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    Any tips on what to say/what not to say to a sibling that is struggling with infertility?


    There’s probably not much you can do for them, other than be there for them and let them know that they have your total support.

    The Wolf


    Say nothing – let them feel normal. I had a period of a few years between children and the best times were when there was noone trying to guess what was going on or trying to only say certain things.

    Do try to be sensitive with babies and discussing baby things and how cute the kids look. There is alot of pain that you cannot take away regardless of how well meaning you are.

    Ultimatly each person is different so what worked for me may not work for them.

    there was a time I was unable to go to a bris or be in a room with other newborns


    i think that you just have to be sensitive and not be “tip-toeing” around them and never saying anything about your kids for fear of hurting them. be natural and normal and know that no matter what you do its a hard thing for them to go through and you will never be able to understand and never should have to!


    what should i say to a close friend who just suffered a miscarriage in her 3rd month. baby would not have been healthy and she has other children but its so hard. I just read an article about saying “at least” when someone goes through a hard time. It is the worst thing!


    Do NOT attempt to tell them the reason WHY they are having the nisayon.

    Just be supportive and let them know you care and that you are davening for them.

    Tell them to just turn a “deaf ear” to foolish people who may make foolish comments (like… “so what are you two waiting for to have kids?”)


    There’s nothing to say, and you shouldn’t say. Just act normal. That’s what she wants.

    DON’T make her a Nebach. She’s not a Nebach. She’s just going through a very hard Nisayon.

    Don’t ALWAYS talk about your kids, but don’t keep that subject taboo either. Kids exist in this world and that woman knows it. If you try to make believe that children don’t exist, then YOU ARE HURTING HER. She will realize.

    It’s ok to tell her when you’re pregnant, and no, don’t leave it for your 7th month. Tell her early enough.

    Don’t tell her what an “easy” and calm life she has without kids, or how much free time she has, or how hectic your life is with kids.

    And of course, always be there with a listening ear and just listen and listen and cry along with her.


    Just tell her that you love her. That is all you can say. To the one who lost her pregnancy, if you are close to her and she knows you knew she was pregnant, tell her you are sorry for her loss. Ask her if there is anything she needs, if she wants company, if you can make a meal for her, if she wants to go out? And let her know that you care about her and you are there for her anytime she needs you. That is all you can do.

    No one wants sympathy only compassion. No one wants to hear that you also have tzoris they don’t wish their tzoris on anyone else. And no one knows what they are going through because feelings are personal to each individual.


    Give them suport when they need it, (not when your chesed acount is running low) and when they need space respect it.


    Give them suport when they need it, (not when your chesed acount is running low) and when they need space respect it.


    The same way you would treat her, would she not be suffering from infertility. She’s not allergic to kids, neither to that topic. Include her in all you do, and never stop talking when she enters the room. May she be zocha to be a mother of her own very soon, and may all her/your suffering come to an end.


    Make sure you dont treat them lk real nebuchcases!!

    tomim tihye

    I’ll just repeat that which was already said.

    Be very careful not to

    minimize/trivialize/make light of/invalidate/and all synonyms

    their pain.


    “You’re only married two years!”

    “You’re in your twenties- you could still have 15 kids.”

    “I know someone who had their first baby after thirty years.”




    Please allow me to put my 2 cents in. As half of a couple struggling with infertility for 19 years I feel that perhaps I may be somewhat qualified to respond.

    First of all there are no 2 couples alike and everyone takes things differently. I can only speak from our experience. There is no greater hurt or pain than when siblings treat us like outcasts or tiptoe around us. We’re not nebachs and we too have feelings and excluding us or avoiding conversations regarding family including children is hurtful and alienating.

    As I said we’re human with genuine feelings and include us in your lives……….all of it.

    I hope I was of some help.


    Firstly, I would like to commend all of you. I am very impressed with all the replies thus far.

    I am speaking from experience – my husband and I are married over 9 years and have not yet been zoche to children. Unfortunatley, I have had all kinds of comments and suggestions said to me. Some from very close family members – those hurt the most. It really depends if your friend has ever said anything to you about her situtation. If she has not, then all you can say is something like – I just want you to know I’m here if you ever need anything. Do not offer advice, tell her you know how she feels, segulos…. Unfortunatley, the world of infertility can be very scary. We often feel alone and isolated. The important thing is to just act normal towards her. Don’t constantly talk about your kids to her but on the other hand don’t never. Don’t stop talking about diapers, babies…when she walks in the room. Just be normal. There are also wonderful organizations out there that help couples struggling with infertility – A TIME and Bonei Olam.

    Kudos to you for caring enough to ask for advice before saying anything to her.

    Wishing everyone a Chag Kasher V’Sameach.


    Did anyone here ever read the poem “When Caring People Stumble”?


    “There’s nothing to say, and you shouldn’t say. Just act normal. That’s what she wants.”

    who said the sibling was a female, speaking as a male who is unfertile we suffer too.


    I agree with the suggestions to just be normal. Treat them as anyone else.

    If the it is your brother or sister who is suffering, and you know FOR CERTAIN that they want children and are considering IVF, I don’t think it would be inappropriate to ask if they want or need financial assistance. IVF is very expensive.


    Please allow me to add:

    Never give unsolicited advice to couples experiencing infertility.

    As “bitachon613” mentioned, there are great organizations that are staffed by professionals and are geared to give the proper advise and guidance.


    Many friends of mine have been discussing for the past 3 weeks about the fact that they are dreading Pesach… it is very hard.

    SENSITIVITY at a normal level is really all that is wanted.

    They want to see your kids… they dont want it in their face.

