55. How do I respond to questions like “are your multiples natural” or “you must be finished now"? Also, what is the best approach for telling my multiples about their conception?

Both of these questions are very personal questions that polite, educated members of society wouldn’t be tempted to ask. Unfortunately, many do. Many moms feel that asking either of these questions is akin to asking a perfect stranger what type of birth control they use (a personal and intrusive question from a stranger.)

One tactful approach is to ask the person “Why do you ask?” The person, or someone dear to them, may be struggling with the challenges of infertility and hoping to learn what helped you achieve pregnancy. If the person is “just wondering” another approach is to say that all children are natural so of course multiples are natural.

The question “Are you are finished now?” is also a very personal question. If you do not wish to answer, simply state “I’m sorry, why do you ask?” If they reply with “I was just wondering,” you may consider showing surprise and turning away. This response hints that the question is not one you wish to answer.

Talking to children about their conception can seem daunting for some parents. Some parents open this dialog at a very young age and explain this topic in small pieces. Other parents wait until children older and offer more details. Since each child develops and copes with information differently, parents must assess those factors in deciding how to proceed. Certainly conception by artificial reproductive technology and fertility medications is more common today, so a variety of resources for parents are available. MOST has listed just some below.


Resources

 

MSNBC's "Birds and bees for ‘test-tube’ kids" by Jacqueline Stenson

NYU Child Study Center Interview with Margot P. Weinshel, LCSW, RN "Where did I come from? Answering kids' questions about donor eggs or sperm"

American Fertility Association Parenting Fact Sheets on IVF Conception and Ovum Donation

American Society of Reproductive Medicine's Fertility and Sterility journal article titled " Informing offspring of their conception by gamete donation"

X, Y, and Me Book Series for Children

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