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Tommy's presented with cheque from Newman's Own Foundation
Unique premature birth clinic wins top NHS prize for reducing premature birth
13 February 2013 04:46:00

‘Having a Healthy Pregnancy’ guide available for free in Asda Pharmacies across the UK from Monday 21st January
21 January 2013 14:45:00

'Tommy's Tape' enters the 21st century!
08 January 2013 13:01:00

Simple test will help predict and prevent premature births
16 November 2012 05:55:00

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Unique premature birth clinic wins top NHS prize for reducing premature birth
13 February 2013

Experts state that national roll-out of this clinic’s model could prevent almost 9000 premature births - 15% of all premature births - in the UK.

A unique Preterm Surveillance Clinic – based at St Thomas’ Hospital, London and part of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – has won an NHS Innovation Challenge Prize, for its success in reducing the number of premature births in South East London. The clinic is funded by the national baby charity Tommy’s and is led by Professor Andrew Shennan, who is also Professor of Obstetrics at King’s College London. It focuses on screening for, treating and preventing pre-eclampsia and premature birth.  

The prize was awarded in the ‘Better Management of Pregnancy’ category and under the challenge of ‘Innovation’ – which rewards innovative healthcare practices and ideas that have demonstrated a positive impact in the local context where they have been implemented, but which have not yet received wider recognition.  

Impact of a novel preterm surveillance clinic
The clinic was awarded the prize after demonstrating the success it has had in preventing premature birth over the past decade:

•    Despite nationwide increases in preterm birth, the care provided by the clinic means that rates have reduced by 15% in the high-risk local area from 9.2% to 7.8% (same as the UK average of 7.8%).
•    Over 90% of high-risk women seen at the clinic have had a healthy baby at full-term, compared to a national average of 50-70% of women.
•    Now the largest preterm clinic in the world, it has influenced development of similar specialist clinics in the UK (London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Belfast) and abroad (USA, China and India).
•    The clinic has pioneered a test that more accurately predicts preterm birth in women at risk. The test, developed by Hologic, measures the exact level of a protein known as fetal fibronectin (fFN) that reliably indicates whether a woman will give birth prematurely, and as such has led to significant cost-savings: for each patient admitted from the pre-term clinic, the test saved an average of £1,800 per patient because many women didn’t receive unnecessary treatment and could be discharged home. Given the expense of the 60,000 premature births per year in the UK, the national uptake of this new test could lead to national NHS savings of over £100 million a year.  

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes recognise and reward ideas that tackle some of the most challenging areas in healthcare. Successful applicants are awarded prize money, normally up to £100,000. Professor Shennan has been awarded £150,000 from the Department of Health, the biggest prize to date.

Professor Shennan collected his prize at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 12th February at The RSA in London, along with Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of the baby charity Tommy’s.  Tommy’s funds medical research into premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth, and offers free health advice to all parents-to-be, to ensure more women have a healthy pregnancy.  The Maternal & Fetal Research Unit at St Thomas’, which is where Professor Shennan operates his Preterm Surveillance Clinic, is one of the three research units in the UK supported by Tommy’s.   
 
Professor Shennan says: “We are delighted that the Preterm Surveillance Clinic has been recognised for its innovative approach.  Premature birth is often caused by a combination of different complex factors, and so far no single strategy has been effective in reducing pre-term birth rates. We are very proud that our clinic is bucking that trend, by offering a unique package of care for high-risk women, based on best research and clinical evidence.”  

Jane Brewin, Tommy’s CEO, says: “Premature birth affects a huge number of families each year and can have devastating consequences. So we hope that this recognition of the Preterm Surveillance Clinic helps implement a national model, so that this sort of specialist care is routinely available to women at risk, wherever they live. If other clinics were to have the same impact as this one, the national rate of premature birth could also decrease – instead of increasing – meaning that potentially 15% (9,000) of all premature births in the UK could be prevented.”

Giving hope to women who had suffered previous losses
Susan Harper-Clarke, 34, from Teddington, had suffered two late miscarriages previously. After some online research she found Tommy’s website and the Preterm Surveillance Clinic at St Thomas’.  A week later she had an appointment, and was then under the care of the clinic during her next pregnancy. Under the team’s care (including an abdominal stitch and regular fetal fibronectin testing and cervical length tests) she gave birth to her son, Thomas Harper, at 38 weeks in July 2012.

Susan says:  "The emotional trauma my husband Graeme and I experienced when we lost our 2 baby girls, Emilia and Grace, was indescribable.  When pregnant the third time with Thomas, the fantastic support and care we had from Professor Shennan and his team at the Preterm Surveillance Clinic was second to none.  The relief at being surrounded by such a professional and caring team throughout the entire pregnancy meant our stress levels were kept to a minimum.  Thomas arrived safe and sound all thanks to them."

Louisa Caroline-Hines, 46, from Bromley, previously had three premature babies - two whom didn’t survive.  While pregnant with her daughter Cicely, Louisa was treated by Professor Shennan at St Thomas’ Preterm Surveillance Clinic, and subsequently gave birth to Cicely on the 29th December 2010 at full term.

Louisa says: “Our lives were falling apart, but Professor Shennan gave us the conviction that we could have a normal pregnancy, and I gave birth at full-term under his guidance.  I am so indebted to the team at the Preterm Surveillance Clinic, and Tommy’s, for the care we received.”

The fFN test - used with patients such as Susan and Louisa - uses equipment known as the 10Q analyser, developed by Hologic. The updated version of the 10Q - which accurately determines the level of risk and provides a definitive answer in 10 minutes - is already installed at 189 hospitals but Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is the first to use its more accurate, quantitative capabilities.

Other key aspects of innovation include the quick and easy access to care and information for all women, through the clinic’s association with Tommy’s. Tommy’s developed its ‘Having a Premature Baby’ guide which is used in the clinic - and based on the clinic’s research - and this guide will have reached almost 40,000 women in its first year of production.

In the UK, 7.8% of babies are born prematurely (60,000 per year), and this number is on the rise. This could be due to higher incidences of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, or the growing trend for later motherhood.

Risk factors of premature birth include prior history, being underweight, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, infection, maternal age, genetics and multi-fetal pregnancy.  Not enough is known about the interplay of these and other environmental and social factors, which is why many preterm births remain unexplained.

The NHS and economic resources required to meet the burden of preterm birth are huge and long-lasting, and so even a small reduction in preterm birth can make a significant impact: 90% of NHS costs are focused around neonatal care, and total costs to the NHS is £2.9billion a year: comparable to those of smoking, alcohol and obesity.  This makes preterm birth a major public health issue that has not, to date, received major investment for prevention.

‘Having a Healthy Pregnancy’ guide available for free in Asda Pharmacies across the UK from Monday 21st January
21 January 2013

Tommy’s and Asda are lending a helping hand to would-be-parents, with the help of the charity’s ‘Having a Healthy Pregnancy’ guide, which will be available for free in Asda Pharmacies across the UK from Monday 21st January.


The guide is Tommy’s staple pregnancy health publication, produced to help women maximize their pregnancy health.  It provides key information on the different stages of pregnancy and antenatal care, and was revised in 2012 – with funding from Asda - to also focus on evidence-based lifestyle advice, including diet & nutrition, weight management, exercise, smoking cessation and maintaining good mental well-being.


The 104-page full-colour-book has ten chapters including:

  • A detailed pregnancy calendar
  • Chapters on diet, weight, exercise, smoking, mental health and drugs and alcohol.
  • Antenatal care – from finding a midwife to what happens during your antenatal appointments, as well as what your notes mean.
  • Preparing for birth – writing a birth plan, packing your bag for hospital and pain relief options.
  • Labour and birth – what to expect.


Tommy’s has also recently been certified by the Information Standard, so those who refer to Tommy’s publications, can feel reassured that the information they receive is evidence-based, reliable and trustworthy. Since its inception, the guide has always proved to be an invaluable resource for pregnant women, with expert advice and helpful tips.  Some examples from the ‘Did you know’ sections include:

  • A healthy diet in pregnancy can help reduce the risk of your child having diabetes and heart disease later in life.
  • Drinking tea and coffee at meal times can interfere with iron absorption, so try drinking water instead, or liquids high in Vitamin C such as orange juice.
  • If you stop smoking before the 15th week of your pregnancy, your risk of premature birth and having a small baby becomes the same as that of a non-smoker.
  • Even if you don’t smoke, other people’s smoke can still affect you and your baby if you breathe it in.
  • It is not about ‘eating for two’: an extra 200 calories - the equivalent of two small slices of bread - is all that is recommended and only in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy.

