photo by Ronaldo de Oliveira via Unsplash

Supporting a Family Member Who is Struggling to Get Pregnant

April 20, 2022

by aaron smith, guest contributor

Struggling with pregnancy can have a major impact on mental health. After all, many different emotions may arise during this time, such as anger, grief, or disappointment. While this can feel like an isolating experience, no one is alone. Do you have a family member who is currently struggling to get pregnant? If so, here a few ways to support them while dealing with this challenge. 

Work With Them to Discover What Roads Might Lie Ahead

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Getting pregnant can be difficult for some, and it can be helpful to work with your family member if they are considering other avenues to having a child. Some might wish to look into in vitro fertilization (IVF) to see if it might improve their chances of carrying a child. Others may be examining other options like surrogacy. If your family member wants to look into their options and figure out which is the best for them, you can offer them support and, if you have first-hand experience, guidance during this time so that they have all the help they need to work through this process and the feelings they might experience.

Encourage Them to Reach Out for Help if They Need it

Some women who struggle to get pregnant might be dealing with very complex and intense emotions throughout their journey. While some may only experience sadness, others might experience the symptoms of depression. This can reveal itself through changes in eating or sleeping, your family member withdrawing from their friends and other family members, or even changes in behavior like no longer enjoying hobbies they previously loved. If this is something that they’re struggling with, discuss these feelings with them and direct them to resources that will help them work through these thoughts and emotions. 

With the help of a therapist, your family member will be able to express some of their feelings in a safe environment, get professional support with their depression and other mental health issues, and learn coping mechanisms to help them get through this difficult time. Finding the right therapist can be a journey, so make sure your family member feels comfortable with testing out various therapists before they find the right one for them. 

Look for Practical Ways to Help Them

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As family, it's in the job description to be there for each other, and there's a lot we can do to help each other through difficult times. Demonstrating your love might be as simple as taking care of some things they need to do or tackling some minor chores they might not have the energy for. Let’s dive into a few ideas that could help your family member feel a little better!

  • Work with them to take some major things off their to-do list. For example, if they’ve been pursuing some home renovations, a few new and positive changes in their life could be just what they need right now. You might help them by looking for home update ideas, seeing what they need to make these projects a reality, and looking at local contractors to find the best quote for the project. 
  • Give them some support with minor things around the house. If your family member has been feeling depressed, they might have difficulty finding the energy to clean and organize. You can give them a hand and spruce up their home by decluttering, straightening things out, and doing minor chores like dusting or taking out the trash. It might seem like a minor thing to you, but it can mean everything to a family member who is having trouble coping. 
  • See if you can help them make some future goals and get excited about what lies ahead. For instance, if your family member works long hours, they may want to make a change to take better care of themselves. Working with them to find ways to improve their work-life balance and create milestones to make their goal a reality can be a great way to support them. 

Your Family Member Isn’t Alone!

Struggling with pregnancy can make people in your life feel like they’re going through this alone, but you can offer them support. If your family member is struggling, consider some of the methods listed above to help them work through the many emotions that arise during this difficult period in their life. You’ll never know how much it might mean to them!

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