I know the journey to become a parent is not always straight-forward. As a former fertility patient, who became a mom through donor-conception after an infertility diagnosis significantly changed how my partner and I could build a family, I know how deeply personal the family-building journey can be, and how much it can profoundly impact your life.
Whether facing fertility challenges, or seeking fertility options for reasons other than infertility (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity, single parent by choice, medical or genetic diagnosis), the range of emotions and experiences that each person goes through during journeys with fertility is unique.
I provide non-biased support to individuals and couples wherever they are in their process, including emotional counselling and help to empower informed decision-making through the assisted fertility journey. I also work with egg donors, sperm donors, surrogates, and embryo donors on their path to help someone else become a parent.
Fertility counselling – ongoing
For those who have experienced difficulty conceiving and loss, and/or who are using assisted reproduction to build a family, the fertility journey can often involve profound emotions and complex decisions. The time of pregnancy and the postpartum period can also be a particularly vulnerable time given the immense changes occurring during this time, and particularly after difficult conception, pregnancy, or childbirth experiences.
These experiences can create stress for an individual or couple. Fertility counselling may be short or long-term and can help with the following:
- Support as you navigate the challenges of natural conception, fertility treatments, or fertility preservation.
- Developing coping tools to manage difficult feelings, such as sadness, stress, fears, anxiety, anger, frustration, shame, envy, powerlessness.
- Developing strategies for promoting relational well-being.
- Setting healthy boundaries with others during infertility or fertility treatment.
- Developing strategies for health empowerment, including communicating your needs with your medical team, and finding the areas over which you have some control in your fertility journey.
- Processing grief and loss.
- Exploring how the fertility journey has changed and shaped you, and expanding meaning-making.
- Reconnecting with areas of life often side-lined during the fertility journey, such as joy, beauty, play, spontaneity, intimacy, present-focus, hope, and purpose.
- Regaining trust in the body.
- Managing perinatal and postnatal mental health, including pregnancy after loss or infertility, perinatal or postnatal anxiety or depression, planning for labour and delivery, and processing birth experiences.
Assisted reproduction counselling
In preparation for IVF or third-party reproduction – typically one session
For individuals undergoing certain assisted reproductive treatments, fertility counselling may be a prerequisite to help prepare you for the upcoming process. Assisted reproductive counselling is available to individuals, couples, and potential third-parties in preparation for all forms of assisted reproduction interventions, and may be required or recommended by your fertility clinic or lawyer.
Assisted reproductive counselling typically involves limited sessions and includes:
- Support to examine the emotional, psychosocial, relationship, and ethical implications of various treatment and parenting options.
- Information to promote informed decision-making.
- Assistance to prepare for, and cope with, various treatments and their outcomes.
- Assistance to consider disclosure issues.
- Support and/or recommendations to address any areas of concern.
- Assistance for participants in third-party arrangements to explore issues related to boundaries and expectations, including information sharing and short- and long-term relationships, and to explore the potential implications for themselves and their offspring.
Following your counselling/assessment process, a comprehensive summary report with any applicable recommendations will be provided to you.
Join CBC journalist Jen White and her husband Neil Hyde in an intimate and informative eight-part series on their yearslong struggle with fertility – a journey filled will hormone injections, ultrasounds, tears, anxiety, shame, laughter and hope.
Hosted by the physicians and staff at Fertility Centres of Illinois, this podcast highlights all facets of fertility, including: understanding unexplained fertility; the
emotional impact of infertility and how to heal; fertility medication 101; building families through collaborative reproduction; achieving success after pregnancy loss; preparing for IVF; boosting fertility naturally; how to stay strong as a couple through treatment; LGBTQ family planning, and more.
Hosted by Natalie Silverman, who shares insights as a former fertility patient, and Kate Davies, a fertility nurse consultant. Explores the A to Z of fertility to educate and empower you about your fertility choices, with over 300 expert interviews & real stories from people talking about their paths to parenthood from all over the globe.