We’ve got fertility doctors, fertility kits, fertility clinics, fertility vacations, fertility diets, fertility how-to guides, it was only a matter of time before the “fertility coach” came on the scene. I’m not sure how I feel about this to be honest.
Yes we’re now in a world where it’s not just businesses that rely on
consultants, individuals are gobbling them up, too — there’s the wedding coach, the
college prep coach, creativity coaches — you name the subject and
there’s someone willing to charge you to be a “coach.”
I’ve always been a bit skeptical about any coach that works off the playing field or gym. I can’t help but wonder about these paid-for-hire folks. I had a former colleague who was once working to be certified as a “coach.” She described the services she would provide (and charge for): inspire, motivate or cheer lead, dispense advice, help devise a plan, and act as a sounding board for those who need some extra help in their life, career, etc. One of my other former colleagues upon hearing this said matter of factly, isn’t that what friends do for each other — for free? Bingo.
Now, I’ll admit there are advantages to having someone “on call” to take questions, etc., but in the case of infertility, there is RESOLVE (a volunteer organization), more infertility blogs offering advice and firsthand experience than you can shake a stick at and certainly plenty of research available. Would I really want to pay someone to help me decide where I am in my infertility workup and decision making? I’m not sure. And it’s not like people pursuing treatment (the vast majority of which is not covered by insurance) have extra cash laying around. I think an extra acupuncture visit and some time with my infertility blog mates would do more to clear my head, but that’s just me.
What would you do? (And what would you charge me for an answer?)
February 27, 2008 4:11 pm
I think my problem is – what do they DO? A sports coach could at least make you better at running or throwing or jumping, but how’s a fertility coach going to make you better at conceiving or staying pregnant? Doesn’t make sense to me.
February 27, 2008 4:50 pm
Here I started a support group and I should have been charging for my services instead.
It bugs me that she charges so much and over the course of the 12 weeks makes about $1200 off a couple already struggling financially. I love providing the role of a coach, but I can’t see profiting from it.
February 27, 2008 4:58 pm
Heck, if someone would hire me for $85 a session once a week for three months, I would do it. However, I like the idea that we all contribute to this “coaching” every day through our blogs for free.
February 27, 2008 5:24 pm
I believe this is more properly called a counselor or therapist, assuming the person has some level of certification, not just a “go out and get it done” spirit. IMO, a couple is better off seeing a therapist, as therapy is more often covered by insurance.
I cannot imagine saying to D., “Honey, I think we need to see a fertility coach.” It’s a trivial-sounding term.
February 27, 2008 7:22 pm
I absolutely agree with DD – i think we “coach” each other every day through our blogs. I also do it with the various girls i’ve met through IF. We talk each other through all the major decisions.
I think it’s a pretty obvious way to make money but a bit like ambulance chasing to make money from other people’s sadness.
February 27, 2008 9:19 pm
I agree with all the previous commenters. If you need coaching or advice for your infertility, start a blog. The advice and support is good and it’s free.
I already have issues with the amount of money REs are making off of our infertility, but at least they are providing a service that puts you closer to conceiving. But, I don’t really understand what a “fertility coach” can do to put you closer to conceiving that warrants them charging a fee for their “services.”
February 27, 2008 10:25 pm
I agree. Unless a fertility coach has the power to erase time, has some voodoo magic to guarantee me pregnancy success, or offer to be my surrogate if my IVFs don’t work than they are a waste of my money!
February 27, 2008 10:52 pm
But maybe it’s sort of like a doula (but earlier in the process, obviously). Somebody who is there in the process solely to support you, to be your advocate if necessary, and to translate medical hocuspocus as it appears.
February 28, 2008 2:17 am
I can only imagine things like, “Just relax, and it will happen” or “Why don’t you just adopt” or “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be and you should move on with your life”…pay $85 for that? I think not!
February 28, 2008 4:30 am
You’re kidding right? No, I guess not. Americans sure are enterprising people.
February 28, 2008 10:39 am
Some days I would have gladly paid someone to be my wise and supportive friend. ‘Cept for the blogging, of course!
I think the volunteer organisations out there are only as good as the volunteers on the day – bless those wonderful volunteers and their organisations – and that some volunteers you just won’t click with. Same with clinic counsellors, etc. If it helps you, it helps.
Use of the word “coach”? Well, there are voice coaches, chess coaches, maths coaches – I think it’s fair within the definition.
February 28, 2008 1:30 pm
I agree with Ellen. The word “coach” conjures up images of cheerleading & “rah rah.” I’d like to know what qualifies this person to bill themselves as a “coach.” I know there is a woman hereabouts who bills herself as an infertility “consultant.” She has done a lot of research on Canadian & U.S. clinics & will direct you to the clinic she thinks will best fit your situation. For a fee, of course.
My dh & I did seek third-party help twice during our infertility journey. I saw this woman speak at an all-day seminar on IVF that I attended & picked up her business card. She had a MSW & her card read “individual, couples and group therapist” and “infertility counsellor, post-trauma & grief counsellor” and I suppose she could have called herself a “coach” if she wanted to. She had been through infertility herself. We found it very helpful at those points (first, deciding whether we wanted to take the next steps in our treatment, and second, whether it was time to call it quits) to get a neutral third-party perspective. We paid for both sessions out of our own pocket (she told us her basic fee, but indicated a willingness to take whatever we thought we could afford to pay her), but we got a lot out of that one hour, and she left it totally up to us whether we wanted to see her again. Sometimes it’s helpful to get that neutral third-party perspective.
February 28, 2008 4:35 pm
Wow! I think I’ll hang out my shingle today and start letting the bucks roll in. What qualifications does this person have, beyond personal experience, which may or may not translate into real assistance for others?
Loribeth’s therapist was a trained pro with extra experience that made her help valuable. A far cry from a “coach.”
Sounds to me like someone can just call themselves a fertility coach, charge therapist prices, and yet not bother with any actual education or oversight. IMO, another example of preying on couples at a vulnerable place in their lives.
February 29, 2008 4:56 am
I agree with everyone… I can’t believe someone is looking to profit from other’s suffering. I believe this blog world, we are all coaches for each other… and we don’t have to pay for it.
February 29, 2008 3:25 pm
Wow…I hate to say that people still surprise me in the way they want to exploit other’s pain.
March 2, 2008 12:15 am
I think the concept of a fertility coach is odd. But then again, I’ve never been into any of the other kinds. I prefer to use my own grey matter to make decisions and choice about my own life. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t get it.
March 3, 2008 4:26 am
I can’t stand the whole life coach trend…especially when people think those in my field (psychology) who practice are nothing more than those psycho-babbling life coaches. As other commenters have already pointed out 1) we have our our brains and research skills, and 2) they still won’t be able to wave a wand at your girlie parts and make a baby pop out.
The industry…it just grows and grows.