 

Beckie Lang, Health Campaigns Manager for Tommy’s, says: “For many, pregnancy provides an excellent opportunity to adopt better lifestyle choices.  Pregnancy is a very exciting journey that will bring many changes to your body, your lifestyle and your family.  However, we know changing behaviour and certain habits can be hard, so our ‘Having a Healthy Pregnancy’ guide aims to show women the best ways to have a healthy, happy nine months, giving your baby the best possible chance to be healthy and strong.”


Faisal Tuddy, Deputy Superintendent Pharmacist at Asda said: “Working in partnership with Tommy’s, we will continue to help provide support and advice for women trying for a baby, mums-to-be and new mums. Women can visit any Asda Pharmacy, at any time, for information or guidance on pregnancy starting from as early as the pre-conception stage - and it costs nothing.”


To find your nearest Asda store, go to: http://storelocator.asda.com/
For further information go to: www.tommys.org/asda

'Tommy's Tape' enters the 21st century!
08 January 2013

Popular collection of nursery rhymes, songs and poems performed by celebrity supporters now available as a digital download for the first time!



In 1992 (the year baby charity Tommy’s was founded) a host of celebrities took part in a special charity challenge on the BBC’s ‘Challenge Anneka’ programme and recorded a series of children’s nursery rhymes, songs and poems to form the very popular ‘Tommy’s Tape’ – a cassette tape subsequently sold in aid of Tommy’s, to help fund the charity’s pioneering medical research into the causes and preventions of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

Twenty years later, as Tommy’s celebrates its 20th anniversary, the charity is releasing a digital version of the tape, available to download on iTunes and other music websites.

Produced by legendary record producer Sir George Martin,  who oversaw the rise of The Beatles, the album consists of classics such as ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, ‘Old Macdonald Had A Farm’, and ‘Nellie The Elephant’ performed by a host of stars including Anneka Rice, Joanna Lumley, Timmy Mallett and Phillip Schofield.  Perfect for long car journeys, bedtime or parties, this album will keep little ones easily entertained!

Anneka, who now hosts Radio 2's Weekend Breakfast show, says: “What fantastic news that Tommy’s Tape is being re-released. I remember the challenge well - it was a huge amount of fun and incredible to see so many famous faces get behind the challenge, and turn around this tape in just three days. Twenty years on supporting Tommy’s work is as important as ever, and this is an easy way for parents to contribute to the charity’s work.”

Jane Brewin, Tommy’s Chief Executive, says: “It’s not every year that we can say we are releasing an album, so this is exciting news for us, and we are so thankful to all of the celebrity supporters who took part back then, and for supporting the album’s re-release now. We’ve made huge advances since Tommy’s started in 1992, but need more support than ever now to carry on our work and ensure every baby is given the best start in life.”

Pregnancy complications - such as premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth - are more common than people think, and current statistics show that 1 in 4 women will lose a baby at pregnancy or birth in the UK.

Furthermore, each year in the UK:
•    1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage
•    4000 babies are stillborn
•    60,000 babies are born too soon (which can lead to cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, disability, blindness, deafness and illness in adulthood).

Despite the statistics however, traditionally little funding has been made available for pregnancy health research in the UK – Tommy’s therefore relies on the fundraising efforts of the public to carry out its work.

Proceeds from each download of ‘Tommy’s Tape’ will help Tommy’s carry out its vital work. The album is priced at £7.99 and individual tracks at £0.99.  Go to: www.tommys.org/tommystape for details.

Celebrities involved in the original recording include Anneka Rice, Phillip Schofield, Sonia, Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph (‘Birds of a Feather’ cast members), Right Said Fred, Mike Read, Paul Nicholas, Nanette Newman and daughter Emma Forbes, Timmy Mallett, Joanna Lumley OBE, Maureen Lipman, Beverley Craven, Jenny Agutter, Johnny Amobi, Kenny Andrew, Colin Charles, Peter Alex Newton, Horace Oliver, and Dick Wayne from ‘Five Guys Named Moe’, Jason Connery, Sam Brown, Jean Boht, Pam Ayres, Julia Fordham and Sir George Martin (producer).

Simple test will help predict and prevent premature births
16 November 2012

The risk of pregnant women giving birth early can be accurately measured with a simple cervical swab, according to research from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, funded by baby charity Tommy’s. Funding of which has been made possible by Asda customers and colleagues who helped to raise over £1m for Tommy's in 2011. This test will reduce distress for women who would otherwise have received unnecessary treatment.

The swab quantitatively measures the level of a protein known as fetal fibronectin (fFN). If the protein leaks out of the womb into the cervix, the likelihood of premature labour is increased. fFN levels reliably indicate whether a woman is likely to give birth prematurely. 

Improvement

fFN is already used as an indicator of likely preterm birth, but not in a quantitative way, meaning that many women are treated unnecessarily. Just five per cent of those who currently receive treatment go on to give birth prematurely.

 “The updated fetal fibronectin test reduces the need for low-risk women to stay in for observation or get treatment when they don’t have to,” says Professor Andrew Shennan, who led the research. “Treatment and transferral to other units can be inconvenient and distressing. This updated test is more precise, so we can give a more definitive diagnosis.”

Susan Clarke, 34, was at risk of losing her baby following two miscarriages, and was referred to the Tommy’s-funded Preterm Surveillance Clinic at St Thomas’. The tests showed that she had very low levels of fFN, so the chances of her going into labour prematurely were very small. “The low fFN readings gave us peace of mind and meant we could keep the stress levels down,” says Susan, who gave birth to Thomas at 38 weeks.

Sally Campbell, 42, was 27 weeks pregnant when her fFN test came back positive. As this meant she was likely to give birth prematurely, she was given an injection of steroids to encourage her baby’s development, and sent home to rest. This careful management of her pregnancy meant that Sally ended up carrying her daughter, Missy, to term. “Staying at home was hard for me, as I’m an active person and I had to stop working,” says Sally. “But it was worth it for Missy. I don’t think she’d be here if it wasn’t for the test and the care from Professor Shennan and his team.”

The fFN test uses equipment known as the 10Q analyser, developed by Hologic. The new version accurately determines the level of risk and provides a definitive answer in 10 minutes (the old version of the 10Q analyser takes 23 minutes and is not quantitative).

The updated version of the 10Q is already installed at 134 hospitals but Guy’s andSt Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is the first to use its more accurate, quantitative capabilities.

“The test is so speedy,” says Susan. “After the sample was taken, I would get changed, grab a cup of coffee and the results would be ready.”

Premature birth is increasing

In the UK, 7.8% of babies are born prematurely (60,000 per year), and this number is on the rise. This could be due to higher incidences of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, or the growing trend for later motherhood.

Women at high risk of giving birth prematurely may be prescribed bedrest; given medication to relax the uterus; and/or have a cervical stitch. If they are more than 24 weeks pregnant, they can be given steroids that help to mature the baby’s lungs.

Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of Tommy’s, says: “Premature birth affects a huge number of families each year and can have devastating consequences for many families.  As such we devote much of our current research to identifying women at risk, and preventing it from happening in the first place.  We are delighted that the funding we provide enables research and medical advances like this predictive test, to ensure women receive the best care possible, and their babies the best start in life.”

The research comes to light just prior to World Prematurity Day – Saturday 17 November – an international awareness day to raise awareness of the 15 million babies who are born prematurely around the world each year.

Cost savings

Another benefit is that the improved fFN test should lead to significant cost savings for the NHS. “For each patient in our pre-term clinic, we saved an average of £1,800 because many women didn’t receive unnecessary treatment; and most importantly they all received more appropriate care,” says Professor Shennan.

With nearly 60,000 premature births per year in theUK, the national uptake of this new test could lead to national NHS savings of over £100 million a year.

The research was funded by Tommy’s, which funds medical research in to pregnancy complications such as premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage.  The charity also produces a free guide called ‘Having a Premature Baby’, for parents at risk of having, or who have had, a premature baby.

