Louise was the world’s first IVF baby – she has visited Cryos
Louise Brown was born as the first baby through IVF treatment in 1978. Her birth gave hope to millions of couples with fertility problems, and today more than 8 million children have been born through IVF. Louise is a living example of how science can help people fulfil their dream of a child, and therefore we are happy to announce that Louise has become a Cryos ambassador. As an ambassador for Cryos, Louise will help us create awareness about infertility and fertility treatment options.
This November, Louise visited Cryos. We got the opportunity to have a chat with her about her growing up as the world’s first baby born through IVF, and why she feels it is important to create awareness about fertility problems and treatment.
“My mum tried to have a baby for about 10 years with my dad – and nothing happened. She went to her doctor with depression and they found that her inability to get pregnant was the cause of that. They put her in contact with Patrick Steptoe (who was one of the developers of IVF) to see if he would accept my mum and dad to the trial of creating the first baby through IVF.”
How was your upbringing as the words first IVF baby?
“To me, it was my normal life because I have not known anything different. I have just dealt with it as it came along. Growing up as a teenager was quite tough because I used to overthink things. One of the things that I couldn’t get out of my head was that somebody on the other side of the world knew me and I didn’t know anything about them.”
What do you work for today?
“Up until March this year I worked full time. But on my 40’s birthday, I realized that me being vocal about IVF was a good thing and hopefully, I could help a lot of people. When my mum and dad started their journey, there was no help to get. It is nice to see the amount of help there is today. But we still need to improve on that. Hopefully, my voice will help that.”
Do you feel a responsibility to raise awareness about infertility?
“I feel that mum and dad did the unknown, IVF treatment, and that was their part. I think that I should be here to carry on and raise awareness. My mum said before she passed away that without IVF, she wouldn’t have had any family. It’s not just having a baby, it is about creating a family and about people carrying for one another.”
What is your message to people struggling with infertility?
“My mum never gave up. There were tough times and my dad said come on let’s not do this anymore and she said no, I’m doing this. As soon as she met the fertility doctor she believed in him – that he would help her. Trust in your doctor and keep going. My mum never gave up and she got what she wanted.”
How do people react to your story?
“I went to Bulgaria and I was visiting a clinic. I had been there previously and my visit enabled the government to found IVF there. Because of my visit, they managed to open the fertility clinic with IVF. I was walking around the fertility clinic with a camera crew and there was a lady walking around with her little baby. She asked the doctor who I was and afterwards, she came over and hugged me and said thank you. That was quite touching.
I have got quite a lot of people coming up to me saying thank you. I say that I haven’t done anything, I was just born, and then they say yes, but you gave us hope. Mum having me was the hope and the start of everything.”
You can learn more about Louise Brown visiting her website.