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San Diego Based Infertility Support Group

San Diego Infertility Support Group

Take a Mind-Body Approach to Infertility Coping

Clinical Social Worker Rachel Rabinor and Naturopathic Doctor Elizabeth Winter have started a 6-week infertility support group with a special focus on the mind-body connection for the San Diego community.

The group began when Dr. Winter and Rachel Rabinor, through their own backgrounds in naturopathic medicine, midwifery, and social work, felt there was an absence of real-time support for women grappling with the stressful, time-consuming and emotionally challenging aspects of infertility.

Dr. Rabinor has had her own personal experience with secondary infertility while Dr. Winter holds a strong belief in the power of integrative medicine. With these as their launching points, the two began this innovative support group that honors the mind-body connection and incorporates holistic medicine techniques such as:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Clean eating
  • Yoga
  • A safe, supportive, face-to-face environment.

With the help of Dr. Rabinor and Dr. Winter, we aim to make the IVF process as stress-free as possible as stress can be a major, if not the major, inhibitor to successful IVF.

An Integrative Medical Approach to Infertility.

Dr. Winter, as a naturopathic doctor and midwife, is a staunch believer in focusing on infertility through integrative medicine. “It’s crucial in terms of preparing the body and supporting the body,” she notes.

The program she established with Dr. Rabinor focuses on the mind and body relationship, addressing one’s mental health and wellbeing along with nutritional health and lifestyle. “Each woman’s infertility issue is very specific,” explains Dr. Winter, “and it’s necessary to provide targeted nutrition and supplements.” Other topics covered in the support group include how to detox from toxic environmental exposures, appropriate exercises for health and wellbeing, sleep patterns, and relationship issues.

What to Expect

Over the course of 6 weeks, the support group meets for an hour and half a week, focusing on building connections, sharing experiences, practicing guided meditations and mindfulness techniques in addition to nutrition and lifestyle factors that can help with overall fertility health. The group also offers homework to participants so that the skills and information learned in the once-a-week meeting can be practiced and incorporated into their daily lives.

This support group is open to women exclusively. Rabinor notes that while group couple therapy with both men and women is certainly helpful, it does change the discourse.

“Women in groups with other women communicate differently than in a mixed gender groups in general and also when dealing with such personal issues,” Dr. Rabinor explains. The support group is designed to provide women with a space where they can focus on all the various issues, emotions, and challenges they face as women trying to have children. It’s not meant to be exclusionary, only to offer the best support possible.

Developing a Positive, Shame-Free Outlook

Women who have a difficult time conceiving often feel undeserved shame and stress. Through this support group, Dr. Rabinor hopes to end the kind of isolation she had felt during her own journey through secondary infertility.

In addition to the social expectation of having children present in some communities, well-meaning family members and friends can inadvertently say inappropriate, hurtful things. The support group addresses such scenarios and provides participants with coping skills and techniques to alleviate the sting of such remarks or ways to avoid them altogether. While learning coping skills are crucial to the support group, it also emphasizes the importance of positive feedback and incorporates some CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) skills. In addition to learning how to cope with infertility, the ultimate goal of the therapy is to help patients live happier, more fulfilled lives.

To find out more about Rachel Rabinor, LCSW and Dr. Elizabeth Winter, ND, as well as their San Diego-based Infertility Support Group and Fertility Workshops, please visit their main websites at:

What Our Patients Say About Us

After hours of research about IVF, I found that most websites had a limited amount of information buried under the same repro center promises and static websites. Finding Hanabusa IVF's site piqued my interest, though, and after reading a couple of your blogs, I felt safe. A doctor that spends time educating, pointing out both the negatives and the positives is both unique and refreshing. I am so glad I found you and can't wait to meet you!
-JH