For information on the IMPROvED study, see www.infantcentre.ie
MONIKA Zygowska, right, aged 32, is from Poland originally and lives in Wilton with partner Alan McCarthy.
She made Cork her home seven years ago when she pursued her PHD studies in Bioelectric Chemistry at the Tyndall Institute in UCC. She currently works as a lab scientist at Johnson & Johnson. Monika is 27 weeks pregnant with her first baby due on Friday, October 13.
Prior to her participation in the study, Monika didn’t know much about preeclampsia as none of her family or friends had experienced complicated pregnancies. However, her interest in science was one of the deciding factors in her participation in the project.
“I found the whole idea of the study very interesting. As a scientist myself, any contribution I can make to help develop this screening and to help women in the future... then I am more than happy to do so.” Monika speaks highly of her experience throughout the process. “During the visits, the midwives and research team members were so lovely and friendly. They put me at ease and were happy to answer any questions I had in relation to my pregnancy, which was reassuring because as a first-time mum, you don’t know much about pregnancy or what to expect!”
Maggie O’ Leary, 28, from Carrigaline is married to Brian and is mum to 11- month-old Finn, pictured right.
She trained as a midwife , though hasn’t worked as one to date.
The mum worked in child care up until recently when she started working in infant health research at UCC. This is what motivated her to participate in the IMPROvED Project.
“I’m interested in research myself so having seen a leaflet in CUMH on the day of my first scan, I contacted the team on Facebook, told them that I was 13 weeks pregnant, and that was it!” Despite relentless morning sickness for the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy, Maggie had an uncomplicated pregnancy.
She hopes that by taking part, in some way it will lead to more awareness around pre-eclampsia.
“If you think about it, 1,500 mothers equates with 1,500 families so you have 1,500 women who will potentially go to mother and baby and or pregnancy related events and activities where they will end up talking about preeclampsia and so word will spread.”