The research will be published online today (Fri 16 Nov) in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Statistics about preterm birth

  • Over 90% of high risk women seen at St Thomas’  clinic have had a healthy baby at full-term, compared to national average  of 50–70%.
  • Total cost of preterm birth to NHS is £2.9billion  a year, equivalent to that of smoking, alcohol and obesity. Reducing the rate of preterm birth even by a small amount, will have a significant impact on reducing this cost
  • Using the fFN as routine screening for all women at the pre term clinic has reduced cost per admission by 35% despite increased workload – this is because the women identified as not at risk by a negative test can be discharged

Guy's and St  Thomas' provides 1.6 million patient contacts in acute and specialist hospital services and community services every year. As one of the biggest NHS Trusts in the UK, with an annual turnover of £1.1 billion, we employ 12,500 staff. The Trust works in partnership with the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Biomedical Sciences of King's College London and other Higher Education Institutes to deliver high quality education and research. www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk

Tommy’s believes every pregnancy should have a happy ending and that every baby should have the best chance of being born healthy. It funds medical research into the causes of premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage, and provides free information for parents-to-be about health in pregnancy. This includes a telephone midwife service, a comprehensive website and free books and leaflets promoting health in pregnancy. By 2030 Tommy’s wants to halve the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth. Registered charity number 1060508 and SC039280. www.tommys.org

The free guide, Having a premature baby, funded by the Asda Foundation, is available to download from www.tommys.org/store

Hologic, Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostic products, medical imaging systems, and surgical products that help women everywhere lead longer, healthier lives. Our Rapid fFN® (fetal fibronectin) test gives obstetricians a clear picture of preterm birth probabilities, which is valuable information to support decision making about treatment options for the mother. www.ffntest.com

World Prematurity Day, 17 November 2012, is a global movement to raise awareness about prematurity highlighting the burden of preterm birth, informing on simple, proven cost-effective solutions, and envoking compassion for families who have experienced preterm birth. This year marks the second World Prematurity Day and activities are in support of the Every Woman Every Child effort led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and A Promised Renewed. Preterm birth is a global problem affecting families in across the world. Over 60 per cent of preterm births occur in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; yet the problem of preterm births is not only confined to low-income countries:  with both the United States and Brazil ranking among the top 10 countries with the highest number of preterm births. With nearly 60,000 preterm births per year in the UK, Tommy’s is part of this global team of organisations working together to raise awareness of premature birth around the world. www.tommys.org/worldprematurityday

Guy’s and St Thomas’ is part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. King’s Health Partners is one of only five AHSCs in the UK and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity. www.kingshealthpartners.org

Instant Sunshine Tickets
29 October 2012

Due to a recent problem with our ticketing provider (www.ticketweb.co.uk), tickets for the Instant Sunshine event are not currently available online. To order tickets over the phone please call: 020 7398 3420. Once again please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Bounty launches new pregnancy IPhone app endorsed by Tommy's
18 October 2012

Bounty, the leading parenting destination for new and expectant mums, has launched a brand new pregnancy iPhone and Android app, which has been endorsed by Tommy’s the pregnancy charity and sponsored by Unilever.

 

Building on the success of Bounty’s baby names app, which since its launch in June has received 41,000 downloads to date, Bounty’s ‘pregnancy diary’ app will provide mums-to-be with personalized support throughout pregnancy.

Available to download for free from the App Store, functions of the app include:  

•    Due date calculator – to keep the app updated and personalised  
•    This Week – helpful articles outlining what is happening week by week with baby’s development and mum-to-be’s body
•    Journal –  from exercise, mood, baby’s movements and cravings, mum records her own personal journal, which also creates graphical charts of her results to share with friends, family or midwife
•    Gallery – the option to take and share photos, including an album feature showing weekly images of mum’s development
•    Helpful tips and videos – answering questions throughout mum’s pregnancy, including tips and advice on maternity clothing and skincare. Plus a special guide for Dads

The launch is supported by an email campaign targeting over 150,000 pregnant women, along with advertising in 950,000 Bounty Pregnancy Information Folders and Bounty Guides.

Catherine Ainsworth, Head of Consumer Experience at Bounty says: “As the UK’s best-loved parenting club Bounty is uniquely placed to drive unrivalled numbers of downloads through its 2.5 million members. Research amongst our 30,000 strong Word of Mum™ panel shows mums spend an hour a day using apps on their phone and we look set to release more sponsored mobile apps driving value for new and expectant parents and brands alike.”

Karen Wint, Director at Tommy’s says: “Tommy’s is delighted to endorse the Bounty pregnancy app. The app is such a useful tool for parents-to-be and helps support them along their pregnancy journey. Tommy’s and Bounty work in partnership to improve the health of mums-to-be and their babies through our Five Point Pregnancy Plan. We are both committed to ensuring all babies arrive healthy and on time.”

New Guinness World Records title set as huggers embrace for 25 hours to raise money for Tommy's
20 September 2012

The Olympics may be over, leaving the nation feeling blue, but world records are still being set and one in particular is inspiring the UK to share a little love and perk up…Today, 20 September 2012, seven euphoric and very weary huggers from bear brand Forever Friends cuddled their way into the record books with a new Guinness World Records title for the world’s longest marathon group hug – hugging continuously for over 25 hours at Leeds train station to raise money for baby charity Tommy’s.

The huggers* began the endurance record attempt at 10.00am on the 19th September with two goals on their mind: to embrace one another, clinching a new world record of 25 hours under the watchful eye of an official Guinness World Records adjudicator and raise vital funds for Tommy’s to help more parents enjoy their first hugs with their little ones.

The world record comes as Forever Friends and Tommy’s embarked on a two-year partnership to raise £40,000 for the baby charity to fund ongoing research to ensure that fewer babies are lost during pregnancy or birth. As part of the partnership, Forever Friends, the iconic friendship brand which this year celebrates the 25th birthday, will be supporting several Tommy’s initiatives across the year.

On setting the record, Forever Friends brand manager and head hugger Jacquie Costello animatedly commented, “We’re all so excited that we’ve set a new Guinness World Records achievement. I just can’t believe that after 25 hours of cuddling one-another, we celebrated with a hug!

“It was physically much harder than any of us ever expected, especially throughout the night, but the support we received was fantastic and I can’t think of a more fitting way to help raise vital funds and awareness for Tommy’s.

“We’ve been working hard over the last few months to get the nation expressing a little more affection, so what a way to round off the summer than by achieving this title. We hope that our hug-a-thon will further raise awareness of Tommy’s and also inspire a little more love across the UK.”

It was decided to base the attempt in Leeds after a national study** into affection levels showed that one in five people in the city would like more hugs in their lives, making them one of the most hug-deprived cities in the UK.

Rowan MacMillan, Corporate Fundraising Manager for Tommy’s said, “I want to give a huge thank you on behalf of Tommy’s to everyone involved in the world record hug. We hear far too many stories of parents whose babies are born too soon and too small, or don’t survive because of pregnancy complications – the money raised from this epic hug will go towards giving more parents every chance of having that first hug with their little one.”

Manu Gautam, the official adjudicator from Guinness World Records said: “For this marathon record, Guinness World Records set a minimum time of 25 hours. After examining video footage and keeping a very close eye on our close knit participants, we are happy to confirm that the group of huggers from Forever Friends are now Guinness World Records holders!”

Under the guidelines for the record of 'longest marathon group hug', participants were required to hug continuously, not changing their arm position and standing at all times. Only five minute breaks for each complete hour of the attempt were allowed, for speedy loo visits.

Tommy's wins BMA patient information award
19 September 2012

Tommy’s ‘Having a Premature Baby’ Guide has been awarded the runner-up prize for the British Medical Association (BMA) Patient Information Resource of the Year Award, 2012.

     

Professor Baroness Hollins, President of the BMA, presented the award at a reception at BMA House on Thursday 12 September 2012.

The book was developed and produced thanks to a grant from the Asda Foundation and is an essential and unique source of information for anyone told they are at risk of giving birth early as it provides:

•    Information and advice to support parents and parents-to-be through pregnancy, birth, their baby's time in hospital and early days at home.
•    Help for parents to navigate the early months of their child's life as well as encouraging them to look after their own well-being during this difficult time.
•    Best practice treatment advice for those told they are at risk of giving birth early to help them have a full-term pregnancy, such as healthy lifestyle advice to help prevent premature birth.

It is the only comprehensive guide available to parents from the moment they find out they are at risk of giving birth early, to taking their baby home.
The guide is available to order online from the Tommy’s website, free of charge. Click to order the book now here

Saving pounds, saving lives
24 August 2012

Asda and Tommy’s join forces this summer, to help every parent see their child grow up.

This August and September, Asda customers can help support baby charity Tommy’s – and parents across the UK – by stocking up on their baby essentials during their local Asda Baby & Toddler event, while making valuable donations to Tommy’s.

From 27 August to 16 September 2012, leading brands such as Huggies, Pampers and Cow & Gate will be giving a donation to Tommy’s, while customers can also benefit from the great value offered on these products during the Baby & Toddler event.

With a percentage of sales of these products going to Tommy’s, Asda aims to raise a whopping £100,000 for the charity, to help fund its vital medical research into giving every baby the best start in life.

Tommy’s supporter and singer Natasha Hamilton is supporting the fundraising drive.

She says: “My youngest son Harry was born a couple of weeks early, which gave me just a glimpse of what some parents go through when a baby is born prematurely. My experiences have really made me appreciate what some families have to go through and that's why I'm doing all I can to support Tommy's. By raising money for research into pregnancy complications, I'm hoping that more families will be able to enjoy the amazing experience of seeing their children grow up."


