Implementation of routine first trimester combined screening for pre-eclampsia: a clinical effectiveness study. 2020.

Making the UK the safest place in the world to give birth

02 April 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 4


From a campaign that began in a hospital spare cupboard, Tommy's is now the largest UK charity working to reduce the country's unacceptable rates of baby loss, premature birth and other pregnancy complications

Tommy's was founded in 1992 when two obstetricians at St. Thomas' Hospital, Dr Ian Fergusson and Dr Anthony Kenney, couldn't and wouldn't accept the lack of answers surrounding premature birth any longer. Together with one of their patients, Lucy Nelson, they decided to start raising money to fund investigations of why some babies are born early and how it can be prevented. The campaign grew into Tommy's, which is now the UK's biggest funder of pregnancy research.

Since opening the country's first-ever pregnancy research centre in 1997, focused on understanding and preventing premature birth, the charity has expanded to include centres dedicated to stillbirth and miscarriage. Tommy's researchers also work to reduce the risks that mothers and babies face from complications such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, as well as studying how pregnancy is affected by long-term health issues like obesity and autoimmune disorders.

However, science alone can't save babies' lives; translating study findings into the best possible care and advice for parents is crucial, so in 2002, Tommy's set up its midwife-run PregnancyLine and online PregnancyHub which currently supports millions of families at all stages of their journey. By offering expert information and impartial advice on everything from pre-conception health to baby movements and nutrition, the charity empowers mothers to have healthier and safer pregnancies.

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