How to Avoid the Social Pressures of Parenthood When Facing Infertility

Mother and Baby

Take Advice With A Grain Of Salt

When you are facing fertility problems, suddenly everyone you know becomes a fertility “expert.” Family, friends, acquaintances, and that woman down the street all want to tell you what you should be doing. After all, they know someone for whom this trick or tactic worked wonders. Most of these people mean well, but this does not mean that their advice is always sound. Take their advice with a grain of salt. Remember, problems with fertility do not always occur for the same reason. For the most part, the friends you see at social functions do not know the intricacies of your or your partner’s body and what is causing the infertility and so cannot reasonably tell you what or how you should change.

Know What You Want To Say

True or not, all of the advice can be overwhelming and disheartening. There are so many do’s and don’ts that they are difficult to keep straight, and chances are that you have already tried most of them already. Sometimes it is helpful to have a couple of pre-planned and generic responses such as, “That is interesting information, but I am going to stick to my doctor’s plan for now” or “Thank you but my husband and I already have a plan in mind.”

Politely show people that you are not interested in receiving their fertility advice. With closer friends and family you can have an honest conversation about how you are feeling and what kind of support you are and are not looking for from them. With all the confusion and misinformation about fertility flying about, it is best to get your advice from true fertility experts.

Don’t Be Pressured By Other People’s Timelines

It can be difficult for couples who are facing infertility when all of their friends already have children. It can feel isolating when your friends are all sharing stories about their children and you are childless. Inevitably friends will ask, “So, when are you planning to have children?” This can be difficult to answer and sometimes painful to hear. You are already dealing with the emotions that come with deciding to have a child, not being able to conceive right away and now, on top of that, you feel as though your inability to get pregnant is failing your friends as well.

Ultimately, however, what other people think about when you should have children does not matter – their expectations are not your problem. Pregnancy is a personal thing for which you and your partner will decide a timeline.

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