A new support group to help guide women coping with infertility launches in Dubai this Saturday.
The free and no-obligation initiative, offered by the Bourn Hall Fertility Centre in Jumeirah, is designed to help women overcome the stress and isolation often associated with infertility by connecting with other women experiencing similar challenges.
The clinic will host monthly sessions led by fertility journey coach and counselor Priyanka Bhatia-Mahendru.
Bhatia, who has trained at the Domar Center of Mind-Body health at Boston IVF in the United States, believes that the gruelling physical challenges of fertility treatment can take a heavy toll on emotional and mental well-being, which is why support is crucial.
She said: “We want to provide a safe space for women to share their stories, learn new coping skills and find strength together. It’s a space to connect with women who will just ‘get it’ because they are going through the same struggle to conceive.”
The group is open to women irrespective of whether they are patients of the clinic and covers a range of topics such as the fear of cycles not working, stress, effects of infertility on marriage and how to respond to difficult questions from family and friends.
When you put a group of women with similar challenges together, Bhatia explained, what emerges is each individual woman equipped with a bigger coping ‘toolbox’ than she started out with.
“What’s really important to me about this group is that I really hope that no woman has to do this alone,” she added. “When you’re in it alone, you’re your own resource. But when you’re in it with six other women, you’ve got six resources. So maybe you’ve lost a little bit of confidence in your own ability to manage and handle yourself and your challenges. But when you show up in a group and you see someone else struggling, then you show up for them - and in that showing up for the other person there’s a renewed sense of agency within you. So you’re deriving strength as well as giving it to someone who needs it.”
The free support group will meet on the last Saturday of every month from 3-4pm starting January 27 at Bourn Hall Fertility Centre in Al Hudaiba Awards Building, Jumeirah 1, Dubai; call 800 483. Walk-ins are welcome.