If you know someone who has just undergone, or is about to undergo a round of in-vitro fertilization, you are probably aware that she has been through a good amount of stress. She has experienced more than you could possibly understand. Now would be a good time to be a thoughtful friend, family member, or husband, and do what you can to cheer her up. In the Philippines, infertility treatments are increasingly up-to-date, but patients also benefit from the social support of their friends and family.
Putting together a care package for a patient faced with infertility is an excellent idea, especially if she is bedridden, or has a long waiting period ahead. The most important rule of thumb, however, is to keep her calm and in a positive mood. Here are a few guidelines.
- Remember that laughter is the best medicine. Books from the humor section of her favorite bookstore are ideal, since they do not require too much reading. These range from collections of comic strips like Calvin And Hobbes, Dilbert and The Far Side, to picture books full of funny pictures. These books are brief, re-readable, and help pass the time.
- Magazines about her hobbies, celebrity gossip, photography, art or fashion make for enjoyable, light reading. Be careful with topics such as arts and crafts, homemaking, and cooking since any content that mentions children, pregnancy, or babies would be a sensitive issue.
- If she enjoys puzzles, then jigsaw puzzles also help to pass the time. Books that contain word searches and crossword puzzles, and Sudoku are also good to include in your IVF care package.
- A compilation of upbeat, happy songs, such as 80s Pop hits, disco and dance music can give the boost that she needs. Songs that are melodramatic, emotional, or sentimental should be left out. On the other hand, a CD of guided meditations for fertility may be appropriate.
- Chocolate and protein-rich foods can be included as an occasional treat. Make sure that they don’t undermine any dietary guidelines set by her IVF physician or nutrition consultant.
- To make her comfortable in bed, pajamas, thick socks or soft slippers, as well as her favorite lotion, aromatherapy or foot cream are also worth getting. Microwaveable heating pads are also a good way to increase her level of comfort. Menstrual cramp heating pads are also very helpful, especially after egg retrieval.
- If she enjoys makeup, lip-gloss and nail polish are also fun ways to pass the time. If you know her favorite color, style or brand, be sure to include those as well.
- Fresh flowers and plants add color and really brighten up a room, as well as her mood. Sunflowers and carnations are effective and popular.
Packaging these gifts in a brightly colored gift bag, and wrapping them individually is a great idea. She can open one gift a day, or as often as she needs. The care package might just be what she needs to get through the challenge of IVF.