Although women trying to conceive (or TTC for those in the know) share common experiences, it's important to remember that not every path to motherhood is the same. Unfortunately, not everyone has caught on that with this diversity of maternal experiences comes a new vocabulary to talk about motherhood. Medical professionals, friends, and family, either with good intentions or unactivated sensitivity chips might need a little reminder of things people who are struggling with infertility don't want to hear.
In our achievement-driven culture, when you're trying to do something — in this case, grow a human — there's the potential that you can fail. And for a woman TTC, the possibility of failing to conceive is running through her head 24/7 on bad days, and kept mildly at bay on good ones. Not to mention, medical terms like "defect," "hostile," or "weak" when used to describe fairly common fertility issues can really take a toll on a woman's self-esteem. In her book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler, noted that "the phrases reflect an antiquated medical system that is often insensitive to women and out with their needs." Any woman who's had a meltdown in Whole Foods buying a laundry list of items intended to up your chances of conception can relate. So, as part of her inner circle, try to avoid saying any of the following phrases to a woman that's trying to conceive.