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5 Ways Your Partner Can Help During IVF

This article first appeared on Danica Thornberry's The Seed Fertilty blog. You can ask Thornberry your questions about infertilty during a streaming Facebook Live interview 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, where editor Madeline Holler and Thornberry discuss "Stick It To Me, Baby: Inserting Spirit Into the Science of Infertility" and The Seed Fertility program. Look on Mom.me for details. Thornberry is an acupuncturist, healer and fertility specialist who uses spiritual concepts to heal infertility.

The entire focal point of an IVF protocol is about how the woman, in particular, is performing. With so many expectations on her body, so many ups and downs, and emotional reactions that naturally pop up in this very unnatural process, how can your partner better support you during IVF and feel more involved in general?

RELATED: The One Question You Should Never Ask an Infertile Couple

Here’s what we suggest to partners who are helping their women in The Seed Program:

1. Focus on the facts vs. the emotions

Partners are usually able to be more objective throughout the IVF protocol because they are not on additional hormones, and their body is not the vessel for something with such high-stakes. Partners: As best as you can, be the anchor into the present moment when her emotions and hormones are running high. Remind your woman to stay in the present moment during each part of the cycle, and remind her not to attach too much feeling to each result that comes at each phase.

2. Bring your problem-solving skills

Tell her, “We will figure it out somehow – either how to pay for IVF again if necessary or we will figure out what the problem is.” Be the calming, reassuring voice of reason when she feels anxious or out of control, or if it doesn’t work the first time and you have to do it again.

When both partners have the tools they need to support one another and the willingness to work together, they have a greater sense of control at a time that feels so out of control.

3. Keep her laughing

Laughing will help lighten her mood while she’s taking shots and dealing with disappointment and frustration of having to do IVF in the first place. You know her best – what make her smile, chuckle, or full on belly laugh?

4. Goals

Focus on the end goal instead of being derailed by emotions and the fluctuating news that comes as the cycle unfolds. Remind her of other times when the two of you reached a goal together because you refused to give up.

5. Good sperm

Commit to making the best sperm possible for the sample, using foods and lifestyle changes that will support your efforts. For example, reduce the amount of alcohol and/or smoking, keep your work stress in check, drink more water and eat foods that are symbolic of a high sperm count (like chia seeds and seeds in general!).

RELATED: What It's Like to be a Fertile Infertile

When both partners have the tools they need to support one another and the willingness to work together, they have a greater sense of control at a time that feels so out of control.

If you’re doing IVF and feel like your partner could benefit from these tips, please pass them along, and good luck!

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