A reflex action for the Babymaker

OVER THE years she's become known as the Babymaker.

It's a title heavy with responsibility but Sue Calvert doesn't mind a bit.

Sue has been helping couples with fertility problems for many years and now takes credit for 100 pregnancies.

To couples desperately longing for a child, Sue offers hope where conventional medicine has failed.

She advises on the best ways to improve fertility and practises reflexology as well as relaxation.

Sue is used to stepping into the breach but wishes she could help sooner.

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"People tend to come as a last resort and I only wish they'd come sooner.

"Reflexology is a remarkable treatment and the women I've treated are proof it works."

Sue has turned a spare bedroom into a treatment room at her detached home in Millhouses, Sheffield.

Certificates and framed magazine articles hang on the walls and for those willing to leave their scepticism at the door, there's every chance Sue could work her magic.

Last month Sue featured in a BBC2 documentary which reunited many of the couples she's helped.

It also questioned reflexology and asked whether touching someone's feet really could reverse infertility or boost sperm count.

To Sue however, there's no debate.

"There haven't been enough studies carried out," explains Sue, who passionately believes in alternative medicine.

"It's difficult because fertility is a personal issue.

"Not everyone wants to talk about it but I'm sure if a study was conducted it would back up what I do."

I don't know why it works, but it does. See next page.

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WHEN Janet Hallam lay on Sue Calvert's treatment table for the first time, the Sheffield reflexologist felt her feet and announced her right fallopian tube was missing.

"I certainly hadn't told her," recalled Janet, who visited Sue after trying unsuccessfully for a baby for more than three years.

"I had an ectopic pregnancy while trying for our second child and doctors removed one of my tubes."

Janet, 37, and husband Craig desperately wanted a baby but doctors had said the odds of natural conception were slim.

"There's no scientific proof reflexology works but I went to Sue because it had worked for other people wanting children.

"We tried for 18 months and then I got pregnant but it was ectopic. After that we tried for another year or so but doctors only gave us a slim chance.

"As well as my missing tube, my husband had a low sperm count and so we looked into IVF. It was going to cost about 3,500 and there's no guarantee it will work. We were told we might need as many as three attempts. Going down the IVF route is a big thing. It can be heartbreaking.

"I'd heard about fertility reflexology and read an article about Sue so I spoke to Craig and we decided to give it exactly six months then try IVF.

"Sue gave Craig some vitamin tablets and I relaxed during our sessions. I thought 'Well if it doesn't work at least I'll have been pampered'. I didn't think it would work but she had a good reputation and compared to the cost of IVF, it was affordable.

"In the sixth month I got pregnant. It was amazing and we were overjoyed"

Janet and Craig's son Harvey, a little brother to seven-year-old George, was born just over a year ago, seven weeks premature.

"People ask 'How can massaging your feet help you get pregnant'? and I don't know the answer but it did.

"Logic tells you that the scientific approach should work better.

"But whatever Sue did, it worked for us. It's just bizarre but I'm a definite convert."

After six years of trying, she was our saviour. Next page.

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Main news index.AFTER six years trying for a baby, Claire and Ian Whittaker had almost given up hope.

The Sheffield couple were saving up for their third attempt at IVF and were trying to accept they'd never become parents.

But all that changed when Claire's mum read about Sheffield 'Babymaker' Sue Calvert in a woman's magazine.

"We were so desperate to become parents and had tried for so long we'd almost given up hope," explained Claire, a secretary, from Chapeltown.

"My mum phoned to say she'd read an article about Sue Calvert and I just thought 'Why not?'

"We didn't have anything to lose."

Claire dragged husband Ian, a legal clerk, along to Sue's home in Millhouses for the initial consultation.

"Ian was a bit sceptical but we decided to give it a go and I was impressed by Sue's record.

"I had confidence in her and trusted her. When she filled out my record card on my first visit she said I'd be pregnant by the time her notes reached the bottom of the record card. I doubted her but she was right."

Claire made slight alterations to her diet and, perhaps more significantly, she learned how to relax at her weekly reflexology sessions.

Within three months Claire, 32, was pregnant.

"I couldn't believe it. I did four pregnancy tests and Ian had to come home from work because he couldn't concentrate. It was just unbelievable.

"We'd gone through massive stress and heartache for six years since we got married. We'd spent thousands of pounds on IVF and the consultant basically told me my eggs weren't good enough.

"I came home from that appointment totally deflated and thought that was it.

"We'd talked about adoption although we were prepared to give IVF a third attempt.

"Sue gave me hope back and I had a positive outlook after meeting her.

"We can't thank her enough for what she's done for us."

The couple's son, Ellis, was born last October and since then Claire has referred several friends to the reflexologist.

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