It’s the holiday season, the time of year when you’ll spend more time talking to family members, friends and colleagues than any other time of year. And some folks can say the darnedest things. But when you’re talking to someone longing for a child or going through fertility treatment, words can really hurt.
Here are some hurtful statements that our patients been told,
and how it made them feel!
- Just relax, it will happen. // It’s your fault you aren’t pregnant.
- If it’s meant to be it will happen. // You are not meant to be a mother.
- Have you considered adoption? // I’d like to tell you how to have a family.
- Are you trying for a baby yet? // Are you having unprotected sex?
- If you lose weight it helps. // You’re not pregnant because you’re fat, and it’s your fault.
- Trust me, kids can be miserable. // I’m dismissing your pain and desire to be a parent, and taking the blessings I have for granted.
- Have you visited a fertility doctor? // You aren’t smart enough to know about basic medical options.
- You shouldn’t wait too long. // It’s okay for me to tell you when to have a baby, and disregard the possibility that you may be trying privately.
- Pregnancy is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through! // I am dismissing how hard it is to long for a pregnancy.
- Do you know if either of you have problems? // You should share extremely private and personal information with me.
- It could always be worse, right? // I am minimizing and dismissing your pain because it doesn’t matter.
What to do instead:
- Listen: They may want to share their troubles with you.
- Ask: Find out how they would like you to support and help them.
- Support: Now is not the time for advice or judgment. Offer unconditional support of their decisions, lots of hugs, and a shoulder to cry on.
Be mindful of holiday conversations, it’s the time of year when we need love and support the most!