In our words
Jane joined Tommy’s as Chief Executive in 2000, and oversees the work and funding of each of the Tommy's research centres. Jane represents Tommy's at various Department of Health groups advising on antenatal care and representing the views of parents. She is also involved on the steering groups of many research studies, and ensures that the results are widely disseminated to parents.
Jane helps many parents to get the care they need and enables them to help others affected by miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.
In her words
You have been at Tommy’s for almost 18 years now, in that time has there been any highlight or milestones for Tommy’s which you were particularly proud of?
Tommy’s has come a long way in the last 18 years; we have gone from funding one pregnancy research centre to four, around the UK, focusing on the reduction of miscarriage, pre-term birth and stillbirth and the conditions which cause these outcomes.
We have established two or more clinics in all of our research centres which speeds up the transfer of research into clinical practice, gives parents the best care resulting in many healthy babies, helped us to progress research projects and create best practice models of care for the NHS.
We have also developed and pioneered an award-winning pregnancy information service which helps parents to mitigate the known risk factors in pregnancy. We have worked hard to convince people of the need to set targets for the reduction of stillbirth and pre-term birth which will ultimately benefit many parents and children around the UK.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I am lucky to work with research and clinical colleagues, parents, trustees, staff and many organisations who like Tommy’s are passionate about making pregnancy and birth safer for everyone in the UK.
One baby lost is one too many and that belief combined with a conviction that many deaths can be prevented, makes it worthwhile to keep on striving to reduce poor pregnancy outcomes.
There are many sophisticated ways that Tommy’s measures it’s impact but what I like the most is seeing the messages and pictures from parents who we have been cared for in our clinics, through our pregnancy information campaigns or by the Tommy’s midwives who believe that they have a healthy baby because of Tommy’s. No one is more pleased than me to see a baby picture!
What do you think the future holds for Tommy’s and our area of research?
We are working hard to ensure that every pound that is raised for Tommy’s impacts on reducing pregnancy problems for parents; we want to fund more discoveries that will help us to understand how we can prevent pregnancies from going wrong, we want to help to assess risks in first time mums who are often assumed to be low risk when they are not, we want to reach every mum with advice to help them avoid the known risks in pregnancy and we want to help more people to access excellent antenatal care.
In short we want to see reductions in miscarriage, pre-term birth and stillbirth so the UK is the safest place to have a baby in the world.
Our beautiful baby girl was so perfect, I looked at her little face and waited for her to cry to prove that they were wrong, but she couldn’t.
Around 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK will end in loss. Education and family support specialist, Margaret Pritchard Houston, shares her experiences of baby loss, milk donation, and why mothers should always be given all the options.
My pregnancy with Kaitlyn was what you would call “textbook”.
When I reached 9 weeks I started to have a feeling that something wasn't right, my symptoms had slowly started fading.