Infertility / Family Building
For women and couples experiencing infertility, stress and distress are common. Whether a woman has been unable to conceive or whether she has conceived but experienced subsequent pregnancy loss, the sadness from not being able to have a baby can be profound. In fact, studies have shown relatively high levels of anxiety and depression in women experiencing infertility, with the distress increasing as women progress into more intensive or protracted Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Therapeutic support, with an emphasis on mindfulness-based techniques for reducing distress, has been indicated as a way to reduce the stress of infertility.*
Utilizing third party reproduction (e.g., donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryo, surrogate or gestational carrier) may also bring up complexities as women and men seek to expand their families, whether they are doing so due to infertility or because of being a same sex couple or single parent by choice. Getting support for navigating the decision making and emotional process of utilizing third party reproduction as well as exploring ways to understand family and relationships with “birth others” (e.g., donors, gestational carriers, and others involved in conceiving/carrying a child)** before or after your baby is born can be invaluable. In therapy, intended parents and parents of children born through third party reproduction often benefit from exploring and understanding their thoughts and feelings on this experience and developing helpful ways of talking with their children and others about their child’s origins.
Having professionally trained in the Mind/Body Program for Infertility with Alice Domar, Ph.D. as well as in supporting intended parents utilizing third party reproduction, I aim to help you ease the emotional challenges associated with infertility, ART, or third party reproduction. I will assist you in developing coping skills and tools that can enhance your health and well-being during the journey of family building and beyond. I also can help you examine the meaning of family building as you navigate decisions around ART, third party reproduction, adoption, or explore the idea of living without children.
Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Resources:
* from "Infertility and the Mind/Body Connection" by Alice Domar, Ph.D in The Female Patient, Volume 30, July 2005
** from “Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families” by Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D. (2005)
To schedule a free 15-minute consultation, please contact me.