Zita West in consultation

Zita West – on fertility, IVF and advice for couples trying for a baby

We take some time out of Zita’s busy day consulting with clients to ask a few questions about her and her passion for helping couples conceive.

How did you first get interested in fertility?

Having been a midwife for many years and helping women through their pregnancies it was a natural progression for me. People started to come to me to help them have babies and so what is wonderful now, is that I can look after women before they get pregnant, and then all the way through their pregnancies as well.

How do you think your training and background has shaped your Clinic?

Being a midwife, it’s good to have the medical background but it’s also a benefit to not have the restrictions of a complete biomedical model. Even though evidence-based research is very important, my training has enabled me to look outside the box and apply the holistic approach to help couples conceive. Also, my background as an acupuncturist is completely different to the western midwifery training. This has helped me enormously in terms of actually being with people and in developing my integrated approach to fertility.

What do you think is the greatest achievement of the Clinic so far?

Setting up the IVF service is our greatest achievement so far. Before this service started, I used to send many couples for IVF who needed it, and I was always frustrated by their experience going through. So now, to be able to team up with Dr George Ndukwe, to able to hold their hand and to give them support, as well as achieving fantastic pregnancy success rates, is incredible. These women have always been really important to me. But let’s not forget it’s the team you build around you that creates the magic. None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for them.

What do you think women can do to help themselves when trying for a baby?

Lifestyle, nutrition and stress all have a role to play in a couple trying. I think there is so much conflicting advice out there and very often women don’t know which way to turn. They want to be proactive and I really believe that there are lots of complimentary therapies that can be used alongside mainstream medicine that really help.

What advice do you have for women before they start a cycle of IVF?

Preparation, preparation, preparation! On all levels. Far too many women and couples race into IVF without being prepared mentally, physically and emotionally. Again, I believe using the holistic approach is very important to ensure that they are ready.

What can your Clinic offer couples that other clinics can’t?

We offer a plan of action, somebody that pulls the strands together, and a holistic approach. We have very experienced therapists who are part of the team which offer support that other clinics don’t; I’d like to think that we excel in patient care.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

When I’ve seen a couple, helped them with a planned approach and they leave feeling happier and lighter, knowing what the next steps are. I also love the babies, and the baby photos that come through the post. Couples always remember you when they have a baby and they’ve struggled.

How do you relax at the weekend?

Relaxation I find very difficult, as I find it very hard to switch off. My best relaxation is with friends and family, watching box sets in the winter or gardening in the summer.

Find out more about how the clinic supports Natural Conception and IVF