Sarah Banks is a Fertility Coach and Mentor who works with patients and clinics to offer a broad range of support to suit each individual’s needs. She has written and published the IVF Positivity Planner, a journal combined with coping strategies and coaching tools to help you feel happier and stronger whilst TTC and going through IVF. She also works with fertility professionals to enhance their patient experience, through staff coaching and training, and creating a support structure that gives patients a range of support options and ensures staff understand their individual responsibility for patient care. Sarah set up and runs two online Fertility support communities, regularly supporting over 2,000 patients, and hosts two local support groups to provide emotional support for those in need. Through her work with fertility clients, and her own personal IVF journey, she has a deep understanding of the impact to emotional and mental health that infertility causes, and the support that is needed.
Monica Bivas is an IVF mentor and coach. She helps couples shift their mindsets, guides them through the often overwhelming IVF treatment experience, and helps them prepare themselves for the ultimate outcome… a beautiful bouncing baby!
While working with her, you’ll come to realize that your experience with IVF is a blessing, that fertility treatment doesn’t need to be a stressful process, and that your journey with IVF can help strengthen your marriage and help you develop a whole new outlook on life.
Kate Davies (RN, BSc (Hons), FP Cert) is an independent fertility nurse consultant and founder of her practice in the UK ‘Your Fertility Journey’. Your Fertility Journey is a clinic that prides itself on offering high-quality fertility advice and support. Kate also works with organisations within the fertility industry and for the last 6 years as worked alongside Fertility Focus, the makers of the Fertility Sensor and App – OvuSense. When Kate’s not consulting, she can be found indulging in her passion for podcasting as the co-host of The Fertility Podcast.
My name is Eloise Edington. In 2019, I founded Fertility Help Hub – a lifestyle fertility portal where people around the world can find expert content, tips, resources and wellness discounts to digest from the comfort of their own home. These are all the things my husband and I wish we’d had whilst enduring our own personal struggle to create our family, as we rode the uncertain, heart-breaking rollercoaster of donor conception and IVF. Our mission for FHH is to empower people with holistic support and advice, demystifying the complicated processes. FHH inspires and supports those in the trying to conceive community, via a weekly e-newsletter magazine, podcast, community app, exclusive events & offers, live interaction and website. There will be a mentorship programme launching soon, to help guide those feeling overwhelmed, lost and heartbroken. A fertility struggle is traumatic and this needs to be recognised. Join our Fertility Squad community to connect with others who truly get it.
Mel Johnson created The Stork and I following her own journey into solo motherhood. As a qualified coach, with over 15 years of experience, Mel supports single women looking to embark on the same journey. She offers a comprehensive group coaching course covering all aspects of entering into solo motherhood using donor conception as well as one to one coaching.
My mission as The Infertility Advocate is to provide empowering information, fertility support and awareness, a strong fertility community and advocacy for affordable access to care for all those who struggle to build their families. My services are compassionate, confidential, and respectful. It is my heart’s desire that others will find my book, Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility, and my blog to be a positive resource. I also provide care directly, through my local and nationwide support groups, the Detroit, MI Annual Fertility Walk of Hope, and interactive live streams. Indirectly I provide support through my line of fertility cards featured in my FertilityNFriendship ETSY store, my JOURNEY OF HOPE wristbands, and advocacy. Additionally, I donate a portion of all proceeds of Detours, FertilityNFriendship cards and my wristband to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.
Author: Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility
National and Local Fertility Advocate
National and Local Support Group Leader
Founder of Detroit, MI Walk of Hope
Owner of FertilityNFriendship ETSY Store
Lori Metz, LCSW, is a therapist, certified case manager and board certified in tele-mental , She is also an author and public speaker who has worked in health care for over twenty years in various settings such as hospitals, home care, health insurance, and patient safety oversight organizations. Her practice focuses on mental health, how to process and cope with infertility psychologically and emotionally, pursuing third-party reproduction to build your family as well as communication skills, relationship strategies, self-care, nurturing, and more. She works with individuals, couples and groups. She encourages curiosity and changing your perspective when going through treatment and using gratitude to cope. Lori’s profound understanding of those providing care, needing care, and paying for care has allowed her to develop successful strategic campaigns and programs to assist people through their fertility journeys.
