I’m a big believer in the power of sharing – as therapy for the one sharing but also as a way to make others feel less alone. It encourages understanding, changes perceptions and, most importantly, gives hope. Things that are so important to help transform what can be a lonely world for those experiencing infertility.
You may not know it, but there is actually a welcoming community and platform for sharing and support sitting right in the palm of your hand…Instagram!
When I joined Instagram in November 2018 I was amazed by the sense of community – I could see the support given day-in, day-out from people that had never even met to others who were also experiencing fertility struggles. I’ve heard people say that Instagram had become their ‘Fertility Support System’ with the beauty of it being that you can be as open, anonymous or active as you like.
I wondered how we could keep encouraging these connections and support even further. It’s why I created an initiative called ‘Fertility Support Saturday’ – a weekly platform to encourage sharing, support and making connections. I wanted to provide an opportunity for anyone to be able to stand up and say – This Is Me and This Is My Story. Over the past few months I’m honoured to have shared over 100 inspirational stories from those facing infertility, all with a different narrative providing hope and encouragement to others. So many new connections have been made and I’ve come to realise just how much support, love and understanding can come from a virtual network of people who simply ‘get it’.
Many have told me just how liberating it has been to speak out and share their story whilst making new friends along the way. I’ve especially loved the diversity we have started to see more of, one example leading to the creation of a fab new account designed to show women of colour experiencing infertility that they’re not alone (@ananassistas) the two founders met as a result of story sharing on Fertility Support Saturday!
With so many stories shared already it’s clear to see that this is not just a group of people who happen to have met on social media, this a strong, empowering, supportive community!
So how can you get involved? There are three ways –
Story Sharing –
Weekly I share short bios from a wide variety of people who have experienced fertility struggles, a chance for them to tell their story, sharing with the #ttccommunity who they are with the opportunity to connect. So far, I have shared over 100 stories which can be found in my Instagram highlights reel under ‘Story Sharing’. Have a read and you will realise that #youarenotalone. If you want to take part please send over your bio (no more than 150 words), a picture (can be anonymous) and your Insta handle.
Making Connections – Fertility Hearts Ads
A new initiative starts this week, where you can put out a fertility version of a ‘lonely hearts ad’ – a chance to reach out and meet like-minded people who want to offer support. Simply provide me with a short piece of info about yourself along with who you WLTM (would like to meet) and I will share in my stories (either openly or anonymously) and provide you with the responses to connect with.
Support from Experts –
Throughout this summer I will be bringing you a series of Instalives on a Saturday where you can have the opportunity to ask questions to some of the best Fertility Experts. @drlarisacorda – @thismorning fertility specialist, @melaniebrownnutrition – Fertility Nutritionist, and @JanaRupnowlpc (Fertility Counsellor) have all very kindly offered to provide some of their precious time to help support those in need – dates TBC soon!
If you’d like to get involved then just send me an email to email@example.com.
If you’re new to Instagram, the easiest way to start your support network is to simply follow the hashtag #fertilitysupportsaturday. By clicking on the likes and comments you can find thousands of people there who want to support, make you smile and hold your hand throughout your fertility journey and beyond.