So your loved one is going through IVF... now what? You might find yourself asking, "How can I help?". To give a simple answer... it really depends on your loved one.
Everyone who goes through IVF has a different journey. So, typically your game plan is going to vary from one person to the next. Even in cases of a two-parent household, chances are both parents are going to want/need different ways of receiving support.
Even though there isn't a clear-cut way to support every person going through IVF, there is a general guideline you can follow to show support. The following are a few great ideas to get the ball rolling!
1. Educate Yourself
Such a simple, yet powerful, way to show support to your friend/family going through IVF is to understand, to your best ability, exactly what they are going through. It can be so relieving for a person going through IVF to not have to explain to everyone in their life what the process looks like. Constantly needing to explain themselves could eventually make them feel as though they need to explain why they aren't pregnant yet.
Here are a few stats to help you educate yourself so your loved one doesn't have to!
2. Simply Ask
Considering everyone has their own individual IVF journey, simply asking your loved one how they prefer support will be HUGE! We all have to understand that the way we want to support someone might not be the way they want to be supported.
Here are a few questions you can ask your friends/family:
- Do you want me to know important dates, like when your transfer day is?
- If so, would you appreciate a supportive text so you know I'm thinking of you, or do you want me to give you space those days?
- Do you want me to ask about how your treatments are going or do you want me to wait for you to come to me?
- What love language is easiest for you to accept during this time? (physical touch, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, or gifts)
It is so important to know someone's love language so they are able to fully feel the support you're wanting to give!
3. Be Ready To Celebrate
Woohoo! The transfer took and it's time to celebrate!
(If your loved one has previously suffered from miscarriages, it is important to remind yourself that the celebration might be delayed. It is typically safe to start celebrating a pregnancy after miscarriage at about 20 weeks)
A special onesie to show you understand how special the new addition to the family is might just be the perfect way to celebrate!
These two onesies are so cute and true to the IVF journey.
"Just Keep Swimming" shows two little swimmers along with a miracle baby fish who fully developed! Not only is this onesie a play on words, but also a motivating reminder to keep going.
"Wished Upon a Starfish" shows a sea turtle family embracing their love, as a starfish swims by as it grants their wish. This is a great onesie to show your support for this new life step they have wished for so long!
4. Things to Avoid
Sometimes the best way to show support doesn't come from what you say, but from what you don't say. The IVF journey can be very exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. Be sure to not say insensitive comments or ask unkind questions.
Here are a few things to avoid saying:
- Talking about success stories
- Toxic Positivity: "It will happen when it happens", "If anyone can handle this you can", "You're lucky you're not pregnant, you can still drink!", etc.
- Placing any pressure: "Time is ticking", "you're not getting any younger", etc.
- For heterosexual couples, asking who is the infertile one
- For same-sex couples, asking whose egg or sperm they used
- If you're currently pregnant, talking about pregnancy in a negative light
I hope this helps you support your loved one going through IVF! If you're looking for more tips, follow me on Instagram to keep up with lots of tips and tricks through IVF!