Baby Bear is the first for Bourn Hall Wickford

The first baby has been born following treatment at the new Bourn Hall Wickford fertility centre, less than a year after it opened. Bear’s mum Leonie was so delighted to have a positive pregnancy result she drove to Tesco in her pyjamas to buy more tests, she just couldn’t believe the good news.

For Leonie, who met her husband Chris at 19, having children was always on the radar. “We got married four years ago and started trying for a baby straightaway but I had a feeling that I might struggle to conceive.” She had had an operation on her ovaries at 15.

IVF success 

After years of trying to conceive the couple got advice from the GP and were prescribed Clomid to boost Leonie’s egg production. When this was unsuccessful the couple were told that they were eligible for NHS-funded IVF and chose to go to Bourn Hall just as the new full service fertility centre was just opening close to where they live.

“We are absolutely delighted for Leonie and Chris,” says Dr Arpita Ray, Lead Clinician for Bourn Hall’s Essex clinics.

“We have a double celebration, our first baby and the first anniversary of the clinic. Leonie and her husband were also the first NHS patients to have their consultation at the new clinic in its first week of opening and their heart-warming story demonstrates the life-changing impact of NHS funding. ”

Embryo freezing gives couple more chances after successful IVF treatment
Leonie and Chris at Bourn Hall before Bear was born

NHS funded IVF in Essex

Bourn Hall Wickford provides fertility advice, support and treatment for people at every stage of their fertility journey and Bourn Hall is the only fertility clinic based in the East of England offering NHS funded IVF to the people of the region (this covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire).

To celebrate its first anniversary Bourn Hall is hosting a Holistic Fertility Event – with the opportunity to have a free taster session with some of the complementary therapists that offer treatments at the fertility centre. Physical and emotional wellbeing is important in fertility treatment and advice will be given on how to get ‘fertility fit’ and to manage the stress created by infertility.

Bear was born in April – less than a week after Leonie’s 31st birthday – and his parents are now happily adjusting to life as a family of three at their home in South Ockendon.

The couple also have five embryos from their treatment frozen at Bourn Hall, which means that if they later want siblings for Bear they will be able to have a Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle without the need to undergo another full cycle of IVF.

Leonie says: “Chris is an only child and we always wanted more than one child so it is really reassuring to know that we have those embryos in the bank for the future.”

Mental and physical wellbeing 

Only a very small percentage of people who struggle to conceive need IVF and Bourn Hall Clinic offers a wide range of fertility services as well as comprehensive fertility testing and expert advice on improving natural fertility. Steps which both men and women can make to try and boost their natural fertility include reducing alcohol intake and stopping smoking; cutting down on caffeine and maintaining a healthy weight.

Leonie with Bear, Bourn Hall Wickford's first baby

Free event: Holistic Approach to Fertility – 8th June 2019

This informal event taking place at Bourn Hall Wickford is for anyone trying to conceive.

Visitors will have the opportunity to talk to a range of fertility experts and support organisations as well as meet complementary therapists specialising in fertility acupuncture, reflexology, nutrition and fitness. There is no need to register for the event – just drop in anytime between 11am and 2pm on Saturday 8 June. Attendance is entirely free of charge. More information


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