Many parents have a great need for answers. They want to know why their baby died. For some, the answer is clear, but for many others it is not.
Tommy's was founded because two obstetricians could not deal with the amount of parents who had lost a baby that they were not able to give answers to.
They wanted more research into pregnancy problems and pregnancy loss, and more funding to prevent baby loss. That is why we exist today - to fund research into the causes and prevention of stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth.
Sometimes being able to channel energy into helping others helps people to deal with a part of their grief. If you would like to do something to help support our research, please go to our fundraising pages for ideas. We will support you in every way possible.
Equally you may want help coming to terms with your loss or to create a page in memory of your little one.
We want you to know that we care, are here for you and through our research we are trying to do something to stop what you have been through from happening again.
What will we do with the funds
Funds sent to Tommy's will go towards bringing down the number of babies lost during pregnancy and birth in the UK. You will be funding:
- research to prevent further deaths
- information to empower women through pregnancy
- support for women who have suffered pregnancy complications or loss.
We give £2.2m annually to four Tommy's research centres across the UK, all investigating the causes and finding ways to prevent premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage.
We also fund a pregnancy information service that gives vital information to parents-to-be about what they can do to keep their baby safe and healthy during pregnancy.
We fund a team of midwives who are available to women during pregnancy and after a loss or complication. They can be reached on a freephone telephone line, through our Midwives in Facebook page and through a dedicated email service.
“My baby boy Leo Michael Raveendran was born sleeping at 25+1 weeks on 30 October 2012. I hope that Tommy's work into pre-eclampsia will impact on the future diagnosis and management of this cruel disease, especially of the early-onset form, and hence protect more mums and their unborn babies from further tragedy.”
Why has this happened to me?
When a baby is lost, the families affected can be devastated and often have a desperate need to know why. This is precisely the reason Tommy’s was founded, to help answer this question through funding medical research into the causes, treatments and solutions for pregnancy problems.
Today we lead the way in maternal and fetal research in the UK and have made significant progress since we were founded in 1992. We focus our research on problems in pregnancy, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and pre-eclampsia, and have made huge steps in understanding how and why these heart-breaking complications occur.
Who can help me?
It is natural to feel overwhelmed and to have a sense of hopelessness after experiencing a bereavement. This can be part of the natural grieving process. Everyone handles the situations that arise from the loss of a baby differently, but no one can handle them alone. There are many organisations that are willing to help you in the way that you want to be helped. A lot of people choose not to seek help as they fear they are going to be told what to do and feel when the reality is completely different. It can take more than a few phone calls to get the help you want but please do seek help and do not go through this alone.
Saying goodbye services
You could also attend a Saying Goodbye Service. These services are commemorations for people who have suffered a loss at any stage of pregnancy, birth or in infancy. The services will provide a time and a place to acknowledge the loss and together enable mums, dads, their friends and family to collectively say goodbye to their babies. Look for a service taking place near you.
Call a Tommy's midwife
Tommy’s will always be here for you. Our information line is staffed by qualified midwives who specialise in bereavement counselling. We will always be here to listen and can provide you with factual advice. We can offer you real expertise in terms of why pregnancy problems happen through the research conducted at our centres. We may also be able to help get you referred to one of our centres for treatment. Call them on the Toll free number 0800 0147 800
We can also offer you an outlet for your grief and a new focus for your attention. Many of our supporters who have experienced the loss of a baby have said that if it wasn’t for the fundraising that they were doing for us, they don’t know how they would’ve got through the first few months. They really appreciated having something positive to channel their energies into.
You are not alone
It’s a sad and shocking statistic but 1 in 4 families will lose a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth. So many of our supporters turn to us in their time of grief as they feel a need to channel their energies into something positive and do something to prevent this from happening in the future. This can take many forms. It may be through holding a fundraising activity, running a marathon or simply creating an in memory tribute page.
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.
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.
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.
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.