Since 2000, Asda colleagues, staff and suppliers have helped to raise £3 million for Tommy’s. As such Asda has helped contribute towards Tommy’s medical research and information services which reach 90% of all women in local communities across the UK. This essential service provides mums and dads with the help and support that they so desperately need after the loss of a baby, as well as information on how to help minimise complications during pregnancy.

Unfortunately not every mum and dad is lucky enough to have a healthy baby, and pregnancy complications are far more common than people think. Every year in the UK:

  • 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage
  • 4000 babies are stillborn
  • 60,000 babies are born too soon (which can lead to cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, disability, blindness, deafness and illness in adulthood).

This is why Tommy’s funds internationally-renowned research into pregnancy problems and provides free information about pregnancy health to parents-to-be. By supporting the Asda Baby & Toddler event this August, parents can help Tommy’s continue its work to ensure that more babies are born healthy.

 

For more information visit: www.tommys.org/asdababy

Forever Friends and Tommy’s embrace to set new Guinness World Records title
15 August 2012

Iconic bear brand Forever Friends and national baby charity Tommy’s have announced a cuddly collaboration as both intend to raise funds for research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth by setting a Guinness World Records title for the world’s 'longest marathon group hug' next month.

Due to take place between 19 and 20 September, a confederate of choice huggers from Forever Friends, Hallmark and Tommy’s will be limbering up to join forces – and bodies – under the watchful eye of an official Guinness World Records adjudicator for over 25 hours, non-stop!

The brainchild of the record, Forever Friends Brand Manager Jacquie Costello, highlights that the initiative is intended to raise awareness and much-needed funds Tommy’s, to aid its pregnancy information programmes, medical research, and support for anyone that has lost a baby through miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth.

Jacquie said: “We’ve been working hard over the last few months to get the nation expressing a little more affection during these difficult times, through social media and PR activity, and nothing represents the need for us all to stick together than a record-breaking group hug which I will personally be taking part in.

She continued, “Every hour we hug will also mark every year that the brand has been around, culminating in a 25 hour hug-a-thon, marking 25 years of Forever Friends!”

Rowan MacMillan, Corporate Fundraising Manager for Tommy’s, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Forever Friends as part of a two-year partnership which aims to raise £40,000 to fund ongoing research to help more parents enjoy their first hugs with their newborns.

“The Guinness World Records attempt is a fantastic initiative to help raise vital funds and also awareness through such a high-profile event which already has strong backing from our dedicated supporters. Let’s get hugging!”

The attempt comes as the brand wraps up it’s ‘Summer of Hugging’ initiative and continues to launch aspects of its new ‘vintage’ range, including stationery, mugs, photo frames and toiletries, which have just been released and are available from the Forever Friends website and in store. 

Forever Friends, which this year celebrates the 25th birthday of its iconic friendship brand, will be supporting several Tommy’s initiatives and has already sponsored the Tommy’s Baby Races this summer. They will also be sponsoring an award at Tommy’s 2013 Baby-friendly awards, which celebrates the most precious first hug given to a little one born too soon.

Thanks to Louis Kennedy for making this partnership happen. 

Find out more information about lending your support to the Guinness World Records attempt and pledging a donation to Tommy’s!

 

 

Instant Sunshine in concert!
04 July 2012

Join us for a special Tommy’s night out with ‘Instant Sunshine’ - live in concert!

Instant Sunshine

Instant Sunshine is a sparkling comedy quartet that has been entertaining audiences for 45 years with its witty anecdotal songs that affectionately mock the British way of life.  The band was formed in 1967 and has wowed audiences from New York, Hong Kong and New Zealand to Peckham! They have written and performed many signature tunes for radio and television, as well as recording on vinyl, cassette and CD. They had a long-running weekly slot on Radio 4’s Stop the Week and are regulars at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Ian Fergusson, one of the two obstetricians who founded Tommy's in 1992, has known and loved the band since its formation and has gathered his friends from student medic days – David Barlow, Peter Christie, Alan Maryon-Davis, plus more recent addition to the band, Tom Barlow - to host another memorable performance in aid of Tommy’s.


Please join us at the Greenwood Theatre on Friday 9 November for this lively evening of amusing musical entertainment. There will be a champagne bar (CASH ONLY).  To book tickets visit www.ticketweb.co.uk or call 08444 771 000.

Forever Friends and Tommy's: helping those magical first hugs happen
21 June 2012

•    New partnership aims to raise £40,000 for baby charity Tommy’s
•    Partnership aims to celebrate the importance of those first hugs with your newborn baby, especially for parents who have experienced pregnancy problems.

Tommy’s have recently embarked on a two-year partnership with Forever Friends, the lovable bear brand, who aim to raise £40,000 for the baby charity to fund its on-going research to ensure that fewer babies are lost during pregnancy or birth.
In the UK, 1 in 4 women will lose a child during pregnancy or birth; an estimated 60,000 babies will be born prematurely every year and 11 babies will be stillborn every day in the UK alone. Understandably, losing a baby at any stage is a devastating experience for the whole family and many parents are left wondering ‘why us’. Tommy’s is working to change this through funding vital research into miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth, and to provide free pregnancy health information to parents-to-be.

As part of the partnership, Forever Friends, which this year celebrates the 25th birthday of its iconic friendship brand, will be supporting several Tommy’s initiatives across the year. Forever Friends is sponsoring the Tommy’s Baby Races this summer, which are a series of 8K and 5K runs for parents to run or power walk with their baby in the buggy. They will also be sponsoring an Award at Tommy’s 2013 baby friendly awards which celebrates the most precious first hug given to a little one born too soon.

Katrina Cliffe, from Huddersfield, lost her first child Casey in 2004, because he was born too soon at 20 weeks. After losing another baby to miscarriage, she gave birth to her daughter Stevie in 2005, born 7 weeks early.  Stevie spent 17 days in special care but is now a healthy and happy 6 year old. Katrina says: 'The first time I held Stevie it was so emotional, considering her early arrival and our previous losses. I was lucky though - a lot of parents of premature babies don’t have that same experience, which is why Tommy’s work is so essential.'

Jacquie Costello, Brand Manager for Forever Friends, says: 'Forever Friends is delighted to be supporting Tommy’s and helping parents to enjoy their very first hugs with their new-borns. We are extremely proud to be working on such a worthwhile cause, helping more and more babies arrive safely into the world and highlighting the importance of hugs in everyone’s lives.'

Rowan MacMillan, Corporate Fundraising Manager for Tommy’s, says: 'We hear far too many stories on a daily basis of parents whose babies are born too soon and too small, or don’t survive because of a pregnancy complication – this partnership with Forever Friends means we can hopefully give more parents every chance of having that first hug with their little one.'

Pregnant women should not 'eat for two'
21 May 2012

New research has found that eating too much and gaining too much weight during pregnancy can put women at greater risk of suffering complications.

Jane Brewin, Chief Executive at Tommy's, says: “As part of our work to educate women on the best lifestyle choices during pregnancy, we welcome this study and believe that there is growing evidence to re-evaluate current guidelines for weight management during pregnancy. For women who start pregnancy overweight, we must encourage and support them to adopt healthier eating habits while pregnant – it’s never too late to do so, and will help ensure they have the best pregnancy outcome possible.”

 Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph here.

 

Born too soon - Global action report on premature birth
02 May 2012

New global report (2 May 2012) shows preterm birth is on the rise globally

Report proposes actions for governments, NGOs and communities in order to reduce pre term birth rates round the world

Premature birth comes under the international spotlight today with the release of a global report on premature birth. ‘Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth’ is a joint effort of almost 50 international, regional and national organizations, led by the March of Dimes, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Save the Children and the World Health Organization in support of the Every Woman Every Child effort, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The report provides the first-ever national, regional and global estimates of preterm birth, and shows the extent to which premature birth is on the rise in most countries. It is now the second leading cause of death globally for children under five, after pneumonia.

The report includes the first ever country by country premature birth rates, and explains what is known about preterm birth, its causes, and the kind of care that is needed.

Key figures highlighted for the UK include:

  • UK rates of preterm births are 7.8 percent of live births (2010)
  • UK ranks 46 out of 184 countries for numbers of preterm births (2010)
  • The countries with the lowest rates are mainly in Northern Europe
  • Australia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Guatemala all have similar rates to the UK
  • There are nearly 60,000 preterm births per year in the UK (2010)
  • Preterm birth rates in the UK are increasing at a rate of 1.5 percent (1990-2010)
  • Most European countries are increasing whereas the USA has a much higher rate but may be levelling or reducing.

Read more here

Tommy's guides available in Asda pharmacies!
30 April 2012

We're delighted to be partnering with Asda Pharmacies in an initiative over the next few months that aims to help women to have healthy pregnancies. We have provided 50,000 copies of our new guide Having a healthy pregnancy, which covers all aspects of pregnancy from conception to birth, to be given away with their free packs of folic acid.