Monica Moore, MSN, RNC is a women’s Health NP and is the founder of Fertile Health, LLC, a consulting company with two arms. One is a nursing education business created to train and empower nurses in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and the other is a health coaching business for women who are attempting pregnancy or just trying to achieve ideal health prior to pregnancy. Her first job was at the Cornell Center for Reproductive Medicine over 20 years ago and since then, she has worked as a donor nurse coordinator, nurse manager, nurse education and as a writer. She has published print and online journal articles, written book chapters on infertility, and writes a regular blog on her website www.fertilehealthexpert.com and for RMA of Connecticut. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mandy Rodrigues is a Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. She holds the degree BA (Honours) (SA), MA (Research) (Cum Laude) (SA), MA (Clin. Psych) (Cum Laude) (SA). Mandy has written numerous articles for popular magazines and newspapers; and have been guest speaker at numerous lectures, motivational talks and conferences. She also has made numerous television appearances in relation to the field of infertility, couples and families, and stress. Mandy consults to Medfem Fertility Clinic, working with a multidisciplinary team in relation to women’s health and infertility.
Tracey provides specialist fertility counselling before, during and following assisted conception treatment and for anyone seeking support who decides not to progress with treatment. Appointments are available for individuals and couples.
Implications counselling provides a comprehensive appointment with up to 90 minutes of counselling followed by a report to share with the clinic of your choice confirming you have explored the legal, social and ethical implications around your treatment decisions.
Support counselling, with appointments of up to an hour, focus on you and your journey; where you’ve been, where you are and/or where you’re heading. Together we embrace the emotional rollercoaster of fertility and acknowledge the impact of our primal unconscious desires to reproduce, or to have a larger family than we have. Our unconscious makes the highs higher and lows lower, sometimes leaving us feeling isolated and / or overwhelmed; fertility counselling promotes self compassion and enhanced communication in relationships, personal and professional. Stress does not impact on fertility treatment outcomes, but stress can stop us continuing to try; fertility counselling can equip you with the psychological tools to continue – optimising the outcome of your fertility journey.
Interpersonal Neurobiology, including Epigenetics, reinforces the importance of pregnancy around pre-birth attachment and familial attunement; promoting the importance of being comfy before conception. If you’re not comfortable about any aspect of egg donation, you are welcome to schedule a single appointment or an initial appointment ahead of longer term therapeutic work.
Support counselling can also be useful for anyone whose fertility journey has ended and they have frozen embryos remaining and indeed for anyone who has donated eggs too.
If you think I can help please do not hesitate to get in touch, all appointments are remote via video using Zoom, WhatsApp, Teams or Skype as preferred with evening and weekend appointments available.
Specialist Fertility Counsellor
Kelly Da Silva is a former fertility patient with a background in emotional support. She works to develop and improve the patient experience for those on their fertility journey, with a specific focus on emotional support. With practitioner qualifications in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Kelly is passionate in this area and specialises in working with people at all stages of their fertility journey and beyond. Inspired by her personal experience of infertility and childlessness, Kelly founded The Dovecote: Childless Support Organisation, in 2015 to provide support for those dealing with unsuccessful fertility treatment and coming to terms with involuntary childlessness. She is a leading voice and fertility advocate, speaking at events and helping to raise awareness of the challenges of both infertility and childlessness.
Andreia Trigo is a multi-awarded nurse consultant, author and TEDx speaker. Combining her medical experience and her own infertility journey, she developed unique strategies to help people undergoing similar challenges achieve their reproductive goals. Her mission is to improve accessibility to fertility care and support worldwide at minimal cost to populations. She is the founder of the Enhanced Fertility Programme, the evidence-based programme that improved help for fertility, currently in use by several clinics and patients worldwide.
