Sarah Herron

How To Support a Friend Going Through Infertility, IVF or Pregnancy Loss



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Hi, I'm Sarah

a woman wearing disposable diapers stands in the bathroom mirror after pregnancy loss

Going through fertility treatments and pregnancy loss is such a personal experience. Every parent-to-be experiences the emotions of the journey differently. One thing that’s similar across the board for everyone going through this experience though, it that it can be incredibly isolating.

As a friend of someone who is struggling to conceive, it can be confusing to know how to show up for your friend.

I recently asked my readers on Instagram how they wanted their friends to support them when they’ve experienced IVF/infertility/pregnancy loss. It was astonishing how similar everyone’s responses were! The general takeaway is that there is no right way, and there’s no wrong way to show up as a friend, just show up.

Here are the most common responses you all shared;

  1. “Ask questions. It makes such a difference to me to know my friends want to understand.”

  2. “Follow through and check in with me throughout the whole process, not just around big procedure days. Sometimes, the waiting. between big milestones in the fertility journey is the hardest part. Having friends show up for me when I’m in the waiting game helps me stay distracted.”

  3. “Send cards, thoughtful texts or call me, just to say you care.

  4. “Under any circumstance, do not offer unsolicited advice.

  5. “Gift cards for a massages are great! Your body goes through so much physical torture. After my chemical pregnancy, my friends chipped in to get me a massage. It was a generous way of saying they care about me, without overwhelming me with having to talk about it.”

  6. “Offer help with meal planning; send pre-made meals or bring over take out.

  7. “Remember transfer dates or appointment milestones, and check in with me before or after them.”

  8. “Have convos that aren’t always centered around our infertility to give us a sense of normalcy.”

  9. “For pregnancy loss, let the person continue to talk about it. Don’t try to change the subject.”

  10. “Offer to drive to appointments.”

  11. “Don’t apologize to me when you get pregnant or share your pregnancy news. It puts me in a weird position and that’s what makes me feel worse.”

  12. “Include me in things and when sharing news—even if you think it will make me feel bad. Feeling left out / lied to is much worse.”

  13. “Limit telling me about other people’s success stories as a sign of hope.”

  14. “If you become pregnant, it’s better to send a text rather than tell me face to face. I need to process the news privately.

  15. “Be understanding if I am distant or withdraw for a while. I’m healing”.

  16. “No toxic positivity! Acknowledge how crappy it is and don’t try to make everything positive.”

  17. “Avoid saying things like; “Have you tried ___”, “at least you know you can get pregnant,” “don’t stress, it will happen once you stop trying so hard.”

  18. “Please don’t be offended if it’s difficult for me to be around you during your pregnancy.”

  19. “Be patient that the medications I’m on may change my moods, activity level or interest in activities we normally do together.”

  20. “It’s okay if you don’t know what to say, just say SOMEthing. Or use emojis

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