Click here to read more about this initiative.

Thank you to all our London marathon runners!
24 April 2012

Thank you so much to all our amazing London marathon runners, who took to the London streets on Sunday with such bravery and determination. Read about the day and see some pictures here!

Let's get baby friendly Awards - winners announced!
19 March 2012

On Friday 16 March 2012 we announced the winners of our annual Let’s get baby friendly Awards, at London's Landmark Hotel. The ceremony was hosted by David and Carrie Grant, and awards were presented by celebrities including Lee Mead, Nancy Sorrell, Samantha Bond, Natasha Hamilton and Terri Dwyer.

The ceremony was a huge success with Tommy’s supporters coming from far and wide to celebrate with us. It was a glamorous affair as celebrities glided across the red carpet in six-inch stilettos and guests sipped champagne at the drinks reception before heading through to the stunning ballroom for a delicious three-course meal courtesy of the lovely Landmark Hotel. Even Bearemy from Build-A-Bear Workshop popped in to surprise our incredible Champion Children – Skye, Oliver and Isla. All the winners are an inspiration to us all and it was such a pleasure to meet them all.

This year, a record number of votes were cast throughout January and February 2012: with 205,799 votes cast in total, this was an almost 200 percent increase in voting numbers on the previous year, showing that parents really are standing up and rewarding the companies that go that extra mile to be truly ‘baby friendly’.

Read all about it and see the pictures here!

Trying to quit? Take part in a UCL study of online tools for quitting smoking in pregnancy
05 March 2012

University College London is trialling a study of new online tools designed especially for quitting smoking in pregnancy!Want to quit smoking? Take part in a study of some new online quitting tools, designed by UCL.

Researchers at UCL have developed new and free online tools for
quitting smoking that are designed especially for pregnant women.
These tools are now being tested and you are invited to take part if
you are pregnant, over 18, and interested in quitting.

The research is conducted over the internet, so all participating women
can receive help with smoking from the comfort of their homes.

Click on the below link to learn more about MumsQuit study and how you
can get involved.

www.MumsQuit.co.uk

Survey - your experiences in pregnancy after having a stillbirth or neonatal death
21 February 2012

We are funding a research project in Manchester University looking at ways to improve care for women in a pregnancy that follows a stillbirth or neonatal death. The researchers are conducting a short survey as part of their wider research. If you have been in this situation we would be grateful if you would take part.

To take part, please click here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WYJ77MW

Amanda Holden has her baby
26 January 2012
New book launched: Having a premature baby
17 January 2012

TOMMY'S LAUNCHES ITS FIRST PREMATURE BABY GUIDE

This new guide will be free of charge and will provide essential support for parents of babies born tooHaving a premature baby soon, as well as for those parents at risk of giving birth earlyIt is the only comprehensive guide available to parents from the moment they find out they are at risk of giving birth early, to taking their baby home

With rates of premature births rising - there are 50,000 a year in the UK - premature birth has a huge impact on an increasing number of families: in some cases, very premature babies may not survive or may go on to have long-term health problems.

That is why supporting parents through this time is so important to Tommy's, and why the charity launches today a comprehensive new book for parents who are at risk of having, or have recently had, a premature baby: "Having a premature baby."

Developed and produced thanks to a grant from the Asda Foundation, the new guide is an essential and unique source of information for anyone told they are at risk of giving birth early as it provides:

  • Information and advice to support parents and parents-to-be through pregnancy, birth, their baby's time in hospital and early days at home.
  • Help for parents to navigate the early months of their child's life as well as encouraging them to look after their own well-being during this difficult time.
  • Best practice treatment advice for those told they are at risk of giving birth early to help them have a full-term pregnancy, such as healthy lifestyle advice to help prevent premature birth.

Beckie Lang, Health Campaigns Manager for Tommy's, says: 'Having a premature baby is a daunting prospect for all involved. We know from the many mums and dads that contact us that there is a lack of resource for those that have been told they are going to have a premature baby, so we hope this guide gives parents the support they need.'

Louisa Caroline-Hines, 45, from Bromley, was one of the parents whose feedback helped to develop the book. Her son was born at 28 weeks, and was in special care for eight weeks. She says: 'I think the guide is brilliant. It is so comprehensive and I would have loved to have had a book like that at the time – having a premature baby can be a terrifying experience.'

The 94-page full-colour-book has six chapters:

  • Explaining premature birth
  • Reducing the risk of premature birth
  • The birth – before, during and after
  • Your baby's time in hospital
  • Taking your baby home
  • Looking after yourself - parents' wellbeing

All the information is evidence-based and it has been written with the help of a steering group of health professionals with expertise in pre term birth. It has also had input from parents of premature babies, who have given extensive feedback on the content as well as providing stories and tips for mums and dads going through similar experiences.

Tommy's has recently been certified by the Information Standard, so those who refer to all of Tommy's information - including the charity's publications - can feel reassured that the information they receive is evidence-based, reliable and trustworthy.

Paul Kelly, Chairman of the ASDA Foundation, says: 'The Asda Foundation is proud to be supporting Tommy's premature baby guide, which will help provide vital information and support for the many families across the UK affected by premature birth.'

Click to order the book now here 

Click to see a film about two supporters with experience of having premature babies who were involved in the development of the book

Premature birth statistics:

In England and Wales nearly 8% (1 in 13) of live births are born preterm [i] 21% of women who have had a previous preterm birth will have another one in their subsequent pregnancy. They are two-and-a-half times more likely to have a preterm birth than a pregnant woman who has not previously had a preterm birth.

Tommy's believes it is unacceptable that one in four women will lose a baby every year, either at pregnancy or birth. As such the charity aims to ensure that every baby has the best chance of being born healthy, by funding research into pregnancy problems such as miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and disseminating pregnancy health information that will help parents-to-be have a healthy baby.

NOTES TO EDITOR

For further information, please contact Vicky Hubbard (vhubbard@tommys.org) or Ann Brown (abrown@tommys.org) at the Tommy's press office - 020 7398 3448/6.

Tommy's

At Tommy's we believe every pregnancy should have a happy ending.

We want to give every baby the best chance of being born healthy, so we work to fund medical research into the causes of premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage, and provide a free information service that educates all parents-to-be about health in pregnancy.

Our information service is informed by our medical research and includes a telephone midwife service, a comprehensive website and free books and leaflets promoting health in pregnancy.

By 2030 we want to halve the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth.

Tommy's registered charity number is 1060508 and SC039280.

To speak to a Tommy's midwife call our PregnancyLine for free on 0800 0147 800

For more information visit www.tommys.org

Asda Foundation

The Asda Foundation is Asda's own charity, set up in 1988 and now funded by the profits of the mid-week lottery. The Foundation's mission is to drive the success of Asda in the Community by providing money for the local charitable causes that Asda colleagues get behind.

Asda has been a proud supporter of Tommy's for over 10 years, raising valuable funds for the charity's research through a combination of in-store promotions, activities and events.

 

[i] Office for National Statistics (2007) Preterm Births, Preterm births data, press release based on 2005 data

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-50818

Vote now in the Tommy's Let's get baby friendly Awards!
09 January 2012

 

 

Alesha Dixon and Weight Watchers release a single for Tommy's
06 January 2012

Weight Watchers UK has joined forces with Alesha Dixon to create a pop
anthem which puts members' weight loss success centre stage.

The single costs 99p from ituens and 25p from each sale will be donated to Tommy's.

The song, which plays out for the duration of the three minute TV ad, marries members' weightloss insights, all of whom have successfully lost weight on the Weight Watchers ProPoints® plan and is performed by Alesha Dixon to create an uplifting anthem of confidence and self expression.

One hundred and eighty Weight Watchers members feature in the pop video style ad, in which Alesha plays a cameo role.

Alesha Dixon says:
'These women and men are the real stars of the show. We heard their stories
and used their words and emotions to create a vibrant musical expression of
personal triumph and success. These people are a true inspiration.'


All the members who lip synch the song lyrics express their own personal stories, which add an authentic emotion to their performances.

For example Amee, aged 31 from Coventry who has lost 1 stone 11 pounds with Weight Watchers sings: 'I used to be so boring, staying in bed all morning. No longer I'm the one whose letting me down. Now I'm proud and stepping out of the house.'

Sarah-Anne, aged 31 from Kent who lost 2 stone 4 pounds with Weight Watchers sings: 'My life revolved around TV. Easier to be someone than be me. Now I know what I want out of life. In bright colours so my body can't hide.'
Every single Weight Watchers member who appeared in the ad agreed that they would never have had the confidence to do this before they had lost weight.

Emma Hawkins, aged 41 from Port Talbot who lost over 2 stone with Weight Watchers said about her involvement in the ad:
'I used to avoid the camera but now I feel fabulous in front of it. I can't believe
I'm starring in a pop video with Alesha! What a difference a year makes!'


