What binds us together is motherhood and whether you are a veteran mom, expecting mom, new mom, or just want to be a mom, we all have one common denominator… our love for children and motherhood. Today, Katie, an IVF veteran shares what NOT to say to an infertile friend!

National Infertility Awareness Week

So — you are fertile — good for you!  I’m super excited that you just told me that you, “look at your husband and get pregnant,”  no really.  I am.  I mean — I am *now* — but I’m four and a half years out of my IVF journey!  But four years ago, I would have smiled but secretly wanted to stab you in the eye with my fork.   Instead of writing my story again from this morning … I hope you take the time to read it here!  This time I wanted to share a few things that you should and shouldn’t say to your infertile friend!

Infertility blows.  Infertile women feel like their bodies are broken.  Or they are crushed that their husbands can’t give them what they need.  Infertile women struggle all day, every day (especially if you are pregnant and they are on medication).   Have you seen my post about our IVF journey?  I needed my own sharps container at home for the amount of drugs I was taking.

Ever wondered how to handle a friend battling infertility?

National Infertility Awareness Week

Here are a few tips!

1.  Never ever (ever) tell your infertile friends to  “just relax”.  I’m sure you know that ovulation doesn’t occur based on whether you’ve mediated with a glass of wine.   Some women ovulate regularly, some don’t ovulate at all.  Yes yes — I know, stress can change our hormones, which in turn, can change things in our body … but seriously, keep the relaxation concept to yourself.

2.  Try to avoid saying,” everything happens for a reason.”  Even if deep down, you know your friend believes that indeed, everything happens for a reason … what your friend needs to know is that you are on their side and listening to their struggles.
3.  Please, for the love of pete, don’t tell your friends to adopt.  I know — I know, your best friends second cousin, Sally, had a great adoption experience … but infertile women want to get pregnant and carry a baby to term!  I know it doesn’t make sense to those of you who ovulate on demand and get pregnant … but hearing about adoption just makes us sad. It’s letting go of a dream!
4.  Don’t try to encourage your infertile friend to try the latest and greatest fad — gluten free is all the rage right now — maybe if you give up gluten you can get pregnant!  Or, I know someone who did acupuncture or took herbs and poof — they were pregnant.
5.  Try not to tell your friend to lose weight or gain weight or anything to do with their body composition.

What to do instead?

1.  Active listening — your infertile friends know everything, trust me — they are online reading more than you know and believe me, they are on on-line forums connecting with complete strangers who understand what they are going through.  Don’t offer any advice.  Just listen.
2.  Give out free hugs and tell them you are sorry.
3.  Talk about anything other than your baby, or your struggle to lose baby weight or how you aren’t sleeping (poor you).
4. Let them take the lead on discussing infertility or medications — maybe they just want to talk about college football or a new hair style.

What would you add to the list of things NOT to say? Come on… you know you want to tell us! 

 In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, it is our hope to raise awareness and educate our community about the varying types of infertility and the many options available.  We hope that you are empowered by this series, because we really are in this journey of motherhood together. Please continue to support the real moms this week as they share their journeys.  To read more, please click here.


  1. Don’t get upset when we have absolutely no sympathy for your morning sickness, pelvic pain or any of the other negatives that come with being pregnant. Almost every one of us would sell our souls to have morning sickness, pelvic pain, etc…

  2. STOP JUDGING ME! When I ask what you think about taking a few days off around a transfer because we work together and you know what our workplace is like…don’t ask me if I “even eat vegetables”. I mean…aside from being rude, you don’t do my food shopping, you haven’t investigated my fridge. And p.s. – you haven’t answered my original question. This one really pushes people I love away and makes me not want to speak to them about my IVF journey anymore. Also, just because it “seems like a pain in the ass” and you “would just quit”, please don’t offer that to me as your advice. Just don’t.


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