First baby born through IVF has an important message on her 40th birthday 9 months ago

First baby born through IVF has an important message on her 40th birthday

The first baby born through IVF has an important message.

Louise Brown, who is celebrating her 40th birthday this week, was the first baby to be born through in-vitro fertilisation.

In 1978, her parents Lesley and John Brown went to the doctor to say that Lesley was suffering from depression due to her inability to become pregnant.

Soon after, they heard about an experiment being conducted by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards that would fertilise eggs outside of the womb.

Nine months later, Louise arrived - the first in the world to have been born through IVF. Steptoe and Edwards suggested that her middle name should be 'Joy.'

40 years on and Louise has an important message for those who allowed her to come into existence, and the others who criticised the technique used to let her parents become a mother and father.

Writing in the Independent today, she said:

"When I was born, Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, the two men who came up with the technique, suggested my middle name be Joy. They said my birth would bring joy to so many people.

"Forty years, and millions of babies later, many will agree they were right."

She went on to say that IVF gave hope to those who were struggling with fertility related issues back then - and it still does now.

"IVF in its many forms brings hope for people in despair that they will never have a child.

"So many things have changed in the decades that have gone by, but the desire for couples to have babies has not. My mum, Lesley Brown, went to the doctor suffering from depression. At the heart of it was her inability to have a child with my dad, John."

Louise's parents then went on to have a second child through IVF - a baby girl called Natalie. She was the 40th baby to be born this way.

Louise went on to say that IVF has become a worldwide industry that excludes many from availing of its services.

However, she said that at the heart of the technique is a person's desire to have a child.


"I’ve seen IVF grow from just me in a small room in Oldham with my mum and dad, to a world-changing procedure.

 "To the men and women going through IVF I say: “Never give up hope.” To the doctors and embryologists I say: “Keep up the good work.” And to all those involved in getting IVF to this stage I say: “Thank you for all you have done on behalf of the millions of babies.”

"Once I was the only one in the world. Now, there are millions of us and we can no longer be ignored."