These simple tips will go a long ways in helping infertile couples celebrate the holidays.
As the holidays gain momentum, festivities with family and friends take up a large part of the season. But for many couples, this joyous time is dampened by infertility. As family gatherings and children-centered activities ensue, infertile couples can struggle with the pain of not having their own family yet, especially when a friend or family member casually drops the question, “When are you going to have kids?”
One in six couples experiences infertility. This adds up to a lot of silent sufferers during the holiday season. The Servy Massey Fertility Institute offers these helpful tips for infertile couples and their loved ones during the holidays.
5 Holiday Tips for Infertile Couples:
1. Be selective in holiday celebration attendance. If a get-together centers around families with babies and young children, consider whether or not this will be painful for you. If it is, don’t feel guilty about skipping it this year.
2. Share the holidays with other couples who don’t have kids. Make room in your holiday event schedule to include time with other people who don’t have children to keep your festivities from feeling overwhelming.
3. Decide ahead of time what to do if you’re asked about having children. Be on the same page with your partner when it comes to talking about your infertility. Be prepared with an answer if someone inquires about building your family, and remember, it’s up to you whether or not to discuss your struggle.
4. Decide whether or not to hold others’ babies. Well-meaning relatives or friends may want to share in the joy of a new family member, as do you, but remember to listen to your needs first. Holding a baby can bring hope to some infertile couples and incredible pain to others. Consider how you may feel in the situation.
5. Approach the holidays in a new way. You and your partner may decide to get out of town or take a romantic vacation and skip the family gatherings this year. Don’t be afraid to start a new tradition to help make the holidays happy and carefree as possible.
5 Etiquette Tips for Friends & Family of Infertile Couples:
1. Don’t tell the couple, “Relax, it will happen.” This is rule no. 1 when talking to couples struggling to get pregnant. Doctors consider couples that have tried to conceive for more than a year unsuccessfully as infertile. While stress can contribute to infertility, the human reproductive system is complex and affected by a number of biological and physical factors.
2. Don’t minimize the problem. Coping with infertility is a difficult and painful experience. Avoid trying to diminish the problem by complaining about the hassles of pregnancy or parenting. Infertile couples actually hope for the day they can worry about their own children.
3. Don't offer advice to “fix” the situation. Whether it’s exercise, food or lifestyle change ideas, the couple’s fertility specialist has probably already covered these topics and provided insight. Couples coping with infertility often blame themselves and struggle with this issue, so there’s no need to highlight the problem.
4. Don’t push for adoption. Each couple has their own approach to family building and knows what their options are. This is a personal, emotionally charged topic that they may have considered or struggled with, and is simply not appropriate to discuss at a holiday event.
5. Be encouraging and supportive. Showing you care can mean a lot to a couple struggling with infertility. Spend time together. Plan activities that don’t focus solely on children, and enjoy being together.
About the Servy Massey Fertility Institute
For nearly 30 years, Dr. Joe B. Massey and Dr. Edouard Servy have helped thousands of couples build families. As well-known pioneers in IVF, they are now bringing a unique low-cost IVF program to bring the joy of parenthood to more couples than ever before. SMFI has two locations in Georgia, but serves the entire southeast region.
For more information about infertility, visit the Servy Massy Fertility Institute, ivfga.com
Augusta Fertility Clinic
812 Chafee Avenue
Augusta, GA 30904
Atlanta Fertility Clinic
993-D Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 360
Atlanta, GA 30342