16 March 2020

Mother’s Day and Coping with Infertility

Medical Director
Cesar Diaz-Garcia
MD PhD Assoc Prof
IVI London


Mother’s Day celebrates the unique relationship between a mother and her children. For women suffering from infertility, it isn’t just another day, the holiday can feel especially painful and isolating. At IVI we work with patients every day who are going through this struggle, and even though we cannot begin to understand how you feel we have experience in offering ways that might help.

Why not try planning in advance? Think about how you want to spend the weekend. It’s perfectly acceptable if you want to sit the weekend out and have some me-time. Permit yourself to cope in a way that feels healthy and whatever makes the holiday less painful for you. There’s no need to feel guilty about not participating in family events, you need to concentrate on helping yourself and if that means skipping the Mother’s Day brunch meal with the family, then go for it. Spend it doing something you enjoy, consider finding an activity or something you find relaxing. A weekend getaway with your partner to be far enough away from the celebrations. Or you could help with your stress by doing some exercise or talking to someone supportive who knows what you are going through.

Do you know of anyone else who is experiencing the same issues as you? Reach out to someone who may also be struggling to let them know you’re thinking of them. Helping others not only makes them feel better but it can also help distract you from your own problems. 

Alternatively, you may want to get stuck in and surround yourself with all of your family. Having your loved ones around you can give you the support you need to get through the day. Consider making your mother the centre of the holiday. Taking the attention off yourself by planning a brunch and inviting others can take your mind off your problems and temporarily distract you. It is also nice to show appreciation to your mum, especially if she has been supporting you through your fertility journey. Whichever path you choose – the choice is yours.

It might be that you are not the one trying to get pregnant and it is your partner or your friend who is suffering. There are things you can do to help. It may be difficult to talk about it, if they have brought up the topic with you themselves previously then you can discuss it. If they haven’t it may be because they don’t want to talk about it and it may be best to avoid being the one to bring it up.

Just being there to listen can be a great help. It’s not always necessary to give advice even when your intentions are in the right place. However, being there to listen to them when they open up is sometimes enough to know you are there to support them.

Invite them to do something that doesn’t focus around the holiday and children. Suggest some adult-only plans such as going to the cinema or doing a gym class together.

The most important thing you can do is to be sensitive to their situation. Don’t ask ‘When are you going to have a baby?’ You don’t always know what that person is going through, so be mindful.

IVI’s biggest message for you this Mother’s Day if you are suffering from infertility is: Don’t be so hard on yourself. Infertility isn’t your fault and we are here to help you. Infertility not only takes its toll on your body physically but it can also affect you mentally, that’s why at IVI London we have several in house counsellors to help you through your difficult infertility journey.

On this Mother’s Day, we honour your commitment and dedication to having a child and we are on this journey with you. If you want to visit our counsellors, please visit our website for more details.

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