Weight Watchers' biggest ever ad campaign will launch on national TV on 1st January.

The song entitled 'Do It Our Way (Play)' by Alesha Dixon will also be available to download from iTunes from 1st January.


Andrew Knight, Senior Vice President, Weight Watchers UK says:
'This ad marks the beginning of a new loud, proud and playful Weight Watchers brand campaign. It blends our members' real life stories and experiences about what losing weight means to them with Alesha's big personality and voice. It's the biggest expression of weight loss success we've ever delivered.'

Tommy's receives Information Standard accreditation
03 January 2012

We are delighted to announce that we have received Information Information Standard logoStandard accreditation, which is given to organisations that can prove that the systems they use to produce information ensures that it is accurate, impartial, balanced, evidence-based, accessible and well-written. 

The Information Standard scheme was developed by the Department of Health to help the public identify trustworthy health and social care information easily.

The assessment of information producers is provided by independent certification bodies accredited by The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Tommy's
22 December 2011

 

 

Mothercare Group Foundation supports Tommy’s to help mums have healthy babies
12 December 2011

 


Behavioural/emotional problems and premature birth
06 December 2011

 

 

Caffeine levels shown to vary between coffee shops - how does this affect pregnant women?
01 December 2011

 

 

Thanks to everyone who took part in Splashathons this year - you've raised over £400k!
19 October 2011


 

Misdiagnosis of miscarriage
14 October 2011


 

Mumsnet launch campaign for better miscarriage care
14 October 2011


 

Fibroids link to recurrent miscarriage
28 September 2011

 


 

Tommy's launches Five Point Pregnancy Plan
20 September 2011

Tommy's new Five Point Pregnancy Plan highlights the five essential health areas where we think healthcare professionals and women need additional support. Visit www.bounty.com/tommysplan for practical help and advice on nutrition, weight management, exercise, smoking and mental health.

Read the press release here.

 

A great day's fundraising at BGC Partners Charity Day!
14 September 2011


 

Ibuprofen link to miscarriage
07 September 2011


 

We are now recruiting for midwives!
25 August 2011


 

Register now for the Baby Race!
13 July 2011

Register now for a Baby Race, where Mums and Dads take to the streets to power-walk or run with their prams in aid of Tommy's! Races will be taking place in Windsor, Cheltenham, Northwich, and Cardiff throughout September. To find out more about the events and register for one near you, visit www.tommys.org/babyrace

 

Technique developed to reveal pregnancies most likely to end in miscarriage
06 July 2011


 

Are you a bereaved parent whose baby was enrolled in a neonatal intensive care clinical trial?
28 June 2011

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine are trying to help to improve how research with sick babies is carried out by looking at how people feel about research in neonatal intensive care. They are looking for bereaved parents whose baby took part in a clinical trial in neonatal intensive care who would talk to them about their experiences (or fill in a questionnaire) for the BRACELET Study. If you are interested in finding out more please visit www.bracelet-study.org.uk

 

 

Stillbirth and sleeping position
15 June 2011


 

Thank you to all our BUPA 10k runners!
31 May 2011
Thank you to all our fabulous runners who took part in the London BUPA 10k yesterday! Hope you all had a good race on what turned out to be a lovely day. Our cheering team spotted quite a few of you out there and we hope that helped see you through to the finish line. Thanks again, we are very grateful for all your efforts.
Reception held at 11 Downing Street for Tommy's
20 May 2011
On Wednesday 18 May, and by kind permission of the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Tommy’s supporters were invited to a very special reception at Number 11 Downing Street, hosted by Jane Brewin CEO and the Trustees of Tommy’s.

At Tommy’s we are very grateful to our loyal corporate partners, trusts and community supporters who have invested in our work. This special occasion was invaluable as it helped us thank these people for their continued support that is helping us achieve our goal – to halve the number of babies who die during pregnancy and birth by 2030.

Pictured left to right are: Tommy's supporters James Wilkinson and Amy Docherty, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Tommy's supporter Julie Corcoran, Tommy's Chief Executive Jane Brewin.

We would like to thank photographer Toni Sheppard, who took photographs of the event: http://www.tonisheppard.com/

Dietary supplements in pregnancy may decrease risk of pre-eclampsia
20 May 2011
Drug being trialled to reduce number of oversized babies born to obese mums-to-be
12 May 2011
Our thoughts are with Kelly Brook and Thom Evans after they lose their daughter
10 May 2011
Model developed to examine uterine contractions
04 May 2011
Formula developed which helps reveal the likelihood of developing pre-eclampsia
03 May 2011
Congratulations and Thanks to all our wonderful marathon runners!
18 April 2011
Tommy's responds to global call to action on stillbirth
14 April 2011
14 April 2011 - Stillbirth comes under the international spotlight today with The Lancet medical journal publishing its first ever Series on stillbirth – revealing shocking new stillbirth figures across the world and a global call to action to help reduce this loss of life.

According to The Lancet more than 2.6 million stillbirths occur each year - at least 7,000 each day. While 98% of these occur in low-income and middle-income countries, stillbirth continues to be an issue in wealthier nations – the figures published today show the current UK stillbirth rate is 3.5 per 1000 births, and the UK only ranks 33rd best in the world in terms of its stillbirth rate.

The rate of stillbirth is higher than comparable countries in Northwest Europe and is unchanged from the late 1990s. According to baby charity Tommy’s, there is little public perception of the frequency of stillbirth and historically there has been a lack of funding for medical research to tackle the issue of stillbirth.

Jacqui Clinton, Health Campaigns Director for Tommy’s said: “The most frequently asked question by parents is ‘Why did my baby die?’. As the cause of a baby’s death is often a mystery, no explanation can be given to the bereaved parents. If we don’t understand what causes stillbirth, we cannot get to the root of the problem.”

Tommy’s research is broken down into three themes: understanding the causes of stillbirth, prevention of stillbirth, and developing care for parents that experience a stillbirth.

1. improving the health and wellbeing of women before, during and after pregnancy
Preconception care (good diet and exercise, weight management, taking folic acid, and stopping smoking and drinking) is very important and these specific issues are addressed by Tommy’s Five Point Pregnancy Plan, which aims to raise awareness of the known risks amongst women and provide them with practical tools to improve their lifestyles - so that women are in the best possible health pre, during and in-between pregnancies: www.tommys.org/fivepointplan. Tommy’s midwives also provide free and confidential lifestyle advice specifically for women most at risk of pregnancy complications - due to smoking, stress, poor diet and obesity – as well as bereavement counselling for women experiencing a pregnancy loss, via the charity’s free phone PregnancyLine (0800 0147 800).

2. detection and management of women at risk during pregnancy
Tommy’s research centre - at the new Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in Manchester - launches a new Stillbirth Research Programme this month. The centre currently looks at placental structure in stillbirth to reduce the number of unexplained stillbirths. The new programme will focus on further understanding the causes of stillbirth and developing new diagnostic tools, and therefore preventing stillbirths by identifying babies at risk. Research has shown that reduced fetal movement may be a reliable predictor of pregnancy complications. Where the mother has experienced reduced fetal movement, placental abnormalities have been found, and levels of hormones differ between healthy pregnancies and pregnancies where the baby has been in danger. These hormones could potentially be used as a test to identify whether a stillbirth is likely when the mother experiences reduced fetal movements.

3. improving access to information and standards of maternity care
Based on surveys carried out by Tommy's team in Manchester, the charity knows there can be gaps in education and training for maternity healthcare professionals which have led to poorer care for parents. To address this, Tommy’s is helping develop improved care pathways over the next three years – via the new Stillbirth Research Programme – to determine the best ways to look after women whom are pregnant again, following a stillbirth, to ensure they receive the best possible care.

Dr Alexander Heazell – Clinical Lecturer in obstetrics at The University of Manchester and part of Tommy’s research team – says: “Through the Stillbirth Research Programme in Manchester, Tommy’s is funding pioneering, life-saving research that we hope will have a direct impact in reducing the number of families that suffer the tragedy of stillbirth.”

Working in collaboration with Tommy’s research teams in London and Edinburgh, the Manchester centre is a vital part of the Tommy’s research network, which is now a major force in the drive to improve pregnancy outcomes worldwide.

Tommy's funds medical research into the causes and prevention of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provides free information to parents-to-be about health in pregnancy. Tommy's midwives also offer bereavement counselling support for women who've experienced a pregnancy loss, and expert advice on how to plan for future pregnancies. Thanks to funding from an ASDA Foundation grant, Tommy's PregnancyLine can now be called for free on 0800 0147 800 - or visit www.tommys.org
 

Read the full press release here

Tommy’s is a chosen charity for the Huddersfield Examiner Charity Challenge
28 March 2011
Tommy’s has been chosen as a designated charity for the 2011 Huddersfield Examiner Charity Challenge! The challenge includes a variety of events so that people of all different abilities and interests can take part.

