9 things NOT to say to someone who’s struggling to get pregnant

Posted in Getting Pregnant.

It can be a very emotional time when you’re desperately trying for a baby. And while friends and family mean well, often they end up saying all the wrong things which just makes it worse.

Not sure what they are? Here are nine things never to say to someone who is struggling to conceive.

1. “You just need to relax”

Relax? Right now they are anything but relaxed and telling them to zen out isn’t going to make it happen – even if it might be the right thing to do.

2. “I fell pregnant so easily!”

That’s great for you but very insensitive to them and adds to any feelings of inadequacy and failure they are possibly having.  

3. “I hated being pregnant”

While pregnancy can be challenging for some, it doesn’t help to highlight this right now, especially when all the person wants is to be pregnant. 

Woman with head in hands

4. “Try (insert therapy/diet/position) it really works”

Chances are they’ve already tried numerous techniques, natural therapies, treatments, vitamins and perhaps even IVF, to no avail. To point out things they probably already know, could suggest you don’t think they’re trying hard enough. Remember, what works for one person or couple may not work for another. 

5. “Maybe it’s not supposed to happen now”

Suggesting that the universe has some grand plan for them is not helpful. They want a baby now, not in five years time when their eggs are older and fewer, and all their friends have had at least three kids.

6. “I bet you’re having lots of sex!”

Trying for a baby might be fun for the first few months but when you’re talking years with fertility drugs and a schedule of when and how to do it, the romance and fun sure does go out of the experience quickly. Having so much sex can be a constant chore and they don’t need to be reminded of it. 

Ovulation calendar - feature

7. “Don’t worry, it will happen soon”

While it sounds reassuring, the reality is there is no way to know that this is true. They worry constantly about if and when it’s going to happen, so “soon” is not good enough anyway.

8. “At least you already have another child”

Being reminded of how lucky they are to already have a child doesn’t help someone who desperately wants another one. Already highly emotional and sensitive, it will probably just make them feel selfish and upset. 

9. “There’s always adoption”

Adoption is a wonderful option for some couples and gives many children in desperate need of a home a safe and loving family, but saying this to them right now might make them feel like they need to give up trying for their own child, which they might not be ready to do yet.

What you CAN do instead

Obviously, every person and situation is very individual, but the best thing you can do to really support someone going through a hard time trying to conceive is to just be there for them. Rather than offering any solutions or opinions, all you really need to to do is: 

  • Be empathetic
  • Be a good listener
  • Give them a big hug and a shoulder to cry on
  • Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help
  • Be available if they want to go out or do something to take their mind off it all


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