Lets talk about Sex: Where do babies come from?
Published: 1/02/2021 at 5:45 PM
One child in every classroom is conceived outside the bedroom, not on a park bench, not on a beach, not in the back of a car- in a laboratory, in the confines of an incubator, with the help of doctors, nurses and scientists.
It is the untold story of conception that we are not sharing with our kids but that’s about to change. Fertility clinic Genea are breaking the taboo and shaking up the conversation with the launch of a new film and children’s book explaining where some babies come from.
Genea Fertility General Manager, Kathleen Waite said, “For some children their parents needed a helping hand or it could have been the only way to make the magic happen. We want everyone to recognise that families are created in lots of different ways.”
Ms Waite added, “We are thrilled to launch the book and film, explaining in an engaging, sometimes enlightening way how sperm and eggs are collected and develop into an embryo in an incubator. We have always been at the forefront of fertility treatment and now we’re being even bolder and taking the lead on the fertility conversation.”
The most recent Australian New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database, compiled by the University of New South Wales, suggests that by 2023 it is likely one child in every Aussie kindergarten classroom will be conceived via IVF. Ms Waite says not only are the book and film about being honest with children and explaining where some babies come from but also educating on infertility. “One in every six couples struggle so let’s not set the expectation that conception is always easy. We want to acknowledge that it can take a little longer or they need a helping hand to create the family they’ve always wanted.”
Genea is also calling for the introduction of “fertility classes” in high schools. “Teenagers should be taught about the dangers of leaving it too late in life to fall pregnant and fertility should be educated as part of life planning.”
Heidi Stevens underwent IVF at Genea to conceive Sianna (5 months) and Elsa-Jodi (2), “IVF was once socially unacceptable, it is now the new norm.” The Stevens will be reading the book to their children, “we haven’t explained to the girls how they were conceived so when the time is right, the book provides us with the perfect opportunity. We want to be upfront with the girls, there’s no shame in infertility- in fact, I think it will help them understand just how wanted they are.”
On the topic of fertility education in the classroom, Heidi wishes she had been taught more, “I never considered it would take us so long to have a baby. At school you’re bombarded with information on how not to get pregnant, with the assumption it is easy – we should be teaching the next generation that for many of us, the road to parenthood is a longer journey.”
* Foetal heart pregnancies. Study performed in Genea’s Canberra laboratory, 2015-2018.