Running and walking events include: a seven-mile walk, a four-mile walk, a four-mile Nordic walk, a 20km walk and a route for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are also three cycling events: a 22-mile road ride, a 16-mile mountain bike trek and an eight-mile family cycle ride.

More information can be found on the Huddersfield Examiner website.

To register, download and complete the form.

Registration fee: £3.00, to be collected on the day. Preregistration closes on 13th May 2011.

 

Clear-out your un-loved (or over-loved) footwear in aid of Tommy's at Brantano
28 March 2011
One of the genes controlling pre-eclampsia found
23 March 2011
The Let's get baby friendly Awards 2011 ceremony - winners announced!
22 March 2011
Our view - 23 Week Babies: The Price of Life
09 March 2011
Tommy's responds to new guidelines for clinicians from the RCOG on managing reduced fetal movements
25 February 2011
Tommy's midwives and health visitors to be at the London EXCEL Baby Show this weekend
17 February 2011
Last chance to nominate or vote in Tommy's Let's get baby friendly Awards
14 February 2011
Tommy's is now accepting votes and nominations for it's annual Let's get baby friendly Awards.

Vote now for organisations which go out of the way to make life easier for mothers, fathers and babies at www.tommys.org/awards.

We've some very special awards in 2011:

  • EBP Green Award - for an organisation which is both eco- and parent-friendly.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop Champion Children Award - for those children born prematurely. Hologic Miracle Unit Award - for the neonatal workers who routinely perform miracles.
  • Danone Baby Nutrition Hero Award - for a health professional who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Asda Angel Award - for a family member, friend or partner who has been an angel through a difficult pregnacy.

To nominate your Miracle Unit, Champion Child, Angel or Hero, e-mail awards@tommys.org
Exclusive Peppa Pig and George bag-charms now available in Asda stores nationwide
14 February 2011

From today (14th Feb 2011) until the 7th March, fans of Peppa Pig and George can accessorize with exclusive bag-charms, which Asda is selling in aid of Tommy's (RRP: £1.50).

 


Exclusive Peppa Pig bags-for-life now available from Asda stores nationwide
17 January 2011

Peppa Pig fans who enjoy recycling as much as Peppa does will love Peppa’s Bag For Life (RRP £2) available at Asda from 17th January – 21st February 2011.

Click here to view the press release

Voting NOW OPEN for Tommy's Let's get baby friendly Awards 2011
10 January 2011

Tommy's is now accepting votes and nominations for it's annual Let's get baby friendly Awards. 

 Vote now for organisations which go out of the way to make life easier for mothers, fathers and babies at www.tommys.org/awards.

We've some very special awards in 2011:

  • EBP Green Award - for an organisation which is both eco- and parent-friendly.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop Champion Children Award - for those children born prematurely. 
  • Hologic Miracle Unit Award - for the neonatal workers who routinely perform miracles.
  • Danone Baby Nutrition Hero Award - for a health professional who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Asda Angel Award - for a family member, friend or partner who has been an angel through a difficult pregnacy.
To nominate your Miracle Unit, Champion Child, Angel or Hero, e-mail awards@tommys.org 
Seasonal flu vaccine strongly recommended for women in all stages of pregnancy
23 December 2010

High risk groups, including pregnant women, are encouraged to have the seasonal flu vaccine which protects agains H1N1 (swine flu) and two other flu strains.  Pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill, should they contract the virus. 

 

Give as you Live™ launched - raise money for Tommy's as you shop online at no cost to you!
03 December 2010

Give as you Live is a free application that allows you to shop online and help raise money for Tommy's at the same time. You don't pay any extra for the items you would normally buy but a portion of each purchase will go to Tommy's.

Thousands of retailers are involved, including Mothercare, Tesco, HMV, John Lewis....

Support Tommy's through Christmas Cards
25 November 2010

Cards Galore

Cards Galore are donating 50p per pack of Tommy's Christmas cards to us.  Just look out for the Tommy's sticker on the front of the packet.

Charitycards.co.uk

By selecting Tommy's to benefit from your purchase, we will recieve a donation.

Paperstick.co.uk

Tommy's supporters, Geoff and Becky have set up this online cards store. A donation from each card, as handmade by Becky, will come to Tommy's.

Westfield Tunbridge Wells support Tommy's in 2011
23 November 2010
Big Brother presenter Davina McCall switched on the Christmas Lights at Tunbridge Wells' shopping centre on Thursday 18th November and presented a cheque to Tommy's for £1,000.  Tommy's is Westfield Tunbridge Wells and Guildford's chosen charity for 2011 and they'll be raising funds throughout the year.  
MAD Academy raises £5,400 for Tommy's
23 November 2010

2,500 pre-schoolers at MAD Academy classes nationwide got sponsored to learn and perform a specially written and choreographed song and dance routine for Tommy's in October.  The under 5s loved dancing to the funky tune - not only performing it in class but also to the people who sponsored them!  Click here to download the song for free and find out more about MAD Academy. 

Tommy's launches freephone PregnancyLine - for expert advice on healthy pregnancies, call 0800 0147 800.
25 October 2010

Tommy's unique midwifery service can now be called for free on 0800 0147 800, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, for expert advice.

Tommy's midwives specialise in advice regarding healthy lifestyle choices and how they can improve the health and well-being of women and their babies during pregnancy, to help prevent miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.  We can also help women who have suffered a pregnancy loss by providing counselling support and advice about care and treatment, including how to plan for a future pregnancy.

The new freephone number and midwifery training is thanks to a grant from the ASDA foundation, and the running costs of the PregnancyLine are supported by JOHNSON'S baby.

For a copy of the press release, contact a member of the Press Office, at tommyspressoffice@tommys.org.
Tommy's welcomes new breakthrough into the causes of pre-eclampsia
07 October 2010

In this issue you can also find out how you can cast your vote in our Let’s get baby friendly Awards, find out about our new Give as you Live shopping App and, if you’re looking for another challenge, read news of all our races in 2011.

Press release Awards 2011 

 

Tommy's responds to new study regarding drinking alcohol during pregnancy
06 October 2010

New study finds 'light drinking' during pregnancy poses no risk

Date: 06 Oct 2010

Children born to mums who drank up to 1-2 drinks per week or on occasion were not at increased risk of clinically relevant behavioural or cognitive problems, compared with those born to mums who abstained. 

When pregnant women drink alcohol, it passes through the placenta and reaches the baby.  Heavy drinking is linked to an increased risk of problems including foetal alcohol syndrome.

Read the full story here

what we say...
Jane Brewin, Tommy's CEO says:

"This study backs up what we already know - that drinking a lot of alcohol is harmful to the development of the baby and can lead to brain damage and behavioural problems."

"What we don't know for sure is how much alcohol you can drink before harm is caused to the baby.  While it might be true that the odd small glass of wine probably won't cause any harm, with the confusion still surrounding alcohol units and measures we maintain that the simplest message is 'no alcohol means no risk'. However, we absolutely support mums' right to decide how much alcohol they drink, and they should be given the evidence they need to make this decision."

 

NICE guidelines released today discuss care of pregnant women in difficult social circumstances
22 September 2010

Tommy's responds to new NICE guidelines: Pregnancy and Complex Social Factors

Today's guidelines reveal that many of the most vulnerable women, including those who are homeless, misuse drugs, are under 20 years old or don't speak English, are the least likely to use anti-natal services.  Nice calls for anti-natal services to be re-organised to be more welcoming and flexible.

Read the full story here

what we say...
Jane Brewin, Tommy's CEO says:
“Women with complex needs have a deplorably high risk of experiencing pregnancy problems. 

“Any barrier that prevents a pregnant woman from getting the care that both she and her baby need, be it substance misuse, being a teenager, not speaking English, domestic abuse, homelessness or anything else, poses a preventable risk to both mum and baby.  Making maternity services both accessible and able to meet the often complex needs of these women is vital in mitigating these circumstances and helping their babies be born healthy.” 

A huge thanks to BGC for inviting Tommy's to their annual Charity Day!
09 September 2010

Tommy's was delighted to have been chosen as one of twenty-six charities to benefit from BGC's annual charity day in 2010.  

Sadly, BGC was the largest corporate victim of the 9/11 attacks, losing 658 staff.  Each year, BGC holds their Charity Day in commemoration of the victims of September 11. Their offices around the globe are visited by celebs who represent various charities.  BGC gives all profits raised from this event to charity - in 2009, some $10 million was raised.

Angela Griffin and Peppa Pig  kindly represented us at the charity day, helping us to raise as much as possible to help us fund our work into saving babies' lives.

