We all value our friendships with the people closest to us and want to be there for our friends when they may need it the most. Whether your friends are going through a rough time, or are doing just fine, it’s always nice to let them know that you are there for them, and that you appreciate having them in your life.
This is especially true when it comes to supporting friends who may be thinking of starting a family. Trying to conceive is not always easy, and it is comforting to know that you have people supporting you and your partner through your journey. Continue reading for some tips on how you can be an encouraging friend to those who may be beginning or struggling through their conception journey.
Have Open Ears
When it comes to supporting your friends, regardless of whether or not they are TTC, listening is the number one thing you can do to show you care. Being a support system with open ears to understand and be empathetic to what your friends are going through provides them an outlet for their feelings, whether that is explaining what’s coming next or allowing them to vent out their frustrations. If your friend is speaking to you about her fertility journey try not to interrupt or offer suggestions, rather sit back and be attentive and understand that every conception journey is unique.
Validate and Show You Care
It is one thing to be open ears for your friend, but it is another to reassure them that their feelings are valid and they are not alone. Conception isn’t always easy, and oftentimes many women struggle with fertility issues both physically and mentally. By validating their feelings, you are showing your friend and her family that you care about what they are going through, and that the things they are thinking and feeling while TTC are justifiable.
No Two Journeys Are The Same
As we know, no two conception journeys are the same. This means regardless of how your own journey to pregnancy went, your friend may not be going through the same experience. Try not to offer specific solutions to assist in conception because chances are if your friend has been trying to get pregnant for some time, she has already tried or Googled it. Specifically, you should avoid phrases like “When I was TTC”, or “You should try _________ because it worked for me”. Comparing TTC stories may lead to shame or disappointment because some women find it easier to start families than others.
Encourage Seeking Outside Support
There are many women out there who are TTC. If you know of any support groups or communities for your friend to join, don’t hesitate to suggest it! Being a part of an empowering group of women experiencing something similar will allow your friend an additional outlet for her feelings, people she can relate to, a space for advice, and an affirmation that she is not alone in her journey. Also, don’t be afraid to attend a support group with your friend, or invite her to one that you may already be a part of. Meeting new people and entering a new space may be daunting at first, and is much easier with a good friend by your side.
Recognize Her Partner’s Feelings Too
All too often when discussing fertility and conception women are the subject of conversation. However, you shouldn’t forget about your male friends who are also looking forward to one day being parents. By supporting your female friends’ partners and your male friends, you are letting them know that their feelings are just as important throughout the TTC journey as their female counterparts. Men don’t have the opportunity to discuss conception and fertility as much as women do, and letting them know that they have a space to discuss how they feel throughout the TTC process is one small step to supporting all of your friends.
Everybody’s journey to parenthood is different, and these are just several of the many ways that you can be a great friend to those who are trying to grow or start their family.