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What is infertility coaching?

infertility tips ivf Jan 18, 2022

Whether you’ve been on your infertility journey for years or just realized you’ll need assisted reproductive technology to grow your family, it’s common to have questions about infertility coaching. Most have heard of life coaching, or therapy, and maybe even fertility coaching but not infertility coaching.

So today, I want to let you into my world as an infertility/IVF coach so you can learn if working together might be a good fit for you.

Life Coach vs. Therapist

People always ask about the differences and benefits of a life coach vs. a therapist. 

Therapists receive a degree from school and are certified to practice on a state by state basis. Therapy looks deeply at your past to see how it impacts you today. It has a big focus on fixing or healing wounds from your past.

For life coaching, there is no degree or certification required to work. That said, there are  accreditations and certifications for life coaches, it’s just not required to practice. A life coach can work with anyone anywhere, there’s no limitations on locations. 

 More so than therapy, coaching is about taking something that’s already good and making it even better (this means you and your life)! Rather than focusing on the past, it’s about looking forward, setting a goal and moving forward to reach that goal. In coaching, we believe everyone is whole and capable of anything. 

That’s really the biggest difference– coaching is about looking ahead to reach a goal, and therapy is about fixing the past. 

What does a life coach do?

I believe that having a life coach will change your life. It impacted my life so much that I decided to become one. Coaching can be offered in a lot of different ways. One option is to do coaching one-on-one which can take place in person, over the phone, or on Zoom or another video conferencing platform.

There are also options for group coaching, which means there are more people on a call (no matter what medium or tool is used for the meeting). In this case, you would be more open about sharing what you’re going through with the group. Usually a group program brings people together with similar goals so that whatever is being coached on is relatable to others. I can’t even begin to tell you how cool it is when you’re in a group coaching call and someone else puts into words exactly how you’re feeling AND gets coaching on it! It’s also a great way to build a sense of community with support through the same life stage.

There are pros and cons to both options so it’s really about what’s best for your life and schedule.

Some life coaches are more general and can work with anyone on anything. Then there are more niched coaches like weight-loss coaches, business coaches or marriage coaches. In my case, I’ve chosen to work with women going through infertility and IVF. That is my niche.

There is always the option of working with a more general life coach and talking about your infertility. My personal opinion of the downside of that is their lack of awareness about infertility. So many of my clients appreciate that they don’t have to spend any time educating me on terminology, next steps or more because I’ve experienced it firsthand and know.

On the flip side, because I am a life coach, it means that you can work with me to talk about other things besides infertility. To be honest, I've worked with women on every aspect of their lives. From their relationship to their mom, how to handle work pressure, their spouses, and weight goals.

The impact of coaching

  • Imagine going through the entire IVF process and realizing that you didn’t put your life on hold in the process. 
  • Imagine that during IVF, your relationships got better with your spouse, with your parents, and with your friends (even the super fertile ones who always say the wrong thing).
  • Imagine not feeling emotionally triggered every time you hear about a pregnancy announcement. 
  • Imagine having more hope, optimism and belief it will work than fear and dread.
  • Imagine loving your body and knowing that it’s doing everything it can do, and that you are doing everything you can do. 
  • Imagine knowing that you’ve got a team of people behind you working behind the scenes on the medical side, the emotional side and knowing you’re doing what you can on your side. 
  • Imagine sleeping better at night and having more energy. 
  • Imagine bringing back the joy and fun in your life that seems to have gone away.

These are just some of the effects and benefits of working with a coach. While the focus might be infertility coaching, life coaching impacts every area in your life. 

There is always value in working with and having the perspective of somebody else, especially someone that’s been through it. That’s what mattered to me most. I wanted to work with someone who had been through IVF because they understood all of the language, the acronyms, and what not to say. That might not be what everybody wants or needs, but that was what was special to me.

And that’s what I can offer. I work with women going through IVF because I’ve gone through IVF and I know what it’s like.

