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Mother's Day is Devastating for Women Facing Infertility

Genetics & IVF Institute Offers Tips for Coping with the Holiday

FAIRFAX, Va., May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mother's Day is excruciating for millions of women coping with infertility, which affects at least 6 million American women. "All of my clients dread Mother's Day," says Phyllis Martin, a therapist affiliated with the Genetics & IVF Institute (, a comprehensive infertility treatment center based in Fairfax, VA. "Women who are distressed by Mother's Day need to find a way to 'take back the day,'" Ms. Martin added.

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To help women who are facing infertility cope with Mother's Day, the fertility experts of Genetics & IVF Institute offer the following tips:

1. Share your feelings with your partner, family and friends. Understanding how you feel will help them understand why you may choose to avoid certain events or places on Mother's Day.

2. Don't feel guilty or ashamed of your feelings about Mother's Day. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself emotionally - even if it means changing traditional plans for the day.

3. Consider ways to protect yourself from emotionally charged situations. Instead of going to a restaurant with your mother on Sunday, for example, you might plan to spend Saturday with her instead or celebrate at home rather than eating out. (Many family groups with small children celebrate Mother's Day in restaurants, and seeing those happy interactions can be painful for women who fear they will never celebrate with children of their own. It also can be difficult for would-be mothers when restaurant staff ask female guests if they are mothers because they provide flowers or other gifts to moms on Mother's Day. Saying that she is not a mother can be devastating for a woman who is concerned about her fertility.)

4. Remember that some churches ask mothers to stand during services to be recognized on Mother's Day. Ask your clergy to find a way to recognize women who are trying to become mothers, too.

5. Spend the day doing something you love - perhaps by enjoying a sport, hobby, movie or other activity that will engage you.

6. Honor your own efforts to become a mother or develop a strategy with your husband or partner to honor your efforts - perhaps by lighting a candle, planting a tree, wearing an angel pin or doing something else that is significant for you.

7. Avoid malls and other shopping centers right before Mother's Day when store displays and counters are loaded with items promoted as Mother's Day gifts.

8. Focus on the future and how you will achieve your goal of becoming a mother. Adoption is an option, but if properly treated, most women can become pregnant through advanced reproductive treatment, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and in vitro fertilization using donor eggs.

Support groups can be extremely helpful for individuals grappling with the emotional effects of infertility. Ms. Martin facilitates a group for people interested in donor egg and a general infertility support group at Genetics & IVF Institute's principal clinic in Fairfax, VA. To learn more, please visit

Founded in 1984, Genetics & IVF Institute provides expert diagnosis and an unparalleled range of treatments and services to overcome infertility, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor sperm, donor eggs, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and other techniques. GIVF has created more than 16,000 pregnancies worldwide.

SOURCE Genetics & IVF Institute
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