    They want to be treated normal…

    They DONT want to be stuck babysitting your kids or doing all the work arounf the house cuz all the mommy and tatty siblings are busy with their kids and cant help. They dont want to be stuck cleaning up after you and your kids b/c of the same reason.

    They want to be acknowledged and not made nebuch.

    whatever you do… DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS about their personal life and if they have been to a Dr and anything like that. Trust me- if they want to share it they will. My policy in life (not just infertility but in all sitch) is I dont ask questions abt ur life- but I am here to listen and be a shoulder to lean on if you need to talk.

    My sister married many years no kids, got pregnant and lost the kid in 6th month, we all wanted to know info and be there for her but we were careful not to probe. and she confided in me that the worst feeling she has is when ppl come and bring it up, or give her hugs and mussar and “chizuk” and all the stuff she didnt ask for. Just move on and have a regular conversation and thats it!

    If you are a sibling YOUNGER than your older sibling of IF and have kids, your sibling doesnt hate you (prob. loves you) but it is very hard. Still be sensitive yet dont hide things from them. give them the respect of an older sibling.

    Have a good Yom tov! Hope nobody has to dread Yomtov this year!

    Original Poster— it is very kind of you to be concerned and ask so that you can be there for your sibling! Kol Hakavod!


    The Goq- these suggestions are for the couple as a whole. We just keep saying “she” because woman are more social and can therefore have more challenges with people saying wrong things, and because generally, women are more sensitive.

    In any case, “she” means “they”!


    no what you mean to say cookie is that men are made of stone and dont suffer from childlessness like women do this is an old double standard, my life has been affected very negatively by my inability to have children, im sick of people thinking only women suffer , only older single girls suffer not the men, only barren women suffer not the men this is wrong and hurtful, i have feelings do you know why? because im human respect the fact that suffering is not a one way street


    Goq….How do you cope with pain of such magnitude?

    Also,I have friends who are single moms (divorced/widowed) with kids,and would not necessarily complain about a guy who cannot.

    Mods,if this post is too personal,feel free to delete.


    ty eclipse we all have are tests and do our best to cope you are not a stranger to pain may we all comfort each other


    Goq, of course men in these situations have it very hard too. I have a neighbor who was childless and the wife was always so upbeat while the man was always walking around with a gloomy face. I guess it’s just that usually the men COVER UP better(doesn’t mean their problem doesn’t exist), and women give it out more.

    My heart always goes out to childless couples as a whole, and chas vsholom not only for the wife. (Especially that he has to put up with his wife in a bad mood all the time!)


    With all due respect to all of you who have never gone through the trials and tribulations of infertility and childlessness regardless to your having family or friends in this situation, you will never understand, know or comprehend in the minutest way what we go through or feel.

    Having said that, what right do you have to speculate or give ideas or advice? Husband and wife are equal in the journey.

    So, unless you’re in this situation or have been don’t just shoot off nonsensical drivel.


    Don’t make promises! Don’t say something like A year from now you will have made a brit because well if in a year she has not she will feel worse.

    As a good rule of thumb, say what would I want to hear if it was me?

    That being said my wife and I went threw this and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


    I think you have to read your sibling’s cues and follow them. If s/he is private about it, don’t talk about it at all. Just act natural and normal and keep things comfortable. If s/he’s the type who’s very open about it, offer a listening ear and words of chizuk without being judgmental or making them feel like a nebach case.


    the goq – yeah, i hate when people make both of those problems just women issues; people don’t realize that there are tons of older boys/men single and suffering, and that men suffer just as much with infertility issues and the pain of not having children.

    it’s very difficult for shalom bayis these issues.

    on other hand, i think, everyone gave great answers – treat person as normal and don’t probe. and if they give you some info. – take it, and don’t probe for more.

    also, if do have one child – don’t ask if now they don’t have any more issues, or what was the problem, etc.

    if you do have money, can definitely offer financial help in nice way – or through an organization or something to give them the help, can be quite costly – not just IVF.


    someone wrote don’t say that you can still have 15 children – what’s wrong with that?


    I don’t get it. Why is everyone acting like all couples who struggle with infertility are one and the same?

    Just because one couple prefers total privacy, doesn’t mean that another would like to share what’s happening with close family/friends.

    And just because it’s too painful for one couple to spend a lot of time around their neices and nephews, doesn’t mean that another couple doesn’t actually ENJOY the opportunity to hang around the kids.

    Shouldn’t we just use the rule that Mother In Israel wrote: Read your sibling’s cues and follow them?


    my heart breaks for all these couples! may they all have a yeshua fast!

    i don’t think it’s nice to say “i know what you feel like/i can just imagine your pain!”.

    because you really can’t! every situation is different and there is no way you can understand or truly know what tzar they are in!

    the best is if you just say ” i can’t even imagine how hard this is for you. if i can be of any help please let me know”!

    may hashem have rachmonos on all of klal yisroel and may we all be zoche to the guela shlayma soon!


    Goq hit the nail on the head – Men suffer just like women suffer. I was quite surprised that there are no support groups for men like the women have. I think men give off a tougher image but on the inside we have feelings just like anybody else. After a late miscarriage I remember crying for months about it. it is 4 years later and I can still cry about. BH I have 3 of my own now but I have been down that road for a number of years and I call the men “silent victims”


    No one is denying that men suffer as well. Like I said in a previous post, I am struggling with infertility so I know first hand. We all know that women are much more emotional men and therefore express it more. As far as support groups for men – I am very involved with A TIME and it is always so hard to get a group of men together. Most of them are more closed about it. Feel free to visit and see all the services they offer. They do also have forums you can register for (only for people experiencing infertility). People post all kinds of questions, advicve….It’s just a place we can go to and feel comfortable. Hatzlacha to all!

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