According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12 percent of women of child-bearing age in the United States have difficulty getting or staying pregnant. Here are some ways you can support women facing this struggle:

  1. Offer classes and events that don’t restrict participation. For example, mother-daughter teas can be heartbreaking if you don’t have a daughter to bring.
  2. Honor the loss of a child through miscarriage or a failed adoption. It’s hard to know what to say, but flowers, cards, and meals say, “I care.” Don’t ask if you can bring a meal; say, “Let me bless you with a meal. When can I bring it?”
  3. Consider rewording “baby dedication” to “children’s dedication” in order to include new members who haven’t dedicated their children elsewhere as well as families who have adopted older children.
  4. Treat new adoptions like new births. If your church brings meals for new moms, recognize adoptive moms as new moms too. Throw a shower or party for adopted children, even if they are older.
  5. Teach adoption-friendly language. No one wants to be asked in front of their children if their child is a “real” son or daughter or if his or her “real” mom didn’t want them. When you talk about adoption, realize children are probably listening.
  6. Offer your time. If you know of a woman who is going through infertility or a troubled pregnancy, offer the present of presence. Ask if she’d like you to sit in the waiting room during a doctor’s visit or arrange a meeting for a snack or meal afterward.