How to Support Friends Doing IVF

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When you don’t know how it can be tricky to support your friends doing IVF.

IVF and infertility aren’t talked about much, especially when you consider that 1 in 8 couples are experiencing this difficulty.

So in this post, I wanted to give you some ideas of how you can help and support those friends. 

We often hear that it takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes it takes a village to get pregnant too.

Providing that support can be priceless and deepen your friendship.

As we go through these, keep in mind they may not be right for everyone but they should help you to come up with ideas for your friendship.

1. Send encouraging messages.

Maintaining a positive mindset after months and months of negative pregnancy tests can take regular practice. 

Sending encouragement can be so helpful, especially if your friend is having a rough day.

Even a simple, “You’re going to be a great parent” or “I’m so proud of you” can go a long way.

Funny memes or videos are great too. They don’t have to be about fertility, just something that’ll make her smile or laugh.

Set a regular calendar reminder to add it to your routine.

Positive reminders are excellent around holidays that may be hard for them like Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas.

You can also just send them randomly, anytime you think of them.

A text, email, direct message, or even regular mail like a cute card are all great options.

If you need some ideas, I regularly post encouraging messages on Instagram @katydidliving

Pinterest image with greenery (leafy branches) in woven basket. Text overlay says, "On the blog: How to Support Friends going thru IVF"

2. Bring over a meal or have one delivered.

Especially if they are doing their stimulation shots or if you know when their egg retrieval is, helping out with a meal is a great surprise.

It’s a really busy and stressful time, so having one less thing to worry about is amazing. 

And with cramping, it can be difficult to stand up and cook a whole meal.

With delivery, it makes it easy to do even if you don’t live close.

My parents have had Bob Evan’s meals sent to us and my sister brought takeout after an egg retrieval.

Home Fresh has meals ready to pop in the oven that can be delivered or picked up at Kroger grocery stores.

After my endo excision surgery, Josh ordered several Hello Fresh meals per week to make meal planning and grocery shopping easier during my recovery.

3. Offer to help your friend with housework during their IVF cycle.

I know this isn’t fun – who likes housework? But lending a hand for just 10 minutes can make such a difference. Seriously.

It’s a tremendous way to support your friends while they’re doing IVF.

Dishes, laundry, and vacuuming all take a back seat when you are bloated and cramping. 

I realize that my experience with stims may have been worse than what most women experience, but when my mom stopped by and just caught up on dishes real fast (I didn’t ask, she just did it) it took such a weight off me. 

At that point, I was so bloated that I looked at least 6 months pregnant and could barely stand up straight from the cramping and pain.

I was also emotional and there may have been tears of appreciation… so, yeah… it can mean way more than you realize.

Basket of laundry

RELATED: Best Fertility Books

4. Offer to help with pets or older kids.

On the day of my most recent egg retrieval, my mom came over and let our dogs out. The retrieval process isn’t very long, a few hours, but our clinic is a 2-hour drive one way. 

Being gone for so long, it definitely helped to have that support.

My sibs have also stopped by and let the dogs out when I’ve had terrible periods and couldn’t get out of bed.

It’s something I appreciate more than they’ll ever know.

If your friend has kids already they may need extra help all the more.

5. Listen to them.

If you haven’t been through infertility then you may not realize how all-encompassing it can be in someone’s life. 

It takes over your world. It can be difficult to find balance when your life is put on pause and revolves around doctor appointments and test results, eating a certain way, and doing all the things to try to boost your fertility. Like an obsession.

Sometimes you just need to be able to talk about it with someone you trust. Because there is a bit of a stigma around infertility and it doesn’t feel safe to talk about it with just anyone.

Listening to your friends can be one of the best ways to support them while they’re doing IVF.

So even if it seems like that’s all your friend can talk about these days, remember you might be the only one they trust to talk about it with. 

If you want to share a story about your kids just ask them if they’d be comfortable hearing about them. 

If I’m comfortable hearing about a friend’s kids I’ll ask about them. 

I do want to know how things are with my friends and their lives. I know their kids are big parts of that and I know my comfort limits. I’ve found it easier to hear about older kids rather than newborns.

Reassure them that it’ll be worth it and that they’ll be a great parent. Point out the qualities that you know will make them great parents.

You don’t have to have gone through the same thing or even fully understand in order to be supportive and encouraging.

If your friend has a hard time talking about anything else and you just can’t stand it, try guiding them to other topics.

Ask leading questions like:

What movies have you watched recently?

What’s the last book you read?

You can encourage her to try a new hobby with you. Creative activities like wreath-making or painting are fun options. 

Valentine-themed ribbon wreath hanging on door. Making wreaths, or other creative activities are fun ways to support friends doing IVF.

Or you could try hiking or start a fun book club. 

Or maybe one of the following:

  • pilates class
  • watch your fav rom-com
  • get manicures or pedicures
  • have a girl’s weekend
  • go to brunch
  • tie-dye shirts
  • paint pottery
  • plan a scavenger hunt

Connecting with common interests that have nothing to do with babies will help your relationship and give her a reprieve from thinking about all the fertility stuff. She might not even realize how much she needs it.

RELATED: Egg Retrieval for IVF: Tips & Recovery

6. Give them a heads-up.

If you or someone you both know is pregnant, let your friend know in private. 

An email is a great option since it gives her time to process that information in the way she needs and with privacy to feel the feelings that come up.

It’s absolutely possible to be really happy for someone else and at the same time feel sad, frustrated, and angry about your own situation.

If you have plans with them like you’re going shopping, but you want to look at baby items let them know in advance and give them an out. 

They might be having a bad day and just can’t handle it. Being considerate will go a looong way.

Don’t sneak over to the baby section and make a purchase hoping they won’t notice. They will. I can tell you from experience- it stings.

If you see a baby item you can always go back to that store on your own.

Remember it won’t always be like this. Your friend is going through something difficult and traumatic. 

Supporting her now will strengthen your relationship and show her that she can really trust you.

Having someone to rely on is so valuable.

How will you support your friends doing IVF?

I hope this post has given you some ideas for how to support your friends going through IVF. It can be a difficult and very time-consuming ordeal. 

Be patient and encouraging. 

Give her space if she needs it, but know that she cares about you.

Have a great day!

Katy from

Hi, my name is Katy. I started this blog to help you infuse life with ease and joy by sharing recipes and tips for your fertility and lifestyle.

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