Why do we need this research?
Preterm prelabour rupture of membranes, known as PPROM, is when a pregnant woman’s waters break early before labour starts. PPROM often leads to premature birth, which can cause life-long health problems for the baby as their lungs aren’t fully developed.
Drugs called corticosteroids can be used to help the lungs to mature, but only if they are given within seven days of birth. However, it can be difficult for doctors to predict exactly when a baby will be born following PPROM, as they may not be born within a week.
We need to be able to predict the time of birth more accurately, so that we can treat PPROM better and reduce the chance of health problems for premature babies.
What’s happening in this project?
Scientists funded by Tommy’s are trying to find ways to help doctors predict when a baby will be born after PPROM. To do this, our researchers will be extracting anonymous information from the health records of mothers who experienced PPROM. Using this data, the team will develop a tool which will tell doctors the chances of a baby being born within the next week – the critical timeframe for giving corticosteroids. This will allow them to decide the best time to give corticosteroids to the mother to help their baby’s lungs mature in time for birth.
What difference will this project make?
The results from this project will help doctors to predict when a baby will be born after PPROM. This will help ensure that mothers get the right treatment at the right time, and help to reduce the risk of health complications for them and their baby
Get our research updates
Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.
A BBC News investigation has found that some private baby scanning studios are misleading customers by advertising “reassurance” scans that do not diagnose serious conditions and abnormalities.
In this Q&A, we sit down and chat with with Tom Willmott, a researcher based at Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre in Manchester. He gives a rare insight into a novel and exciting area of pregnancy health research, known as ‘maternal microbiology’, looking at what we can learn by studying bacteria in the mouths of mums-to-be.
A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.