By Sara Livingston-Burke, LPCC
Infertility can be challenging and heartbreaking, but there are so many books and resources available to help if you are walking through a journey with infertility. It is important to read the right books that feels good for you, misinformation can lead to second guessing and questioning your path. Too little information can leave you feeling powerless, too much information can leave your head spinning.
As a therapist going through an infertility journey, I have been absorbing as much knowledge as I can in order to create understanding and advocate for myself. Here are a few of my favorites that may help:
1. Infreakinfertility: How to Survive When Getting Pregnant Gets Hard
By: Melanie Dale
Main theme of this book, “You are NOT alone!” The author talks about her journey and perhaps you have similar experiences, this book helps you with the emotions surround the experiences. You will laugh and cry. The author’s husband also gets involved in the book which is missing from a lot of fertility books. This book helps our brains say that is okay to put our walls up and hide ourselves away but that we still have to have hope, it is important for the journey.
If you are struggling with your mental health, you don’t have to go through it alone. Schedule an appointment today to get the help you deserve using the link below.
2. It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF
By: Rebecca Fett
Do you like science, are you interested in data and research? This is the book for you! This book walks you through the evidence-based research involved in improving your egg quality and helping you improve your fertility. This book goes into depth about supplements and environmental toxins and how that can affect the quality of egg health. This book also gives nutritional advice and how to help your body. I found this book very dry but so dense with information. You might take a more naturalist approach to life after reading this book so be prepared to renovate your lifestyle.
3. Getting Pregnant with PCOS: An evidence-based approach to treat the root causes of polycystic ovary syndrome and boost your fertility
By: Clare Goodwin-Registered Nutritionist
This book is specific for women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). If you are looking for knowledge about PCOS and some approaches to how you can change your diet and lifestyle, this book is for you—it has a ton of information, and I really appreciate the holistic approach that she takes with her clients. This book includes recipes and walks through how to handle the stress we feel.
4. The Joy of Later Motherhood: Your Natural Path to Healthy Babies Even in Your 40s
By Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Hey Hey to my ladies in your 40s trying to conceive, this book is for you! Did you ever want to talk about getting pregnant over a cup of coffee with your friend, that is what this book is like to read. The author takes a holistic approach to getting pregnant and reminds you that being in your 40s doesn’t mean you can’t have children (stop with that geriatric pregnancy nonsense). The author helps you let go of that negative chatter and prep yourself to be ready to conceive a baby. I am in my 30s and loved this book, it is not just for the 40+ crowd!
5. The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant without Losing Your Mind
By: Amy Klein
Have you ever wanted an author to talk about punching someone in the face for something they said about fertility treatments…THIS IS YOUR BOOK!!! The author tells her story and makes you not feel alone. For those people going through IVF treatments I recommend this book, she is honest and has a comical approach to her writing. The author also gives a step by step guide to the different choices that are out there, I know my head is spinning when I leave the doctor’s office, this book is helpful to uncomplicate options.
6. Queer Conception: The Complete Fertility Guide for Queer & Trans Parents-To-Be
By Kristin Liam Kali
This book is an evidence-based fertility guide for queer people. The author is amazing for giving conceiving and pregnancy advice to the LGBTQIA+ community. There are unique needs for this population especially with reproductive health care. This book not only includes the gestational parent but also the non-gestational parent. This is a great book for couples to read together. This book also helps teach how to advocate for oneself in the doctor’s office and that can be a challenge for anyone trying to conceive.
7. Fighting Infertility: Finding My Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF, and Miscarriage
By: Samantha Busch
If you love knowledge of celebrity insights to infertility this is a great book. The author is very inspirational and gives a great firsthand account of how her infertility journey affected her life. The author’s husband also contributes to the book and described how challenging it can be for relationships. This book does have a faith element to it so if you are religious this book is good because she describes how she used her faith to get through her journey. The author and her husband also now help people get access to fertility treatments and I thought that was a beautiful part of their journey.
8. Baby Making for Everybody: Family Building and Fertility for LGBTQ+ and Solo Parents
By Marea Goodman LM CPM and Ray Rachlin LM CPM
This book breaks it down for people trying to conceive outside of the heterosexual family. This book goes into detail about fertility tracking, choosing donors, legal issues, gender identity, and fertility issues. I recommend this book for people trying to conceive AND for people trying to support their LGBTQIA+ family members trying to conceive. This book has so much knowledge! I really love the message that parenthood is possible for everyone. This is a brilliant book!
9. How to Help Friends and Family Through Infertility: How You Can Offer Support, What to Say and Understanding Infertility
By: Alexandra Kornswiet
I WISH EVERYONE THAT WANTS TO SUPPORT THEIR FRIENDS THROUGH AN INFERTILITY JOURNEY WOULD READ THIS BOOK! This book helps you understand what your friend might be going through and how to best support them. The author helps you come up with non-intrusive supportive words. This book is full of advice and is compassionate about what we need to say and what we shouldn’t say! This book also explains how to do your own research and get answers. Please read this book if you are trying to support your friend, family, partner, self, or client on an infertility journey.
10. What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting: How to Support Your Wife, Save Your Marriage, and Conquer Infertility!
By: Marc Sedaka and Gregory Rosen
Does your partner always say the wrong things?! This book can help! You might be feeling like you are doing ALL OF THE RESEARCH on your infertility journey and this book is a great way to get your partner involved! Partners, are you looking to help support your partner in this infertility journey, this is the book to read. The author is a person who went through an infertility journey with their partner and learned a great deal to help support. This book talks about advice, how to help and not annoy, all of the testing, and how to console your partner. This book adds comedy to a very hard, stressful time and feels encouraging.
Infertility is Hard, You are Amazing
I cannot tell you what the future will hold for you and your partner, your friend, your family, or your client. Every day will be filled with different emotions and thoughts, please remember to reach out and build your support system with people that are comfortable to you. Take time for yourself, if you cannot emotionally allow yourself to go to a baby shower, don’t force it. It is okay to take time for yourself, other people around you will support you. If your friend is going through an infertility journey, understand that they still love you, but it may be hard to be around people and explain what is happening. If you want to be supportive may be make/bring them dinner, ask them out for coffee, or send them a message saying you are thinking about them. You will get through this, and I wish you baby dust.
To learn more about the impact of infertility on your mental health, how to cope with infertility, or how to support others coping with infertility, check out a recent podcast that Sara joined: