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Father’s Day - That time of year
We talk to Senior Fertility Counsellor, Tracey Sainsbury, about self-care on Father’s Day.
You know, that time, this year it’s the 16th June. The day where men of a certain age wear that grin of success, cards received with a gift shared from their child or children prompting that warm fuzziness of unconditional love and affection. Or that is how it can be perceived by men who are sadly not blessed with a much-wanted child.
But if you’re struggling with your partner to have a baby or have experienced loss from a miscarriage or failed treatment, then Father’s Day can be tough and brings all your feelings to the forefront even if you’ve been coping well for a while.
“Being involuntarily childless doesn’t just impact on women,” says Tracey, “it is very much a thing for men too. Though we hear often of men sharing how helpless they feel in supporting their partners during treatment; we also acknowledge the desire to parent can be as strong in men as it is in women.”
Male factor infertility can impact psychologically in addition to having physical implications around treatment choices. Often men are childless by circumstance; due to unsuccessful fertility treatment or having a partner who does not wish to explore alternate parenting pathways if natural conception or conception with own eggs and sperm is not possible.
“This Father’s Day perhaps take some time to focus on looking after yourself,” says Tracey “with the stresses and strains of modern life it’s hard to find time for ourselves.” It need not be a whole day, but a couple of hours can do wonders to make you feel better.
Here are some tips from Tracey for self-care on Father’s Day
Have a lie in or breakfast in bed with your partner
Go for a run, a bike ride or to the gym for a good workout
Take the dog for a walk or just enjoy the act of going for a walk
Find the time to read the newspaper or the book you’ve always wanted to read
Have a relaxing swim, bath or sauna
Consider writing things down and having some time to reflect– perhaps by writing a blog or finding a support group online (see below)
“Think about taking the day off social media as it’s likely to be full of Father’s Day posts and consider where you might want to go out as you may expect to see many families around in coffee shops and restaurants.” advises Tracey.
“Thankfully in recent years there has been more research in to the experiences of men without children who wanted to parent.” says Tracey. This has led to some excellent support resources being put in place, including a men’s only facebook group.
The LWC also has a support group each month at our Harley Street clinic which is attended by women and couples. If you’d like to find out more about the group, you can email Cindy.Charles@londonwomensclinic.com. Additionally, counselling and fertility coaching is always available to LWC patients and you can email email@example.com to book a session. For more help and advice, you can visit our support hub which is full of useful links.
At the LWC we are continuously trying to improve support for men attending the clinic and are exploring having a men only group, if this is something you might be interested in attending or to tell us how we can further improve our in-house support please do share your views in our 2 minute survey.