April 10, 2023

Ask Amy: How Can I Support My Friend Struggling with Infertility?

How do we best support our friends dealing with infertility? Pretending we aren't aware that they might be sad isn't usually the best approach.

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Should we avoid talking about our children when spending time with friends who are having difficulty conceiving? A member of our Facebook group asks:

"I’m having lunch with a lifelong friend who I don’t see or talk to frequently. I do know that she recently started IVF. My life is currently extremely overwhelmed because I have 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 year-olds that I was fortunate enough to conceive very quickly. How do I support her and also talk about my life, without seeming like I’m complaining about what she wants so badly? I’ve never been nervous to see her in my life and I just feel like I’m going to indirectly hurt her feelings in some way."

Your friend can both be sad about her difficulty conceiving children and excited to hear about yours. The best thing you can do, Amy explains, is to be open with your friend - explain that you want to respect her feelings about the situation and be there for her. She may cry, and that's ok, because it means both that she's letting out her feelings and that she feels you're a safe space to have those feelings.

Once you talk about the elephant in the room, you can have a wonderful visit where you both talk about and receive support for whatever you're going through right now.

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