I love my job. I’m a doula.
I get to support mothers and fathers during a very special time of their lives. I get to watch their joy, and be with families during the birth of their child. That is so cool.
The less exciting, but equally important aspect of my job is supporting clients who experience loss, or difficulty conceiving.
Supporting someone who is experiencing infertility can be challenging, even to professionals.
Here are three tips to help you navigate supporting a loved one who is experiencing infertility- without feeling like you need to walk on egg shells.
Avoid unhelpful phrases:
“Well at least you have one baby!” or
“When it’s supposed to happen it will happen!”
The reason these phrases do not help is because they state “it will all be ok”. Your loved one might not feel that way, and that’s ok. Instead of trying to make it better, listen. Take their lead. Do they want to talk about it? Would they rather move through life without talking about it? It’s important to remember that everyone processes grief differently. As good friends and family members we often try to solve problems or “fix” our loved ones. This isn’t a problem that’s easily solved, so don’t try to. Just listen, and follow their lead.
Validate their feelings.
It is so important to allow your loved ones to feel the depth of their emotions. They are entirely valid, and they need to know that. Sometimes things just suck. Sometimes all your loved one wants to hear is that it sucks. Maybe while everyone else is trying to solve the problem, or ignore it completely, you can be the person who says “wow, that just really sucks”. When we try to solve our loved ones’ problems for them, it doesn’t leave space for them to have their emotions. So give them the space to feel whatever they may be feeling, and assure them that it is completely normal.
No one is given a manual on how to deal with grief.
If a friend is telling you about their infertility, chances are they have gotten great support from you before. They trust you. So be you. Be your authentic self, and nothing more. Even if you don’t know what to do, just listen, follow their lead, and be authentic. You don’t need to be a doula to offer the support that your friend or family member needs.
::Southern Pacific Doulas is a full service doula agency in San Diego. What’s a doula? Simply put- a doula is someone who supports a family through pregnancy, during birth, and the postpartum period. Think of a labor coach who is supportive of your choices, and super knowledgeable about babies, moms, and pregnancy. Brielle Rainney is the owner, and strives to put together a team of who she believes, are the best doulas in San Diego. Southern Pacific Doulas is supporting all of San Diego county with professional, reliable, and nonjudgmental support.::