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How to Cope With Infertility for Both Mom and Dad

July 20, 2015

Sadness, anger, resentment, stress, and heartache… these and so many other emotions and feelings come with infertility. It can be overwhelming, and all of the emotions compounded can really wear on a person. We’re sharing ideas and tips on how to cope with infertility, for both women and men.

Lean on your partner. Remember, you’re in this together. You’re not alone, and in your saddest moment, don’t forget you can always lean on your partner. Together you two can comfort and console one another, and in the end, it may even strengthen your bond and relationship. Holding your feelings in and not letting your significant other know what you’re thinking and feeling can adversely affect your relationship and may make the situation worse or more stressful.

Gather your tribe. Rally the troops; that is, your support team. You shouldn’t have to go through this on your own, and in addition to leaning on your partner, gather your tribe and ask them for support. There are so many people in your life that want to be there for you and help in any way, so open up, even for just one or two people, and let them in.

They’re there to be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and even to be your “protector.” For example, those pesky questions that come from people meaning no harm—like “when are you having kids?”—can be so painful to hear and only make your heart hurt even more. Put your tribe, your protectors, to work and have them run interference with those asking the questions.

Allow yourself to be sad for a time. It’s OK to be sad. Infertility is a challenge and struggle that pulls on every one of your heart strings. Let yourself be sad. Give yourself some leeway to cry. While it is OK to be sad, try to set a timeframe so that you have your time to cry and be sad. Choose a date that you’ll start moving forward and letting go of some of the sadness, by making a plan with your doctor, learning more about infertility and consider some of other ideas shared below to be proactive as well as to keep your mind and hands busy so you don’t have time to be sad.

See a professional to talk through things. Throw any stigmas or generalizations you have about seeing a counselor or therapist out the window. Their job is to be a listening ear and to help provide you with strategies and guidance on how to cope and emotionally process it all. If you find you can’t stop being sad or just feel so upset by the situation—which is normal—consider seeing someone. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to see a professional to talk through it.

Get informed. Infertility is a broad term that encompasses varying treatment options and plans. Do your homework and get educated. Arm yourself with knowledge, resources, and ideas for next steps, so that you can then make a plan with your doctor. You will find that putting your time into and focus your attention on becoming informed will be a good distraction, taking your mind off of some the sadness, anger, and resentment.

Make a plan with your doctor. Armed with all sorts of information on infertility (see above), meet with your doctor and make a plan. Being proactive and identifying the various avenues for treatment and next steps to becoming parents will. Just like getting informed on the subject, this will help take your mind off of some of sadness, anger, resentment and other feelings that come with infertility.

Keep a journal. Another good way to cope and get your feelings out is to journal. Write it all out. Writing and journaling are therapeutic and may assist you cope. You might also consider adding a ‘thankful journal’ portion to your ongoing journal, where you write about one thing a day or week that you’re grateful for. This small exercise will allow you to focus on the many great things in your life, which will help lift your spirits.

Pursue new interests and hobbies. Keep your mind and hands busy, and focus on you. This may also be a great way to bond with your partner and strengthen that relationship, which is so important to nurture. Commit to trying a new restaurant every week, or hiking a new trail every month. Whatever it is, these new interests and hobbies will take your mind off of the situation and help reduce your stress. Plus, you’re certain to have fun while doing it.

Reach out to others in your situation. You’re not alone in infertility. Many others in your neighborhood and community are going through the exact same thing, and you can support one another. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Resolve, the National Infertility Association posts support groups on its website by state. See the listings here. Additionally, infertility online forums connect people across the world and build tribes and support systems among people who know and understand the exact situation.

Hang in there—know you’re not alone in this situation. We’re sending thoughts and prayers your way.

We’d love to know—what has helped you cope with infertility?

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Author Info

Avatar for Lacey Pappas

Lacey Pappas

Mother of 2 silly boys and a new baby girl. Happily married. Love to laugh, inspire others, take pretty photos, and curl up with a good book.

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2 thoughts on “How to Cope With Infertility for Both Mom and Dad

rstires16@gmail.com'

Rachel

As someone who worries about infertility frequently, I cannot express enough how important I think it is to work together as a couple in this kind of situation. I also think seeing a professional, together and separately, can really help in the event of a tragic situation like this. Thank you for sharing these tips.

JohnsonMcGee1234@gmail.com'

Johnson McGee

I like how you said, “Do your homework and get educated”. I think that infertility would be something you’d want as much information on as possible. This could help alleviate stress during such a time. Also, having friends and family to rely on is important. What sort of herbs help with infertility?