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A Baby Shower Etiquette Guide

Dealing with Pregnancy Loss & Infertility

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  • Be sensitive to your friend or family member who is dealing with infertility and pregnancy or infant loss. Your joy only reminds her of her own pain, and she may not be emotionally able to celebrate the happy moments of your pregnancy with you, at a baby shower or at any other time. Recognize and respect how difficult it is for her to be confronted with other people's pregnancies.

  • Attending baby showers, baptisms, baby-namings, etc. is often impossible for your friend. Don't be offended if she can't be there.

  • Never make assumptions about inviting someone. Don't send an invitation before checking with your friend. Just receiving an invitation in the mail can be devastating - always ask first to see if your friend feels up to it. Likewise, don't assume that you should not send an invitation. Your friend might feel up to attending, especially if she's close to you, or she might want to send a gift even if she won't attend. Always ask first.

  • Accept what ever level of participation she feels comfortable with, and realize that she may need to bow out of attending an event that she's already promised to attend. If her latest infertility treatment has just failed (again), or if she's having a difficult time grieving her lost baby, putting on a brave face at your baby shower may be more than she can handle.

  • Be generous. Please don't whine "Why can't she be happy for me?" And don't play reciprocity games, as in "If she can't deal with my pregnancy, I'm not going to be recognize her loss." If you can be sensitive to your friend now, she'll remember you with gratitude later.

Submitted by Jeannie

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