BBC Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett reveals she is expecting her second child

Broadcaster and host of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Emma Barnett has revealed she is expecting a baby, after suffering a miscarriage at the beginning of the year.

The presenter and mother-of-one, 37, who has previously opened up about having endometriosis and how it affects her fertility, said she and her husband are expecting a baby early next year.

However, following her loss at the beginning of 2022 Emma admitted she lives with ‘fear’ that this pregnancy may not work out, and added much of the conception process is ‘pure luck’.

BBC presenter Emma Barnett (pictured with her son) has revealed she is expecting a baby early next year 

In early 2022 Emma, who presents BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, opened up abbout suffering a miscarriage after her fifth round of IVF

In early 2022 Emma, who presents BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, opened up abbout suffering a miscarriage after her fifth round of IVF

Emma also shared that this pregnancy is the product of a sixth round of IVF, following the miscarriage from the fifth round.

After the first five rounds, the journalist said she and her husband had decided their sixth attempt would be their last – describing it as ‘eerily ironic’ that this attempt has been successful.

She also said that, following the end of covid restrictions, her husband was allowed in the room with her when the embryos had been inserted, following several lone trips to the fertility clinic during the pandemic.

Writing on her substack blog, Emma, who shares a son with her husband, argued women are ‘shamed’ into silence about infertility issues, adding she found herself ‘pretending this was a normal way to live’ as she continued to have IVF. 

However, after suffering the miscarriage at the beginning of this year, she said the loss was ‘a slap in the face I couldn’t ignore’, which influenced her decision to write about her experience.  

Describing the process of IVF, Emma said it was ‘isolating’, even though she had a supportive partner to rely on.

Emma said her previous experiences with infertility have left her with a fear that something will go wrong with this pregnancy

Emma said her previous experiences with infertility have left her with a fear that something will go wrong with this pregnancy

It is only the woman who can take the pills, receive the injections, insert the pessaries, give the blood, eggs and then receive the embryo. And then have the baby removed if the process works, and then doesn’t,’ she said.

The broadcaster added she tried to keep ‘IVF-me in a box’, but added that version of herself ‘spread’ as her friends and loved ones managed to have more children, while she and her husband were struggling to conceive.

Addressing the pressure she felt while going through the IVF process, she wrote about ‘the cycle of injecting, endless early morning blood tests, egg retrieval, embryo transfers and then the negative pregnancy test result hitting you in the face – all while keeping down a job and trying to manage the toll it takes on your relationships.’ 

Now she is expecting her second child, Emma also addressed the difficult balance women have to strike when sharing such news with their friends – many of whom may be struggling to conceive.

She advised people not to ‘spring pregnancy news on those people in person’ as this could bring up upsetting feelings and memories for them. Instead, she suggested sending a text, which gives that person time to process how they feel before sending their congratulations.

After losing one pregnancy following her fifth round of IVF, Emma opened up about the ‘fear’ that stays with her throughout this pregnancy, and how it affects her response when people offer their congratulations.

At a wedding this summer, where people could see she was pregnant and offered their good wishes, the broadcaster revealed she was muted in her reply and said things like: ‘Hopefully it will happen’. 

She added her Jewish background exacerbated this attitude, as typically in the Jewish culture events are not celebrated until they actually happen.

Looking back to her first pregnancy with her son, Emma revealed she was too frightened to unbox any baby equipment until he was born, with the nursery also unprepared, in case something happened to him.

Acknowledging the people she knows who have never been able to conceive, Emma admitted she thought twice about writing a blog and sharing the news of her pregnancy publicly. 

However she added: ‘No one has IVF for it not to work. No one.’