5 tips on surviving the holidays while struggling with infertility

sad woman sitting on bed near Christmas tree infertility and the holidays

As the holiday season approaches, our schedules become filled with holiday dinners, work events, happy hours, and many family get-togethers. Social media becomes inundated with children posing with Santa and pictures behind holiday backdrops. For those struggling to conceive, this time of the year can be incredibly challenging due to the amount of holiday-themed pregnancy announcements.

After experiencing a pregnancy loss (on Christmas Day) and developing subsequent secondary infertility, this time of the year can be especially triggering for me. After years of struggling to become a mom (and one obstacle after another), I pursued surrogacy to have both of my daughters. It is through my experience with surrogacy that I founded Surrogacy Simplified to provide Intended Parents with everything I wish I had during my surrogacy journeys. Here are some ways I’ve found to survive the holidays while struggling with infertility.

5 tips on surviving the holiday pregnancy announcement frenzy while struggling with infertility

1. Take a social media break

Easier said than done, I am completely aware, but it can be beneficial to take a social media break between Thanksgiving and Christmas when pregnancy announcements feel like they are at an all-time high. If going off social media completely feels like an unrealistic goal, reducing your time would be a more attainable practice. For those who can’t go off social media completely, most phones have a setting where you can control the amount of time spent on an app (we’re looking at you, Instagram & TikTok).

2. Prioritize self-care

This is important all year, but the holidays, though exhilarating, can also be draining, especially if you have a family member constantly asking when you’ll have a baby. It’s really important to carve time out for yourself every day, especially given the celebratory nature of this time of year and pregnancy announcements. Think about what self-care looks like for you and set a realistic amount of time to dedicate to it each day so it feels achievable. Perhaps it’s a quick meditation, catching a few eps of your favorite TV show (hellloo, “RHOBH”), or exercise.

3. Say no when necessary

Personally, this is something that has taken me years of practice. However, if there is an event where many people may be pregnant and you feel it would be triggering, it’s OK to make up an excuse and stay home with your glass of wine and pajamas. Thinking about what social events can build us up versus set us back is important.

4. Support groups

Depending on where you live and your preferences, there are so many great support groups where you can connect with others who are experiencing infertility. If you are currently in the midst of fertility treatments, your fertility clinic may offer support groups. Resolve, the National Infertility Association is a great resource for finding support groups. There are also many infertility support memberships such as The Fertility Resort and Fertility Rally where you can connect virtually with others who are experiencing infertility.

5. Distractions

Even though it’s an incredibly expensive time of the year, planning a fun getaway or small distraction (a new restaurant opening or a massage) is a great way to take your mind off of the constant pregnancy announcements. It can give you something to look forward to—and bonus points if you can do the activity with your partner because they are likely feeling the same way as you.

A note on surviving the holidays while dealing with fertility challenges

As you navigate the holiday season amidst fertility challenges, remember that your feelings are valid and you’re not alone in this journey. It’s OK to feel a mix of emotions during this time, and it’s important to honor those feelings. During the whirlwind of holiday festivities and pregnancy announcements, take time to acknowledge your own strength and resilience. Every step you take, every moment of self-care, and every boundary you set is a testament to your courage. As you move forward, let the spirit of the season remind you of hope and new beginnings.