Need-To-Knows About Pregnancy Loss and Infertility
1 out of 8 couples have trouble conceiving and 1 in 4 have experienced the loss of a pregnancy. That is probably more common than you realized and asking a family that struggles with infertility and pregnancy loss why they haven’t had kids yet (or why they haven’t had more kids) can bring up feelings of grief, pain, or frustration.
Things to think about:
For a couple struggling with getting and staying pregnant, hearing friends and family complaining about their pregnancy can be frustrating. They would gladly take all the morning sickness, backaches, and swollen feet if it meant they had a chance to carry a child to term.
Don’t tell them to relax, stop trying, and it will happen on its own. Instead, listen to them and tell them you are sorry they are going through it. Don’t tell them you understand what they are going through unless you, too, have struggled with infertility or have lost a child. Don’t try to make light of the situation, let them grieve. Be there for them and try to understand that their pain is real.
Give loving support, rather than trying to think of an explanation as to why they have not been able to conceive. Telling them that everything happens for a reason is hurtful, unnecessary, and can make them feel like they have failed in some way. Let them know that you are there for them if they need anything.
A loss is a loss no matter how early or late it occurs. From the moment a couple find out they are pregnant, they have hopes and dreams for that baby. There is mourning over the death of a child and a realization that they will never hold, meet or watch their baby grow up.
It is not about you. Don’t get offended if your friend or family member does not want to let you in yet. Give them time and space and let them know you are available if and when they are ready to talk.
If you, yourself, have struggled with getting or staying pregnant, please know that you are not alone. Support during pregnancy is paramount after experiencing a loss or infertility. Music City Doulas has experience supporting couples starting even before they become pregnant.