Karenna Wood is an international fertility coach, founder of Your Fertility Hub.com and a passionate advocate for more emotional support and information for women trying to get pregnant. She’s an expert in mind-body tools and has supported over 1200 women all over the world in learning relaxation and stress-reduction techniques, relationship tools, mindset techniques and coping skills. She uses a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, professional personal and relationship coaching, proven relaxation techniques and visualisation/mediation to transform the experience of infertility. The Your Fertility Hub website and popular podcast aim to help women reduce the negative impact of infertility and optimise their natural fertility through learning highly successful mind-body tools.
People often say that publishing a book is like having a baby. Since it took over a decade for my husband and I to resolve our fertility journey when we had our one and only child, I’d argue no. However, creating my book was truly a “labor of love.” It took a lot of time, energy and dedication to write and publish the stories of 9 different people, whom I met through the RESOLVE Support Group of Greater San Diego, California. Their stories are a true testimony of the strength, courage and grit it takes to make it to the other side when people struggle to build their families. I also include a chapter of our story through my husband’s words so that readers can learn more about the unique stressors of infertility from a man’s perspective.
If you, or any one you know, is struggling with the overwhelming challenges of infertility, you will find a source of hope and inspiration in Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility. Most people are uncomfortable talking about infertility. It is a delicate subject and loved ones often suffer in silence. They are afraid to disappoint their parents who may be eager to become grandparents. They feel like they are missing out on the most important part of life, having a baby. They don’t fit in with the rest of their friends who are having babies left and right without any difficulties. It is so heartbreaking and one’s biological clock ticks louder with each passing month.
Detours would be a wonderful gift for anyone you know who is going through fertility treatments. It will surely open the lines of communication and will certainly be a source of comfort. In addition if you know of anyone who is struggling with how to support their loved one who is facing fertility treatments, Detours would be an excellent resource for them. I have included an appendix in the back of the book that includes suggestions of what to do and say to help those you know who are facing these overwhelming challenges. Detours is more of a “support group” than a book. I help the reader learn about a myriad of people’s challenges from various religions and backgrounds and from both sexes. The reader experiences the fears and frustrations as well as the joys and resolutions. You will learn of the many road blocks, set backs, U-Turns and “Detours” that each person faces. Some of the resolutions include: third party resolution, surrogacy, adoption, multiple births, stillbirth and even childless not by choice living. Each chapter offers readers what these courageous people wish they had known when going through treatments and a favorite mantra that helped them during their journey.
If you have a heart, you will find yourself cheering for the infertility warriors you will meet in Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility.
Sheila Lamb experienced unexplained infertility for six years, which also included an early pregnancy loss, before her dream of becoming a mother came true at 47, with her second egg donation cycle. As often happens when you experience a life-changing event, Sheila wanted to support and give something back to the Trying To Conceive community. But what?
The two areas she struggled with, were understanding medical terms and all the acronyms and abbreviations used on social media, and the emotional side of struggling to have a baby. Both quite different but both very much a part of the journey.
For the medical terms, Sheila decided to write her first book ‘My Fertility Book – All the fertility and infertility explanations you will ever need, from A to Z’. It is a comforting glossary of medical and non-medical fertility, and infertility terms, in a jargon-free language. There are also artistic illustrations (not drawn by Sheila who can’t drawer a matchstick man), and some cartoons to provide a chuckle or two – very much needed when on this rollercoaster journey. It is also a fantastic resource if you work with people or support people who are trying to get pregnant, and for people who are planning a family in the future. It is relevant regardless as to the country you live in as fertility is the same wherever you are.
Her ‘This is’ series of books are short contributions from infertility warriors who openly share their feelings and emotions on subjects related to infertility, such as trying to conceive, the Two Week Wait, miscarriage and baby loss, egg/sperm/embryo donor and many more. #youarenotalone.
