Featured Mum: Laura Buckwell

Laura Buckwell is a prominent figure in the Dubai television arena. She was formerly the news anchor for City7 TV as well as being in high demand as an MC in the event industry.

Laura has been working on screen and stage for over a decade. As well as presenting many programmes she has also been a producer working on the development side, creating show ideas and proposals. In her role as business reporter and then later, news anchor she has interviewed the CEO of Emirates Airline and Group HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the UAE Minister of Economy H.E Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri and Emaar’s CEO Mohammad Alabbar to name just a few. Other global figures have included the former Australian Prime Minister the Honorable Bob Hawke, the CEO of Nestle Worldwide, NASA astronauts and the legendary sports star and Laureus CEO Usain bolt amongst many others.

With such a busy, high profile life, we wanted to find out how Laura manages to combine working and motherhood and hear about why she chose to store her child’s stem cells.

How did you first hear about banking stem cells?

I was drawn to the idea of stem cells about 5 years ago when I was pregnant with my first. Our Doctor asked if we were interested, which we were at the time, but we didn’t really read up enough about it. It wasn’t until I went to My Pregnancy Arabia earlier this year that I understood the full benefits through case studies and the experts.

Why did you bank your child’s stem cells?

I was reluctant at first, as we didn’t bank our first child’s stem cells when he was born but as soon as I found out they can be used for siblings I signed up immediately. The thought of such invaluable insurance for my children’s future health is priceless. Another perk I liked was that the collected stem cells can be banked in 2 different places (Geneva and Dubai) and can be flown to anywhere in the world when you need them. The fact that there are 80 different diseases currently being treated through stem cells (including cancer, blood disorders and bone marrow disorders) and loads more under study, goodness knows what we can use them for in 10 years’ time.

How has your life changed since having your children?

I still work as an MC part-time but life pretty much revolves around my children now and it can be incredibly chaotic but rewarding at the same time. Learning how to juggle everything has taken time and I’m still not properly into a routine. It’s also changed my outlook as it’s not about me anymore but rather what is best for them.

Tell us about your children. How old are they, what has your favourite moment of their development been so far?

Marnix is 4 and is a proper character. He quite a boisterous little man and likes to go first in everything. My favourite part of his development has to be his writing and learning abilities off the back of school. It’s amazing how they pick things up so quickly. He asked me to ‘come and look at the view’ the other day. So funny!

Annabelle is only 2 months but is growing every day. She’s the most smiley baby, a lot more than Marnix ever was. Seeing those smiles in the morning is worth the sleepless nights. Although she’s managing 6 hours most evenings (famous last words!)

What one piece of advice can you give to first time mums?

Through all the anxiety of whether you’re doing it right or not, try to enjoy as much as you can as it goes in a flash. As the saying goes – ‘if you worry about anything it means you are a good mum’. I remember having anxiety as to whether I would be able to do the whole mum thing but it’s amazing how human nature takes over and you just get on with it. Another couple of good tips is to sleep when the baby sleeps and to make sure you see a Lactation expert as soon as possible if you decide to breast feed. Getting that latch right makes a huge difference and unfortunately I learnt the hard way. Remember that every baby is different too so what works for one friend might not work for you, so try not to compare.

Have friends or family been encouraged to store cells because you did?

I hadn’t really discussed it before but as soon as I mention I’m doing/did it, stem cell storage becomes a great topic of conversation and everyone I’ve spoken to is now looking into it. It was my dad who was most encouraging. There are only positive things to say and it needs more awareness.

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