Have you ever wanted to surprise a friend or relative going through IVF with a little something, just to let them know that you are thinking of them? Not sure what to buy that would be useful or thoughtful, but won’t make them burst into tears or be left wondering as to the relevance? Or maybe you want to treat yourself in the run up to an IVF cycle, because goodness knows you deserve it. Here are some IVF appropriate gift suggestions to induce a smile.
To be honest, all you need to do to make someone feel loved and supported when going through IVF is to send a card. It tells them that you are thinking of them and that you care. Alternatively, going out for a one on one cuppa where you ask how they are getting on followed by a big bear bug is equally as good.
Top Tips for choosing IVF cards: In the card stakes, a couple of things to consider:
1. Are they open about IVF? If they are a little reserved and would prefer the cleaner, cat sitter, builder, neighbour not to know, then a card that makes specific reference to IVF may not be the best route. Your carefully chosen card may be momentarily appreciated before being immediately stored in a drawer, never to grace the mantlepiece. If they are brazen about IVF, like me, then go for it.
2. Be careful about being TOO positive. Positivity and wishing them luck is the name of the game, but too much positivity can seem like pressure. If I had received a card before starting IVF that said “You’ll make the best parents!”, or “Hip Hip Horray, Transfer Day!” my instant reaction would be ‘hold your horses, we aren’t anywhere near there yet’. As exciting as IVF is, it is always accompanied by oodles of trepidation for the couple going through it, doubt that it will work, that eggs will be retrieved, that an embryo transfer will happen, that it will end in a positive result. So probably best not to send a ‘yay, you get your baby now’ style of card.
3. Are you sure about cutting humour? A funny card brings a smile and a smile is what we want, but unless you absolutely know that they will take it in good jest (bearing in mind they may be a senstive Sally and should come with handling instructions) best to steer clear of any cards that take the p*ss out of IVF or infertility, just in case. A couple of the cards above fall in to this category of potentially sensitive and should be sent with caution.
Small gifts and IVF hampers
The ‘Ouch’ Hamper
For those scared of the IVF meds
IVF Things Canvas Bag by Conceivable Designs £9.53 on Etsy
Not everyone will need a carry case for their IVF drugs as, like me, they may only ever take their jabs at home. But this cute canvas bag is perfect for those who need to medicate on the go.
Koolpak Elly The Elephant Gel Pack £2.49 on Amazon
A hot and cold gel pack to soothe the injection sites and potential bruising, as those jabs can smart a bit
Fig, Lemon and Bay fragranced Candle by BilobyRebecca £9 on Etsy
Create a relaxing environment in which to tackle the daily medication with this handmade and toxin free candle
IVF Milestone Cards by HelloTreacleStore £15 on Etsy
Enable progress to be ticked off with these bright and uplifting IVF journey milestone cards. They will be working their way through the stages in no time.
The Therapy Hamper
For those who love to grow from a challenging situation
Pineapple lined notebook by Papier £12.99
Journaling is not only a great way to document the IVF process, but it can also be a fantastic form of therapy. Expressing thoughts, feelings, fears and frustrations on the page can release them from the mind. But sitting down to a blank page in a journal is overwhelming. What the hell do I write? Accompanying the journal with a guide to journaling is a perfect pairing.
Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice by Christina Baldwin £12.04 on Amazon
This step by step guide to journaling contains exercises to get you thinking and writing, examples from other people’s journals and explanations of different types and styles of entries. To me, this is therapy on the cheap. Be warned, it is undoubtedly on the hippy end of the scale, so if the gift is for someone straight-laced (or completely sane) then maybe not.
IVF WTF?! Adult Colouring Book by Me Moments Creative £9.99 on Amazon
Adult colouring books are all the rage at the moment so why not be 'on trend' with this gift and encourage stress reduction via a colourful uterus
IVF Stronger Together Pineapple Pin by IVF Babble £4.99 on Amazon
A pineapple enamel pin that brings awareness to those going through fertility issues and IVF and raises money for fertility charities
The De-Stress Cuppa Hamper
For those who relish a good cup of tea and a read for relaxation
Put on your positive pants mug by HelloTreacleStore
£6 on Etsy
Remind them that you care every time they make a cup of tea with this sweet and uplifting Positive Pants mug
Get a Life: His and Hers Survival Guide to IVF by Richard Mackney and Rosie Bray £7.31 on Amazon
Help them to be informed about IVF over a nice cup of tea with this excellent and hilarious book. Cracking read.
Anti-Stress loose leaf tea by Char Teas £4.95
A perfect accompaniment to the Positive Pants mug is this delicious anti-stress loose leaf tea, sold from a shop in Winchester by a wonderful elderly lady who uses air quotes when referring to selling her teas on the ‘internet’. This tea is so scrumptious that I once caught my friend Aurelia eating it straight out of the packet.
GOOTRADES Robot Hanging Tea Leaf Infuser Infuser £2.08 on Amazon
There’s nothing worse than receiving a gift that you can’t use immediately. Well, actually there are many things worse, including infertility, but make sure your hamper is complete with this stainless steel robot loose leaf tea infuser
Big IVF gift ideas
If you want to show your support with a one-off substantial gift, the below provides suggestions for IVF relevant presents.
Gold Chibi Pendant Necklace by Jizo and Chibi £36.91 on Etsy
"Hold the baby safe!". Tiny Chibi, which means "little one" in Japanese, drifts along on a 16" chain in 18k gold vermeil. Whilst not a direct symbol of fertility, it makes a change from the well known symbol of the pineapple and this necklace can represent the little one so desperately sought through the IVF process.
IVF Mind and Body Meditation Programme by Circle and Bloom $59 (approximately £42)
This meditation program, which can be downloaded on to the recipient's phone for easy access anywhere, will help them to de-stress and gain confidence every step of the way, with short guided meditations that encourage the body to embrace the IVF process. A gift option is available that allows the audio package to be sent electronically directly to the recipient.
Wellness Therapy Acupressure Mat & Pillow Set by Supportiback £28.87 on Amazon
This stress relieving mat contains thousands of comfortable, strategically-positioned, prick-free body-contoured Therapy Points (i.e. spikes!) that transfer gentle pressure on to the body's meridian lines to stimulate blood flow and flood the body with feel-good endorphins. During the stress of IVF, lying back and melting into the mat will release muscle tension and mental stress. Or stand or lie on the mat in the morning to get your blood and energy flowing before tackling those all important morning injections.
Harmony Kit by Dr Hauschka, £17.00
A great brand for toxin-free beauty products (which is important for those obsessive about their egg quality ahead of IVF), this Dr Hauschka harmony kit is perfect for calming, soothing and pampering the body. Goodness knows it deserves it after the hormonal onslaught of IVF.
Seedilp non-alcoholic spirits, Seedlip 20cl Duo Gift Box £25.99
For those who are giving up alcohol in preparation for IVF (and not everyone does!) but who also love a gin & tonic to unwind at the end of a stressful day, Seedlip's non-alcoholic gins are just the ticket. The duo gift set allows the recipient to test both flavours of gin, picking their favourite for future purchasing (hopefully when pregnant).
Coming next in the IVF Series...
What happens at the initial IVF consultation? - Sunday 25 February