Relationship therapist Dr. Laura Berman explains how to deal with well-meaning but painful questions from relatives
Over 6 million women struggle with infertility, and First Lady Michelle Obama is just one of many who bravely face this painful journey. However, the holidays can be a particularly painful time for couples who struggle from infertility.
Dr. Laura Berman, relationship therapist, television personality, radio host, and New York Timesbestselling author says:
“The holidays can be a very triggering time for many people, especially for are battling infertility. From Christmas cards which feature happy newborns and growing families to insensitive questions from relatives, it can be a very lonely and devastating season for millions of American women who have faced loss after loss.”
Dr. Berman offers the following tips for any couples who may be suffering this holiday season:
Prioritize self-care. “We feel pressure to accept every invitation and be present for every family event, yet if doing so harms us, then it is not a wise or loving choice,” says the couples’ therapist. “It’s okay to turn down events where you know you will be triggered, whether it’s because an elderly relative will be there nagging you about why you aren’t pregnant yet, or whether it’s because you aren’t ready to meet your cousin’s new baby. This doesn’t make you cold-hearted, rather it simply means you are taking time to care for yourself and your mental health.”
Have a rehearsed answer for rude questions. “If you know that you are going to hear ‘When is it your turn?’ a lot over the holidays, then practice a rehearsed answer to shut down such remarks. Have your partner do the same, and even enlist him to answer for you if that makes you more comfortable, such as by saying, ‘We don’t want to discuss that. How’s work going?’ Set a clear boundary and change the subject. You don’t owe anyone any further explanation,” says Dr. Berman.
Be honest if that feels right to you. “Not everyone wants to talk about infertility or their losses, and that’s perfectly okay,” says the couples’ therapist. “But many women feel that suffering alone adds to their isolation and hopelessness. In fact, First Lady Michelle Obama reported feeling similarly isolated and ashamed. Talking about our pain can be so healing and helpful. So, if it feels right to you, be honest with your close family and friends.”
Volunteer. “We know that volunteering can have an incredibly positive impact on a person’s mental health,” says Dr. Laura Berman. “Collecting toys for kids in need or spending time at a local soup kitchen can help you to focus on something other than your own pain, all while doing good in your own community at the same time.”
Focus on fun. “Couples know that they need to enjoy lots of love-making in order to increase their chance of conception, but when it comes to making babies, not all lubricants are created equal,” explains Dr. Berman. “There is only one lubricant on the market which has an FDA-cleared formula and is recommended for fertility enhancement, and that is ToConcieve. Make the most of your holiday love-making with your spouse by using ToConcieve to support you on your fertility journey.”
ToConcieve was created by ob-gyns in conjunction with Callitas Health Inc. (CSE: LILY, OTCBB: MPHMF, FWB: T3F2). The fertility enhancing gel is unlike any other fertility product on the market in that it actually encourages the woman’s body to create more of her own lubricant, which in turn may increase the activation of sperm and the woman’s chances of pregnancy. Unlike every other lubricant on the market, ToConceive doesn’t just add chemical lubricants to a woman’s body, it actually encourages her to make more of her own natural lubricant which not only adds to her pleasure, but also may improve her chances of natural conception.