More than 7 million American women struggle with infertility in the United States—and about 1 in 8 couples—yet it remains one of the most difficult topics to talk about among friends. No one seems to know exactly what to say to someone who has been trying for months or years to get pregnant, going through IVF treatment, or dealing with the emotional and physical aftermath of a miscarriage, so they often remain silent or blurt out a sentiment that means well but comes out all wrong.
“Maybe you’re not meant to have a baby. Have you thought about adoption?” or, “Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure the next one will stick!”
That’s why this new commercial from American Greetings has resonated with so many viewers (it’s been watched on Facebook more than 900,000 times—just make sure you have a tissue ready before you click). It hits all the familiar, heartbreaking notes for those struggling to start or expand their family: Trying to keep it together while your friends ooh and ahh over adorable clothes at a baby shower, that brief moment of hope, and then despair, while taking a home pregnancy test, trying to keep up that same sense of hope while waiting in a cold, clinical doctor’s office.
And yes, it’s about selling greeting cards, but the message the commercial sends is a powerful one that can be written on a card, typed in an email, or just spoken out loud to a friend.
The most helpful thing you can say is: “I’m here for you. You’re not alone.”
American Greetings is also teaming up with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association to provide advice for friends and family who want to support a loved one going through fertility struggles. Elizabeth Grill, Psy. D, and a member of the board of directors for RESOLVE, advises on American Greetings’ blog, “Sometimes, all it takes is just showing up and telling the person that you care and that you are there to listen and/or lend support. Don’t try to solve the problem or give unsolicited advice. Instead, ask how you can help provide support, LISTEN to what the person’s needs are, and be prepared for those needs to change on a daily—even hourly—basis.” Wise advice to help support anyone in your life going through any medical challenge.