If you struggle with the acronyms and abbreviations commonly used on social media, be sure to download a free resource ‘The Best Fertility Jargon Buster; the most concise A-Z list of fertility abbreviations and acronyms you will ever need’ available from MFSBooks.co.uk
Sheila lives in Berkshire in the UK and has one miracle daughter and a friendly cat, enjoys meeting up with friends, reading and the odd glass of wine.
LinkedIn Sheila Lamb
Carmen Martinez Jover was born in England and raised in Mexico. She has been professionally supporting infertile couples for more than 19 years. She offers online fertility sessions, therapy, and workshops. Carmen is also a writer, artist, international lecturer and Fertility Coach – PSYCH-K facilitator. Together with her sister, she has written stories for children that help parents explain modern ways of conception such as egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, surrogacy, adoption, single motherhood, and two dads or moms.
Jheni Osman is a highly experienced science journalist and presenter. She has written about fertility for Science Focus and BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth. Jheni has two daughters born via IVF.
This handbook contains everything you need to know about the ever-evolving world of IVF, with professional insights from top level consultants and counsellors. Science journalist Jheni Osman holds your hand through each stage of the process, and gives practical advice and the latest statistics to cut through the confusing terminology and information overload.
Natalie Silverman has been creating conversations about fertility issues with The Fertility podcast since 2014 and has a library of over 300 episodes discussing the A-Z of fertility issues from women and men. An established radio broadcaster, award-winning voiceover artist, Natalie launched The Fertility Podcast once successfully pregnant after ICSI treatment and now hosts the podcast with Independent Fertility Nurse consultant Kate Davies.
Natalie is now a qualified Freedom Fertility Formula specialist offering emotional and mental health support in her work and she also creating effective audio content for a range of clients within the fertility space, including The Fertility Show, Fertility Fest, HFEA as well as bespoke podcast series for Ovusense, Surrogacy UK and The Agora Clinic.
In January 2020, Natalie launched a new initiate called Fertility Matters at Work https://fertilitymattersatwork.com/, with two other women who she has met through her work in the fertility space. Becky Kearns and Claire Ingle. The three women are all mothers after fertility treatment, which they went through whilst maintaining their jobs and dealing with the impact on their emotional wellbeing whilst at work and are now working to help employees understand their rights regarding fertility treatment and employers to be able to support their staff better by understanding more about the emotional toll of treatment.
The Fertility Podcast
Closed Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/talkfertility/
IF THESE OVARIES COULD TALK is a podcast where Jaimie Kelton and Robin Hopkins chat about making babies and non-traditional families. Jaimie and Robin humorously go in-depth with weekly guests about their hopes, fears, and setbacks. The mission is to normalize, elevate and celebrate non-traditional families, while confirming that we’re just like other parents, trying not to yell at our kids when they still haven’t put their shoes on and we’re 25 minutes late for school. The end result is a compelling podcast that explores the age-old question: what’s it like to live as an LGBTQ family in a world built for the straights?
But that’s not all that’s discussed on ITOCT. There’s lots of talk about IUI, IVF, and the struggles to get pregnant using donor sperm. Here are a few episodes highlighting that struggle:
MICHELLE BUTEAU’S STORY: Michelle Buteau talks about her six-year journey to parenthood. From a brain tumor to IUI to IVF to surrogacy to the work she did with Andy Cohen to legalized surrogacy in New York State. LISTEN HERE
DANIELLE AND ANNIE’S STORY: Danille and Annie are struggling to make a family. They’ve gone from at home with overnighted sperm to the medical pipeline to that dark place of worrying that they’ll never get pregnant. LISTEN HERE
SHAUN T’S STORY: Shaun T and his husband, Scott went through it to make their family. It took 5 years, multiple surrogates, and countless dollars before their beautful twins arrived. LISTEN HERE
The result of this podcast is a collection of individual and couples’ stories about journeys toward parenthood. You’ll hear the heartbreak, the hope, the joy, the struggle about what it can take to create a family. And you’ll feel a part of a community. Feel less alone during the process of trying to make your family.