8th March marks International Women's Day and as such, today we wanted to highlight some of the amazing women who are working tirelessly to help us achieve all that we have here at Tommy's. We asked each of the women one question:
What are you most proud of about your work with Tommy’s?
Find out their answers...
Professor Siobhan Quenby, University of Warwick
'I am proud of the excellent service that my patient's receive as a result of Tommy's. As a team we deal with many couples who have repeatedly lost badly wanted pregnancies. The research funded by Tommy's allows us to care for the couples, enter them in research project design to find new causes and preventative treatments.
Being part of these research programs gives couples support and hope in the journey towards successful child birth. We have many heart warming case of women who achieve a live baby after a many previous pregnancy losses and hope that further research will enable more couples to achieve their longed for child.'
Professor Siobhan Quenby is a Professor of Obstetrics and Honorary Consultant at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire and the University of Warwick, which is apart of the Tommy's National Miscarriage Research Centre.
Dr Harsha Shah, Imperial College
'The PRECISE study involves performing detailed 3D ultrasound scans in early pregnancy with the aim of detecting fetal abnormalities which may lead to miscarriage well before the second trimester. Having the novel technology to be able to assess fetal anatomy in the first trimester and reassure couples, many of whom have previously experienced a pregnancy loss, that their baby appears normal is a huge privilege. I am most proud of the small but significant part I play in supporting women during their pregnancy journey by giving them earlier reassurance which in turn allows them to enjoy their pregnancy experience more.
I am incredibly grateful for the unique opportunity research has given me to interact with, and deliver specialised care to so many couples who have selflessly dedicated their time to be part of the study. Moreover, I am very fortunate to work with such an inspiring team at the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research.'
Dr Harsha Shah is a Clinical Research Fellow and PhD student at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which is part of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research. Her research interest is in first trimester fetal anatomy screening using novel 3D ultrasound techniques.
Louise Stephens, St Mary's Hospital Manchester
'I am so proud to be part of team Tommy’s and it is a real honour to be the Specialist Midwife at Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic at the Tommy’s Manchester Centre. To be at the forefront of ground breaking research and also provide clinical care in order to improve outcomes, to save babies lives is an amazing combination.
It is a privilege to provide continuity of care for families in pregnancy after Stillbirth, to be part of their journey is really special.
I am passionate about Improving Care in pregnancy after Stillbirth and with the support of Tommy’s I feel this can be achieved on a National level.'
Kate Pinney, Midwifery manager for Tommy's Pregnancy Information Service
'I am most proud of being able to give as much time as needed to support anyone during pregnancy and beyond as well as anyone who is affected by baby loss. It is great how accessible our service is, anyone can contact us as much or as little as needed. It does not matter what the question, or even if there is no question at all and someone just needs to talk and be listened to, we are here to be there for whoever needs us.
We often have regular callers too who contact us throughout their pregnancy journey and update us along the way and we love being part of this and feel very privileged also.'
Helen Williams, Tommy’s Birmingham Centre
'As a non-clinician within the team, I cannot hope to advance our knowledge of the biological mechanisms of miscarriage, nor to contribute directly to frontline miscarriage management… But I hope in due course my efforts to better understand lived experiences of pregnancy loss may help healthcare professionals and other stakeholders to remember and acknowledge that miscarriage is more than a biological event.
Upon our biology we build social identities and relationships, with the effect that miscarriage is also an emotional roller-coaster, a challenge to the roles and the futures we hoped and dreamed for ourselves... Miscarriage engenders emotional support requirements that must not be underestimated.'
Sophie King, Tommy's midwife
'Being a midwife at Tommy’s is an absolute privilege. On a daily basis, we are fortunate enough to be in contact with women, their families and specialist healthcare professionals to improve the care received in pregnancy overall for all women. Our ultimate goal is to continue to improve the outcomes during pregnancy and birth across the UK.
Our role is so varied, from working on the Tommy’s pregnancy line and writing blogs or articles for our website, to being part of the creation of our newest health campaigns such as #sleeponside. Its an exciting role for us, we never know what we will be asked to do next! But ultimately, we just feel so lucky to be part of a charity with such a big heart!'
Today, we are thrilled to announce that we are opening the UK's first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research!
Leading clinicians at the Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research
1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. This is a quarter of all mothers-to-be, a quarter of all families affected by loss. Tommy’s believes that the current situation can and must change – so in 2016, we opened the UK’s first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research.
Miscarriage is by far the biggest cause of pregnancy loss in the UK, and it’s also the least understood. Tommy's has opened the UK's first national research centre dedicated to early miscarriage.