, which can feel like a loss. Friends and family gatherings often mean well intended but painful questions/comments are directed to infertility warriors.
Many warriors spend time showering others when the news arrives of a newborn but hide their own pain and struggles. Some warriors even forgo baby shower events. This circumstance is unique to the warrior.
A loss can be all encompassing and grief is unique with no rules. Triggers can be everywhere, including some dates that hold special moments or tough memories.
- When I lost my baby, this community was AMAZING! I received so many messages of love, flowers, and thoughtful gifts:
- Bears of Hope, Angel figurines, crystal bracelets, pregnancy loss books, even a star in the sky for my baby boy. The love was beyond incredible. It got me out of bed after my loss at 13 weeks. Forever grateful.
- Asking if I’m okay and what I needed instead of giving me their unsolicited advice and opinions! Better then any physical gift!
- People holding me & my stillborn baby in their thoughts, prayers & hearts. Knowing others love my son as I do is priceless & helps my broken heart. I don’t know what I would do without the support of complete strangers who are connected through infertility.
- The nicest thing so far is just friends and family listening. Most people don’t understand but they still care and provide support.
- The nicest thing someone has said as a single mother by choice is that they support my decision and will help me in anyway possible.
- Just to know that they are in my corner. Sometimes just being there and listening is the best support.
- My friend in New Zealand who had also been through IVF sent me a Self Love Care box. It made me feel less alone.
- During our IVF journey our friends and family offering their love, support and time has been the most valuable to me and my partner.
- A close friend (Who is now a grandmother) shared her past fertility difficulties. She is continuing to encourage and pray for me.
- Nurses who have not only cared for me, but importantly cared about me.
- Acknowledging our loss, sending us flowers, card and candle. I just want my baby Little Bean to be remembered.