Coping with Mother's Day and Infertility

A special day set aside for celebrating motherhood can be challenging for those struggling with infertility. It can be particularly difficult to be faced with reminders of a deep and personal issue that can be hard on any given day. This mother's day, be sure to acknowledge your feelings and prepare yourself emotionally to handle questions that may come from family or friends as well as the kind of atmosphere you may be dealing with on a day that celebrates motherhood.

Be proactive and plan an enjoyable day

Decide ahead of time how you will spend the day. Choose an activity you will enjoy rather than waiting until the day comes to decide what to do. A day out in nature can be a special treat for both you and your partner. Or you can go and see the movie you have both been waiting for.

Focus on celebrating parents and/or grandparents

Mother's day is a special time for your parent's and grandparents. A family gathering may be a wonderful way to spend the day. However, if there are going to be other expecting parents there or a lot of small children, you may want to consider how it will affect you emotionally. If you think the gathering will bring you painful feelings, it may be better to visit your own mother or grandmother on a different day.

Be aware of potential painful situations

On mother's day, sometimes restaurants ask if you are a mother so they can give you a complimentary item. You don't have to avoid going to a restaurant; however, it helps if you are prepared so the question does not catch you off guard.

Speak to your Minister or Rabbi

Our religious leaders are very understanding and supportive of our struggles. Before attending a service, talk to your religious leader about what you are going through. Perhaps he or she will offer helpful words of support and/or say a prayer for those struggling to create a family.

Consider therapy if you are struggling emotionally

Infertility can become an overwhelming experience. If sadness and anxiety are taking over your life, it will be beneficial for you to see someone and receive support. A therapist can teach you coping strategies to relieve your stress and sadness. It is important to understand you are not alone. Therapy can help you through the experience and offer support as well as teach you valuable skills to get you through this challenging time. 

Pam Kelberg LCSW is a certified sex therapist practicing in Philadelphia. If you would lie to learn more, visit

Click here for more practitioners in your area offering infertility support.

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