pregnantish is the first online magazine dedicated to helping people navigate all things Infertility. Founded by Andrea Syrtash, pregnantish offers a wealth of information on this often overwhelming and emotional process.
You can find Andrea and pregnantish here:
www.andreasyrtash.com and www.pregnantish.com
Follow pregnantish: @pregnantish on facebook, @pregnantishmag on twitter, and @pregnantish on Instagram.
You went from writing about relationships to focusing on Infertility, what led you to start pregnantish?
Funny, I always say that I'm doing the same work as I've done for a decade, which is help people navigate relationship challenges. Infertility is so often pegged as a medical issue (which it is!) but it also affects relationships in the deepest way: the relationship you have with your partner (if you have one. If you don't, that's a whole other challenge!), the relationship to your family and friends and the relationship you have with yourself and your body.
I created pregnantish (small p because...not yet pregnant!) because I've covered so many chapters of modern day relationships through my books, articles and TV appearances. I felt like a huge chapter of peoples' relationships, infertility, needed to be addressed.
I always say that I'm credible, not clinical. I'm credible in that I'm a relationship journalist who has tracked trends, published books, coached people for a number of years while I've been going through trying to get and stay pregnant. I've had a medical issue since I was 14, when I was hospitalized with endometriosis, and always knew I may have challenges getting pregnant, but never imagined it would take so long. It's been over 7 years and almost 6 years ago I had open-stomach surgery to remove a freakishly large fibroid tumor.
I was frustrated that content in this category was relegated to clinics, message boards and parenting sites. Bloggers do great work, and there are great advocacy sites out there, but I was searching for a high-quality lifestyle site to address this. There are over 7 million people going through this challenge. I didn't understand why it had to be a vertical on a parenting site and not an independent site/digital magazine dedicated to this audience. (I should also clarify that we address singles and LGBT who may not be 'infertile' but still need support as they go through fertility treatments.)
At pregnantish we work with a team of professional journalists and a health book editor. I take the content we share very seriously and make sure we have premium content to serve this smart and thoughtful audience.
Has there been a topic that most resonates with people?
Yes! Anytime we publish articles or social posts about the misconceptions, it resonates with our audience. One of our most popular pieces is 'Stop Telling me To Look on the Bright Side' Our audience is sick of people telling them to just relax and think positively and it'll happen! They want people to know that they have a medical issue that requires more than the quick fixes people share with them.
You advocate for talking openly about Infertility. Do you think there has been a shift toward others doing the same?
I'm starting to see a shift, for sure. Celebrities are 'coming out' about their own experiences of miscarriage, IVF and/or surrogacy. Some brands are starting to recognize that this is a group that shouldn't be ignored. My hope is that the taboo is broken. One of the great essays on pregnantish is 'Let's Break the Taboo of Infertility.' that we launched the site with. The writer, Elissa Strauss, talked about how breast cancer used to be taboo and now it's hard to imagine as there are walks and merchandise and awareness. We imagine infertility will become more talked about ahead...it's so isolating to feel like nobody knows what you're going through.
You present at many conferences and are interviewed often. What question are you most often asked?
I'm asked why I created pregnantish when I already had and have a pretty comfortable credible brand in the relationship space. I just hosted a pilot for Fox in the Spring. I'm still out there regularly in the media sharing sex & relationship advice (which is sexier than infertility!), so people ask why I've moved on. It's important for me to communicate that I haven't moved on. I see infertility as a chapter of many modern-day relationships, so I want to address it.
People also probably offer a lot of thoughts or unsolicited advice. What is the craziest thing someone has suggested to you?
Definitely! That's the biggest pet-peeve with our audience, for sure. The craziest advice I got (last year!) was that I should just hold my legs high up in the air after sex and it'll work. It was comical, actually. After over 7 years, many treatments, surgery, pregnancy losses...I didn't realize it was that easy! :)
What has been the most helpful advice someone has offered?
The most helpful advice I got a few years back was that if I want to be a parent, I'll find a way."
What advice would you offer to someone starting out on their Infertility journey?
Firstly, not to feel badly that you have anxiety or stress. People will tell you to stop stressing, but this response is incredibly normal and expected. Practice self-care - that's critical. For some, that may mean skipping your 15th baby shower or it may mean getting a massage or speaking with a counselor. Find what comforts you.
Finally, I always say that you don't need to know the how, the when or the where of it. You just need to know the what - that you'll be a parent. You'll get there.