 I have the perspective of being at the top of the mountain that you are climbing. I bring a different viewpoint. I can see the whole forest and valley and I can tell you how to take that next step to move forward. 

I always work with people who are already working with doctors on the medical side of the IVF process and consider myself an added member of your team. The medical side is not my lane at all (though I’ve certainly learned a lot over the years). I am just there to give perspective on other practices or ideas, and also to help you advocate for yourself, ask the right questions, and make sure you’re getting the bedside manner that you want and deserve. I can’t tell you how often I’ve had to reassure a client that she’s not being needy by asking the nurse for more specific information.

I get it, you can be hard on yourself. Every woman thinks they are the worst patient. You are understandably hormotional. But it’s important to get the information you need to feel comfortable and you have every right to ask all the questions. Sometimes just getting that permission to do so is worth everything. 

I can also provide sound judgment because I’m no longer in the weeds. I’m not hormotional, I’m not trying anymore, I’m not pregnant. There is real value in that perspective as well as in first-hand experience. One of the most extensive ways to learn something is to do it yourself.  I am a big sister and I’ve always been the one giving advice on the things that I’ve learned. And that is one of the big things I’m doing alongside coaching to share some of that value. 

One of the biggest values in working with a coach through infertility is that It’s a team effort. Infertility is one of the most isolating experiences, so imagine having a teammate who is coming to you from a place of love. Who is coming for you, caring for you, rooting for you. They believe in you and they believe for you when you don’t. I know that there are days when you don’t believe anymore, even if you’re doing all the right things. A coach can hold that space for you. I can hold that space for you.

What to expect from coaching 

Someone once told me that a coach is your very own personal champion, they have your best interest at heart, and they give you the space to believe it can happen. When going through infertility, so often there are steps and moments along the way that let you believe this might not work, that remind you this hasn’t happened yet. When you’re going through something really hard, it’s so important to talk to someone who believes in you and believes it is possible. 

There is so much value in having that dedicated time week after week to just spend time believing, having positive vision moments, and thinking about the future and what it’s going to be like when it works, you’re pregnant, things are easier and you’re not second guessing every choice of yours. 

A coach is somebody who sees the future version of you. That’s what’s going to motivate and inspire you.You’ll have dedicated time to work on you which can be so difficult when going through the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s easy to neglect putting yourself at the top of your to-do list, but having an hour of time dedicated to you each week can be life changing.

Coaching also offers a space to talk it out. You get to talk out whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re going through. It’s time that is all about you and what you need. 

When you sign up for coaching, you’ve made a commitment. You have accountability to yourself and you can’t make excuses anymore. 

Coaching is safe. It’s 100% confidential and it is a place to vent. It can help your relationships just to get the venting portion out to someone else so that you’re not bottling it all up for your partner. Better yet, you can vent about your partner, or your awkward friends who won’t stop asking when you’re going to have a baby. You can show up as you. 

A coach will always tell you the truth, which sometimes may not be what you want to hear, but it’s about getting the results you want and not quitting on yourself. 

Imagine being out with your best friend or sister and being able to talk about yourself 100%. They know the information and they have the advice, but they never switch the conversation topic to themselves. It’s all about you.

Finally, it’s fun! Someone is holding your hand every step of the way and knows that you will be ok no matter what happens. 

Working with me

 When I work with clients, I work on four main things:

  1. Growing your confidence that it can happen and that you can do hard things
  2. Knowing what to expect every step of the way. What are the possible outcomes and what can you expect based on where you are in the process?
  3. Building a tool kit filled with tips and tactics to handle the emotional rollercoaster
  4. Making joy a part of your life again, even while in the wait

If you’re reading this and you feel like any of this would benefit you, let’s set up a call! 

This blog post comes from an Infertility Workshop Kristin hosted that also includes more information about what goes on behind the scenes on the medical side from the Medical Director from Fertility Center of the Carolinas. Watch the full workshop here. 

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