**If you are someone who has been struggling with fertility challenges, please know that this article may be difficult to read.  We are here to support you and encourage you to reach out if you need help.**

Let me start out by saying this: You’re feelings are valid.

Say that outloud to yourself.  “My feelings are valid.”

Whether you are in the midst of struggling with infertility or you currently have a baby and struggled with fertility challenges in the past, I want you to know that whatever you are feeling is valid. 

There are a few things about fertility challenges that I want to highlight, but know that this is not a complete list.  While many emotions and struggles can come up for someone who is experiencing infertility or who has struggled with this in the past, I am only mentioning a few.

In my Matters of Motherhood Sunday (M.O.M.S.) Chat with Lynne Galbally, LPC this past weekend, we talked about the challenges that moms can experience both while trying to get pregnant and after having the child they tried so hard for.  

So, what are some important things that we want to talk about when we are on the topic of fertility struggles?

Disenfranchised Grief

If you’ve experienced fertility challenges, you may know this term. Disenfranchised grief is not the typical grief that someone goes through when you lose a loved one.  This type of grief often goes unnoticed, not honored and not talked about, which makes it that much more difficult to experience due to the lack of support. 

This can be so lonely and isolating, which can ultimately lead to anxiety and depression.  This grief is valid – you are allowed to feel grief during this process.  

Chronic Stressor

Unlike a stressful event that happens once and we need to recover from it, fertility challenges are a chronic stressor.  We have to realize that it’s all consuming – you are thinking about it day in and day out and often not talking about it. 

The physical aspect of fertility challenges are things that you have to think about constantly – what you eat and drink, medications, appointments, exercise.  And often these challenges can go on for years – that’s a long time to be on high alert and stressed.  

Give yourself grace and know that if you’re feeling stressed, chronically stressed, you are valid in your feelings.

Communication with Partners

Connecting with your partner throughout this whole process is key. Leaning on one another and opening up about how you are feeling can be crucial.  Lynne let us know that studies have shown that couples come out on the other side of fertility struggles even stronger and the most important thing that makes the difference is communication.

Our partner will deal with these struggles in different ways that we will.  It’s important to set aside time to talk to one other about what is going on, both physically and emotionally.

Your feelings about this process are valid and needing to communicate those feelings is important. 

Postpartum Mental Health after Fertility Challenges

Say you’ve been through fertility struggles and you finally have this baby that you’ve wanted for so long. So. Long.

And maybe you’re still struggling.  Maybe you are worried that you aren’t allowed to complain about motherhood because you tried so hard to get here. 

You might even have the thought that you aren’t sure you can do this.

Your feelings are valid. You are allowed to complain and you have the right, just like any other woman would, to feel stressed, worried, angry, etc.  You didn’t get to choose how you were going to feel postpartum and you deserve the support that any other mom would get.


We know that self-compassion can help with mental health struggles, but we also know how hard it is for moms to love themselves.  The negative self-talk can take over and lead to guilt, anxiety, depression.

Taking time to talk to yourself in a kind way can help.  Think about how you would talk to your best friend, or even how you would want your child to talk to themselves, and model that. 

You are doing your best. You are good enough. 

Resources for fertility struggles

Resolve – The National Infertility Association

Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar’s Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility

Postpartum Support International’s Fertility Challenges Support Group

Self-Compassion by Kristen Neff

Therapists and Counselors for Perinatal Mental Health

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