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Program Helps Women Cope With Infertility Problems

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RALEIGH, N.C. — These days, some women are finding out getting pregnant is not as easy as they thought it would be. Infertility can be a crisis, but there is a program designed to help women cope.

Women get together all the time to share conversation and laughter. But when one group meets, the topic is more serious. The group members were having trouble getting pregnant.

"If your fear is that you'll never get pregnant, it really spins around and around in there," nurse and family therapist Pam Richey said. "People really needed to feel less isolated because that's one of the biggest symptoms that I see in my office. They don't have anyone they can connect with about how this really feels."

In 2002, Richey started the Mind/Body Program for Infertility. The goal is to support women and help them relax.

"Infertility creates a tremendous amount of stress. One way to learn to deal with the stress of infertility is to learn to let your body relax," Richey said.

Seven-month-old Lawson was a dream long before she was born. For three years, her parents tried to get pregnant. After three in-vitro fertilizations and Richey's program, it happened.

"Overwhelming joy. Christmas came early. It was unbelievable," said Stephanie Beguelin, Lawson's mother.

"The old saying, 'When Momma's not happy, no one's happy,' let me tell you when it comes to this because this consumed her every living moment and day," said Eric Beguelin, Lawson's father.

"It enabled me to deal with the stress and the anxiety and the emotional rollercoaster you are on in trying to get pregnant," said Stephanie Beguelin.

Richey emphasizes there are no guarantees anyone will get pregnant. Judy Seidenstein did not, but she said with the support of the group, she is considering adoption.

"Really being able to look at this from a perspective of I'm going to be alright. No matter what happens at the end of the day, I will be alright. That didn't happen immediately," she said.

Richey said more than 50 percent of her clients have gotten pregnant. For those who don't, she hopes they will end up in a better place emotionally.

"It's just wonderful. It makes me feel like what I do is worthwhile," Richey said.

The 30-hour program lasts for 10 weeks.


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