Training as a student midwife for almost three years now, I have had the opportunity to meet many couples who have started the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) pathway. I always aim to give care and support to these couples in the same way as I do with any other couple. Nevertheless, I admire the courage and efforts of these couples to achieve what may for them be considered one of the most precious award in their lives, the pregnancy and the birth of their children.
I first became interested in the topic of fertility and infertility in 2016 when I participated as a volunteer at the Fertility Fest, http://www.fertilityfest.com/
organized by Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier at Park Theatre, London. The event gathered 60 artists, IVF experts and around 400 participants (in both festivals held in London and Birmingham). The festival was a celebration of the successful and unsuccessful stories connected with IVF, explained by the true stories of couples and artists (such as actors, writers, photographers and musicians). I learnt a lot from professors, couples and artists about topics that student midwives and midwives should all be familiar with in order to offer the best care, advice and support. It gave me an insight into the IVF journey and all the emotions connected with couples who chose this option.
The funding I received for the Iolanthe Midwifery Award will give the opportunity to ten student midwives from my University (City University of London) and ten midwives to participate in the 2018 Fertility Fest. Their attendance will enhance their knowledge and sensibility about topics such as facing the diagnosis of infertility, IVF, donation, surrogacy, the male experience, egg freezing, involuntary childlessness and alternative routes to parenthood.
I felt very proud to receive the Iolanthe Student Award. It has motivated me to continue with my studies and reminded me about my commitment to midwifery care