Tommy's blog, 21/12/2016
It’s Christmas at Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic at St Thomas’ Hospital London. We work with mums at risk of premature birth all year round, but what is our clinic like at Christmas?
The clinic runs every Wednesday and expects to stay just as busy this festive season as they are for the rest of the year.
Research Midwife Rachel says they may even be busier, with some women choosing to come for an additional check-up before the Christmas break.
Clinical Director Professor Andy Shennan understands that this time of year can be particularly anxious for women attending the clinic.
‘While we all prepare for the festive season, many of the women we care for remain fearful and uncertain. We will continue to support the families and strive to save these babies, whatever the season holds. Fortunately, 2017 will be a good year for most of them.’
Felicity is one of the women attending the clinic this festive season. She told us that going to the clinic at this time of year is actually not too hard due to the wonderful staff at St Thomas’.
‘Everyone at the clinic is so lovely and so caring, particularly my consultant Professor Shennan.’
We know that for some of you, attending a clinic may be the last thing you want to do this festive season, but it is important to seek advice if you do have any concerns.
Amanda, another woman being cared for by the clinic this Christmas said that the clinic are providing an excellent service.
'They make you feel that your concerns are legitimate and offer reassurance which is so important.'
Our incredibly dedicated team of doctors and midwives are more than happy to see you.
‘We understand that Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of the women and their families that we care for in the clinic, and so it is a joy and a pleasure to support these families over the festive period.’
Uwalia, a previous patient of the clinic, had her baby boy David at 27 weeks, weighing but 1 lb 6oz. Thankfully, David’s early start hasn't caused him any long term issues.
He is now a healthy happy young boy who is looking forward to a family trip to Paris for the first time and a new bike this Christmas.
'David hasn't had any long term health problems, God has really bless him with good health. I really want to thank all the neaonatal team at UCL Hospital, they did a good job, especially Dr Sian Hardy who was my paediatric doctor. Thanks to all of them.'
The clinic will be closed in the week in-between Christmas and New Year, meaning that there will be no clinic on the 28th December.
If you have any concerns, you are still able to attend the Early Pregnancy Unit or the Antenatal Day Unit at St Thomas’.
Professor Andy Shennan recently answered some important questions for us about his work into prematurity and where the research is heading; you can read his full interview here.
'I know it’s silly, really: there is no actual difference between 23:59 on December 31 and 00:01 on January 1...'
Blogger Leigh from Headspace Perspective writes an insightful and touching piece about the challenges of letting go of a year in which you've lost a baby.
Al from The Dad Network talks to us about how recurrent miscarriage has made he and his wife stronger. They’re preparing to celebrate this Christmas as a family and focus on being grateful for what they have.
'Christmas is a time of cheer, of celebration and happiness. But what if your heart doesn't match this ideal?'
Blogger Michelle who writes at Dear Orla, writes about pregnancy after loss this festive season.
‘You feel so isolated when you lose a baby because people just don’t know what to say and really there is nothing they can say. A gift like this is actually all it takes.’ Susan Jackson.
Tommy’s midwife Sophie has given some advice for those facing this Christmas without their much loved baby.
Our National Centre for Miscarriage Research is nearly 8 months old! Read about our fantastic achievements so far and how you can be involved in ending the heartache of miscarriage.
Jess from The Legacy of Leo writes about coping with grief through the festive season and the beautiful way she and her wife are commemorating their baby boy Leo, born sleeping last January.
Karen Jones tells us about her daughter Elinor’s first Christmas, spent in hospital after she was born at 29 weeks.