Fertility treatment has often been described as another ‘full time job’ by a countless number of people and this narrative hasn’t really changed since treatment was pioneered in Oldham in the 1970’s and world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown was born. In fact, it is only recently emerging as a topic of conversation.
45 years later.
The series of beautiful @fertilit_arty images we shared across fertility week capture poignant, common, heartbreaking situations that people in work find themselves in whilst navigating treatment.
They say a picture tells a thousand words, well; we hope that ALL of these pictures across the past two weeks sum up for you all the challenges and emotions that can be felt turning up for your job every day whilst in the depths of fertility treatment. Our aim is to bring these experiences to life and give those not familiar with treatment a glimpse into the lives of those it affects.
From the moment you know you are entering fertility treatment for the first time, with blissful naivety, to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th cycle (and however many subsequent times) where you feel tired, beaten and just, well, ‘surviving’ and finally to the moment where you just cannot continue in the hamster wheel and you just simply down tools and say; ‘enough’.
The moment that you rock up at work and furtively look for your ‘entitlement’ in your policies looking at your work intranet to be faced with either a rabbit warren to find what you are looking for or worse still, finding nothing exists…
When you are drawing up the courage to chat to your boss about it…
manage your injections in odd places…
or deal with those pregnancy announcements or impromptu baby showers that sometimes just take your breath away.
When those calls from your clinic come in with the news that it isn’t in your favour
…… just yet, but maybe next time.
To the outside world these may be day-to-day moments that happen to people at work but to the ones in the know, the ones firmly in it, these are all significant interactions that make or break your experience at work and, in effect, plot out your future with your company. How your company recognises and validates you and your treatment is what we passionately campaign for and what we want firmly noted on ALL future wellbeing and inclusion agendas.
It is also why we chose #NFAW2023 to launch our brand new ideal policy guidance to support organisations to take the first step in supporting their employees and to outline all the things we think are important to consider and include when developing policy/guidance around fertility support.
We want people to be seen, heard and recognised in this space and from the overwhelming response we have had to last week’s campaign we know that this resonates with many people.
We want people feeling like they have no other choice but to do this…
Feeling like the only choice they have is to do this…
And ultimately preventing this…
The 1 in 6 is our mantra.
The anecdotal messages that tell tales of despair, negativity and exclusion in the workplace are the reality for too many and we wanted to use this last week to touch those who don’t know about this journey, and don’t understand it as some time in the future it may will touch you in some way, at some point and when it does you need to be ready.
See more at fertilitymattersatwork.com