First test tube baby Louise Brown.

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About this work


Patrick Steptoe narrates this film about Louise Brown, the first 'test tube baby'. Her mother is seen being prepared for Caesarean section and the baby is seen being born and being shown to the camera. 2 segment.


UK : Central Office of Information, 1978.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (15 min.) : sound, color



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Made by the Central Office of Information for the Department of Health and Social Security


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive.


Segment 1 Consultant Patrick Steptoe introduces the subject of In Vitro Fertilisation, and says that 1 in 10 couples have problems with infertility. He explains the basics of IVF. An operating theatre in Oldham General Hospital is shown, and Lesley Brown, the mother, is wheeled in on a bed. She is unconscious under general anaesthetic in preparation for a caesarean section. The narrator explains Lesley Brown's medical history and how she conceived through IVF. The caesarean section begins. The narrator describes the steps of the operation. The uterus is incised. The amniotic sac is opened and the fluid is suctioned. A hand is inserted below the baby's head and the baby is expelled. A nurse applies suction to the baby's mouth, and the baby cries. The doctors being to stitch up the mother. The baby is checked and put into an incubator. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:08:02:01 Length: 00:08:02:01
Segment 2 The uterus is inspected. The peritoneum is closed. The muscle sheath is closed. The baby is weighed. The narrator notes that the placenta was also removed and sent to a lab for examination. The doctors and nurses smile in a group and hold the baby for the camera. The baby cries. Patrick Steptoe is seen again and says that the technique will hopefully become available to many women over the world, as long as it is in a strictly medical and ethical manner. Time start: 00:08:02:01 Time end: 00:15:17:05 Length: 00:07:15:04



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