In April 2016, we fulfilled one of our long term ambitions: opening a research centre dedicated to preventing miscarriage.
Professor Arri Coomarasamy, Director of the Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research, says;
'Christmas is coming. For many families it is a busy but joyous holiday and our miscarriage researchers are certainly delighted to celebrate the festive magic but we also remember those who may be feeling the emptiness and desolation of pregnancy loss amid the seasonal merriment of society around them. Our hearts go out to anybody experiencing early pregnancy complications or remembering a life that ended too soon, and our clinical services will continue to support these families throughout the Christmas period.'
In the UK around 1 in 4 of all pregnancies ends in miscarriage. But whilst it is the biggest cause of pregnancy loss in the UK, it is also the least understood.
Our miscarriage research centre is leading the way in miscarriage research and treatment. We know how devastating these losses are and the opening of this centre is a huge step towards changing the statistics.
‘I just want people to believe there is help now, and people like Professor Quenby, who take miscarriage seriously.’ Jennifer, who was cared for by Professor Siobhan Quenby at Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research clinic at Coventry University Hospital.
In the nine months since our centre opened, we have already celebrated some fantastic achievements.
We have completed the characterisation of an enzyme called DPP4, which we believe could be associated with recurrent miscarriages.
In the next stage of this study we will explore whether supressing DPP4’s activity in the body could help prevent recurrent miscarriage.
We believe this will help us to develop a treatment for women before they even become pregnant – a potentially groundbreaking discovery.
Our miscarriage centre researchers at Birmingham Women's Hospital Foundation Trust are looking forwarding to 2017;
'We particularly look forward to building on recent achievements such as our characterisation of an enzyme called DPP4 in the lining of the womb (to move forward our efforts to find more reasons for miscarriages). We continue to strive towards a better understanding of the emotional effects of pregnancy loss, such as we found in our investigation of post-traumatic stress disorder published in November. We are also about to commence an important new study of the medical management of miscarriage.'
We have published a study to show that women who experience a miscarriage or ectopic pregnant may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for months after the loss.
Of the 113 women surveyed, 28% showed symptoms of PTSD after one month and nearly 40% showed symptoms three months later.
This research shows that women who suffer a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy should potentially have an opportunity to discuss their emotions with a medical professional and access appropriate aftercare.
Tommy’s CEO Jane Brewin says;
‘This study gives a voice to many women who have suffered miscarriage in silence and the often-significant consequences that follow. The message is clear; in a civilised society, it is not acceptable for women to suffer in this way. Following this study there must now be added impetus to change in miscarriage treatment and care.’
We are incredibly proud of what our centre has already achieved. This could not have happen without your help and support.
The centre costs around £500,000 to run all year round. If you’ve been interested in what you’ve read and would like to donate something towards our centre this Christmas, we’d be very grateful!
Donations not only fund our clinical trials, but they also fund everything from salaries to supplies.
- For just £12 you can enable our centre to give our memorial boxes to mothers who leave hospital with their dreams of a future with their baby shattered.
- A recent survey by Mumsnet found that 74% of the women said that they were given little to no information about what to expect after their miscarriage. £80 could buy one of our centres a display board for miscarriage information leaflets and advice.
- £100 could buy one of our clinics a blood pressure monitor to ensure mothers are at a healthy blood pressure and their pregnancy is progressing as expected.
Helen Williams, Research Associate at Tommy's Research Centre in Birmingham, passes on well wishes from all at the centre;
'Finally, we recognise that we rely on the support of Tommy’s donors and volunteers to enable innovative early pregnancy research. Thank you for your belief in our work. We wish you all a very enjoyable season of peace and goodwill. We hope that wherever you are spending the days, and whoever you are with, you have a good time. And we wish you a happy and healthy 2017.'
If you want to find out more Tommy’s amazing achievements that people like you fund, read our research into miscarriage pages here.
You can also look further into how we spend the money you donate here.
Why are women in such desperate need of help? Read real life stories in our Book of #misCOURAGE here.
Clinical Director of Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic Professor Andy Shennan says the clinic will continue to support families and babies born too soon this Christmas.
'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.