The Jewish community funds camps, Israel trips, education, children’s books, and youth programs – sometimes in full. Yet when a couple is committed to having Jewish children and need financial assistance, the Jewish community offers very little. While we need to maintain the many vital program offered in the Jewish community, we also need to recognize the very serious need for financial assistance for infertility treatment. Below is a chart that gives a glimpse of the costs these couples are up against. When looking at it, consider too that infertility treatment:
1) requires payment up front
2) is rarely covered by insurance
3) is the best chance for many to have a child.
Lists. We love the top 10 lists, the 5 most important lists. These lists are neither. They are simply important yet basic things to know. So they are a place to start. In fact, we’d love it if you suggested more. Please do.
Ways to support someone experiencing infertility
1) Tell them you care. Whatever they are experiencing, remind them that they are not alone.
2) Take them out. To dinner, a pedicure, a game, a movie. Something focused on adults that is not family focused.
3) Offer to listen if they want to talk. Then listen. Offer to do nothing if they do not want to talk. Then keep in touch about the rest of their lives.
What NOT to say
1) Do NOT ask when they are going to have a child or if she is pregnant. For a close friend you may be able to sensitively ask about their family planning. We cannot simply ignore the subject, rather we must learn how to support with sensitivity.
2) Do NOT offer quick solutions, especially the “relax and it will be fine” solution. If solutions were that easy, there would not be millions (yes millions) of people experiencing infertility. Offering advice quickly ignores that you do not know their end goal and assumes you know the situation.
3) Do NOT compare their situation to someone else. When someone does share about their fertility journey, its about them. Keep it there.
Awareness can mean many things from people knowing about infertility to the development of a culture that understands the reality of infertility and knows how to support those experiencing it. Hasidah is building awareness on many levels from increasing knowledge to making the change in the Jewish community’s culture to be more supportive. During this National Infertility Awareness Week, Hasidah will publish a several perspectives and helpful pieces of information to help expand awareness. Please share!
Source: RMANJ: Infertility In America 2015
Myth: Infertility does not effect regular healthy couples that much
Myth: Infertility treatments like IVF’s have low success rates
Reality: American’s are overconfident about natural fertility.
Reality: 1 in 8 women have a fertility impairment.
Reality: That 1 in 8 number was extremely generous. It does not include men (that issue alone is worthy of a lot of awareness!). It does not factor age in accurately (it starts at age 15). The Jewish community tends to marry and have children later than the average American which increases infertility rates. In other words, for the Jewish community the rates of fertility impairment are likely closer to 1 in 6. Ask your friends. You are likely to find that it quite common to have experience with fertility impairment.
Reality: IVF is 32% on average (SART.org 2013)
Reality: Natural fertility is a 20% chance. (See chart)
Hasidah is fundraising to help Jewish babies be born. We get the questions posed in this Crowdfunding Babies article a lot. The Jewish community funds camps, day schools, trips to Israel, children’s books, community gardens, learning programs, film festivals, guest speakers, musical performance, etc, etc, etc. It seems that having a Jewish child is a least as worthy. We don’t ask parents to crowdfund their children’s education, or for seniors to fund raise for their meal assistance. The community subsidizes it because it is important. And we should. We should also assist those struggling with infertility to bring Jewish children into the world.
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