 

Make Tommy's your favourite charity on eBay to help us win £5,000!
03 September 2010

Visit www.tommys.org/ebaygrant for more information.

Throughout the month of September, eBay are giving 3 lucky charities the chance to 

win grants of £5000, £3000 and £2000. eBay users are asked to “save a favourite charity” and at the end of September the 3 charities with the most “favourite” votes will win the grants.

It’s that simple, all we are asking you to do is click to cast your vote to help us win! 

If you already have an eBay account just click here, login, then click to save us as your favourite charity  

If you do not already have an eBay account, you will first need to register and once you have done this just click here to save us as your favourite charity 

  

High stress levels may reduce the chance of conception
12 August 2010

A study has shown that high stress levels may reduce a woman's chance of getting pregnant. 

Increased alpha-amylase, a marker for the stress hormone adrenaline, was associated with a decreased liklihood of conception during the fertile days of the month. This study was the first to find that a biological measure of stress affects a woman's chance of conceiving.

 

Joanne Taylor, Tommy's midwife said:
"Stress does affect people in different ways, and therefore may affect some women's chances of trying to conceive. There are a number of ways in which women can prepare themselves for a healthy pregnancy - maintaining a healthy diet, taking folic acid supplements and keeping stress levels to a minimum is a good start."

 

Get bidding to win exclusive baby items from celebrity mums
26 May 2010

The Johnson's Baby Celebrity hand-me-down auction in aid of Tommy's will run until 7pm on Sunday 30th May at www.ebay.co.uk/johnsonsbaby

Get bidding to be in with a chance of winning items including a baby bath from Geri Halliwell, a collection of well-loved baby things from Tamzin Outhwaite, a hamper of goodies for a new mum from Edith Bowman and a baby blanket from Melanie C.  

 

Tommy's midwife speaks with Holly and Phil on This Morning
30 April 2010

If you missed Tommy's midwife, Annette Briley, on This Morning's Baby Club with Holly and Phil the other week, you can watch it here now!

Click here to visit the ITV website and watch the Baby Club 

THANK YOU to all our lovely London marathon runners!
29 April 2010
A huge thank you to all our wonderful London marathon runners, who bravely took on the 26 mile run around our capital city. It was a real privilege to support you on the day, and we are all immensely honoured that you chose Tommy's as your charity.
See our new In Memory section, which provides support for those who have suffered the loss of a baby
14 April 2010

We have created a new "In Memory" section to provide assistance to our many supporters who have experienced the loss of a baby.

The loss of every baby and child, no matter what stage in pregnancy or age, is always devastating.  In our In Memory section, we hope to provide guidance and support to the many men and women touched by a pregnancy complication, such as miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth.

Winners of the Let's get parent friendly Awards 2010 have been announced!
24 March 2010

The winners of 2010's Let's get parent friendly Awards were announced during a 5 star awards ceremony at The Mandarin Oriental hotel in London.

See the winners, runners-up and nominees for each award category here.

Have you seen our latest ads?
18 March 2010

Our new print and outdoor advertising campaign has just started, with our ads appearing in a wide variety of publications, including The Daily Express, The Sunday Express, Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth, The Daily Mail, Hello!, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Mirror, The Daily Mirror, The Independent, The Times, The Sun, Money Week and many more!

See our ads and a full list of publications here...

Radio 4's Frontiers discusses the placenta with Tommy's Professor Colin Sibley
16 November 2009

16/11/2009

Tonight at 21:00 on BBC Radio 4

The placenta is the baby's life support system, but much is still not known about how it works and how to help when things go wrong. The charity Tommy's has created the UK's first placenta clinic in Manchester. Sue Broom meets the patients hoping that the scientists in the labs there can discover why the placenta can fail to implant or produce the wide blood vessels crucial to the baby's growth.

17/11/2009 Update: Listen to it on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00nvdgg

 

Tommy’s welcomes new White Paper on preterm birth
05 October 2009

 Tommy’s and Action Medical Research both welcome the March of Dimes' White Paper which states that strategies for reducing death and disability related to preterm birth must be given priority.

Please see our full comment.

Lifestyle factors increase numbers of premature births
22 September 2009

The number of premature births has risen significantly but survival rates for babies born early have also improved.

The research, from the Tommy's Centre in Edinburgh University, found that the risk of neonatal death from premature birth more than halved between 1980 and 2005.

The number of premature babies rose from 54 per 1,000 births between 1980 and 1985 to 63 between 2000 and 2005.

High blood pressure and diabetes were identified as major factors.

Read the full press release here

 

Old wives tales about pregnancy still persist
08 September 2009

New research by Tommy’s and Johnson’s Baby shows that many women are still confused about the truths and myths surrounding pregnancy.

Please read more here.

 

Folic acid folly
04 August 2009

A quarter of pregnant women do not increase their intake of folic acid during pregnancy, according to a new survey by Tommy’s the baby charity, with a further 98% admitting they do not alter their diet to include folate rich foods.

Read more about the survey here.

New study on the cause of early preterm birth
22 July 2009

An exploratory study, funded by Tommy's, to be published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, has shown that women going into early preterm labour (before 34 weeks gestation) have low-levels of progesterone in their saliva as early as 24 weeks.

Please click here for further information.

Obesity raises risk of complications in pregnancy, study shows
15 July 2009

Expectant mothers who are obese are much more likely to suffer from minor complications such as heart burn and chest infections during pregnancy, a study suggests.

Read more about this study.

 

Tommy's presented with cheque from Newman's Own Foundation
25 June 2009
Tommy’s was delighted to receive a $20,000 cheque from Newman’s Own Foundation, the philanthropic organisation originally launched by the actor Paul Newman.

Read more about the Newman's Own Foundation grant

 

Study may pave way for treatments to delay multiple births
11 June 2009
Blood pressure monitorA treatment that prevents premature births in single pregnancies may be ineffective in women expecting more than one child, a study has shown.

The research, led by the University of Edinburgh, suggests an underlying difference between the way in which premature births occur in women with single and multiple pregnancies.

Read more about this study

Please see below for previous press releases...

Tommy's teams up with Jamelia to launch New for Old campaign

Pop star Jamelia, along with her two daughters have been digging out their old shoes to help raise money for Tommy’s, as part of Brantano's New for Old campaign.  For every old pair of shoes donated, Tommy's will receive 10p, and each individual will get a £10 voucher to spend on a new pair.

Read more about New for Old

Tommy's research reveals poor diet can increase the risk of pregnancy complications in teens

Tommy’s London and Manchester Research Centres have released new research which shows poor diet lacking iron and folate amongst teenagers, can greatly increase the risk of pre-term birth and low birthweight babies.

Read more about teenagers, diet and pregnancy

First aqua-natal classes to tackle obesity in Edinburgh

Tommy’s Edinburgh Research Centre has created the first aqua-natal classes for overweight pregnant women.

Read more about the aqua-natal classes

Obese are at greater risk during pregnancy

Women who are obese during pregnancy are at greater risk reveals new Tommy's' study.

Obesity study findings

Yorkshire group are top Tommy's champs

'Tommy's in Yorkshire' group are longest running fundraisers

Raising money in Yorkshire and Bradford

Youngest Tommy's Champ

Usk ten year old is youngest fundraiser for Tommy's

Raising money in Monmouthshire

Start a recycling revolution for Tommy's

Recycling your empty ink cartridges and mobile phones can raise cash for Tommy's

Join the recycling revolution

Tommy's uncovers the cost of premature birth to economy

First ever UK investigation finds premature birth costs almost £1billion a year

The staggering costs of premature birth

Is there an Angel in our midst?

Is there an Angel in our midst?  Don't miss your chance to nominate them for a Tommy's award!

Nominate an angel

Mums the word!  A host of famous faces join forces with Tommy's and ASDA for our 2009 Mother's Day campaign

In support of Tommy’s Mother’s Day campaign, a host of famous faces are designing an exclusive range of t-shirts to be sold in George at ASDA, with proceeds coming directly to the charity.

Read more about our Mother's Day celebrity t-shirt campaign

Parent power!  Vote now for the Tommy's Let's Get Baby Friendly Awards £250!

Voting has now opened for the 2009 Tommy's Let's Get Baby Friendly Awards!  Cast your vote for the companies you think have gone the extra mile to make life easier for parents and tots.  All entrants will be entered into a prize draw with a chance to win £250!   

 Let's get baby friendly Awards press release

Tommy's research could mean huge savings for the NHS

A recent study by Tommy's, has revealed that a new Amniosense test could have massive cost implications for the NHS.

Tommy's amniosense test

New range of Tommy's vitamins now available at Boots

 Tommy's launch new range of vitamins for mums-to-be

Tommy's mums-to-be vitamins

Let's Talk Baby!

New survey reveals pregnant women are confused by conflicting information.

Read about the survey

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