The impact of our research

We believe it is important to use our generous supporters’ money effectively so we can save as many babies’ lives as possible. See what a difference our research has made so far.

We know that our approach works. We are a small charity, and our achievements outweigh our size:

Our impact reports 

Our clinics are saving babies’ lives

  • we have reduced stillbirth by 22% in Greater Manchester between 2010 and 2014;
  • we have achieved a 23% reduction in premature births in high risk women attending our London clinic during 2014-15 (compared to the previous year); and
  • we are running one of the UK’s few specialist clinics for severely obese pregnant women. This is saving babies’ lives: we have shown that the risk of having a stillbirth was eight times higher in obese women who did not attend our clinic compared with those who did attend.

Our research breakthroughs mean that more babies will have a chance in the future

  • Our researchers have identified that inserting a stitch through the abdomen, high up in the cervix, is much more effective in preventing premature births and saving babies’ lives compared to previous treatments. The new treatment resulted in 35 out of 37 babies surviving. This compares to a survival rate of approximately 50% with previous treatments.
  • We have identified specific differences between healthy and dysfunctional placentas to develop a test that has the potential to detect 30% more babies at high risk of stillbirth than our current standard tests. We will test this in a new group of women to ascertain its accuracy.
  • We have discovered that the balance of stress hormones is different in obese women, and that this can delay birth and cause their babies to grow larger during pregnancy. There is also evidence that maternal stress hormones can affect babies’ development in the womb. We hope to use these findings to improve monitoring and treatment for high-risk obese pregnant women.

We share our findings across the UK and beyond

We translate our research into clinical impact across the country – to make sure that mothers and babies everywhere can benefit from our discoveries.

Our researchers are involved in national groups which develop guidelines for NHS care for women in all parts of the UK. They also work with international organisations including the World Health Organisation, and travel to conferences around the world to share their findings.

Every baby’s life we save has immeasurable impact

These numbers alone are impressive, but every single baby’s life saved transforms the lives of families and avoids the indescribable heartbreak caused by loss.

Tommy’s and the Rainbow Clinic are so vital for families like us. The level of care is incredible, and they do everything in their power to support and reassure you. They literally got us through one of the toughest times of our lives.  

Adam, who, along with his wife Hayley, received care at the Manchester Rainbow Clinic after their son was stillborn. Their daughter, Edie, was born a year later. Read more stories here.

None of this would be possible without the commitment of our amazing supporters, many of whom have been inspired by personal experience to make a difference to other parents and their unborn babies. 

Read more about our research

  • Three pregnant women sitting in a row

    Research into health and wellbeing in pregnancy

    In addition to our core work on miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, Tommy’s also funds projects that research the effects of lifestyle and well-being on pregnancy and on the later life of the child.

  • Team of researchers

    Research into stillbirth

    When a baby dies after 24 weeks of gestation it is called a stillbirth. Around 2.6 million babies are stillborn each year. Tommy’s research is helping to change this.

  • Nurse monitoring premature baby in hospital

    Research into premature birth

    Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK. These babies are vulnerable – they are born before they have grown to cope with the outside world. Tommy’s is saving lives by researching how we can prevent premature births by finding those at risk early on.

  • Clinical researcher looking at test tube

    Research into miscarriage

    1 in 4 women experience miscarriage in their lifetimes, and 1 in 100 have 3 or more miscarriages in a row. We want to change this so that women no longer have to suffer the trauma of losing their babies.

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