Mothers’ Experience of Their Daughters’ Fertility Problems and Treatments

Vera Skvirsky, Orit Taubman Ben-Ari, Eran Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fertility treatments are a stressful experience. However, the support provided by meaningful support figures, such as a mother, may contribute positively to the mental health of women with fertility issues. The present study therefore explored the experience of Israeli mothers whose daughters encountered fertility problems and underwent treatment to bring their first child into the world. In a retrospective qualitative study, face-toface semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 women aged 49–73. Women in the study had a daughter in a spousal heterosexual relationship who conceived her first child via fertility treatment, and this child was up to 4 years old at the time of the interview. Three main themes emerged: (a) The stressfulness of a daughter’s fertility problems and treatments for the mother; (b) The mother’s supportive role; and (c) The mother’s own need for support. The results suggest that due to the unique nature of the mother–daughter relationship, a daughter’s fertility problems and treatments are also stressful for her mother. Nevertheless, mothers can be, and wish to be, an important source of support for their daughters. Empirically, further research to extend this understanding is recommended. Practically, professionals should be aware of the mother’s distress and the fact that she is likely to deny her own need for support, and make an effort to relate to the stress of these women and help them to be a more effective resource for their daughters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1418-1427
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume36
Issue number8
Early online date2022
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Grandchild
  • Infertility
  • Mothers
  • Support

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