World Prematurity Day 2018

The problem of premature birth in the UK needs to be addressed. Too many parents are currently enduring this anxious experience that can have a lasting impact.

Why we need World Prematurity Day

World Prematurity Day happens every year to raise awareness of the problem of premature birth.

Around 60,000 babies in the UK are born too soon every year and could suffer lifelong consequences for their health and development as a result of this early start.

60,000 babies is enough to fill 280 primary schools. This is simply too high.

Tommy’s is committed to funding pioneering research to find answers, reduce the number of early births in the UK and provide the best care for women who experience it.

Professor Andy Shennan is the Clinical Director of Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic at our prematurity research centre in St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

The clinic helps 1,300 new women every year and has already reduced premature births locally and regionally by more than 10% and is the most active in the country, carrying out more cervical stitch operations to prevent preterm birth than anywhere else in the country. The abdominal stitch treatment to prevent preterm birth, tested in the centre, had a 100% success rate over the last year. The team also developed an app that can help predict who is likely to have a premature birth, allowing for early intervention and early life-saving treatments. This award winning application is now being used worldwide, saving countless babies. 

Professor Shennan says we are already making significant steps in the right direction:

"In the last 10 years there have been radical differences, even a year ago there are things we weren’t doing which are now national recommendations. With Tommy’s help we have been able to set up similar clinics elsewhere with whom to share best practise and learn from each other."

Find out more about how Tommy's are working tirelessly behind the scenes to improve the outcomes for premature babies everywhere and help make pregnancy safer for women everywhere. 

Stay in touch and hear about our latest news and breakthroughs! 

Read more Premature birth information

  • Tommy's research centres

    Premature birth research

    Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK. Tommy’s is saving lives by researching how we can prevent premature births by finding those at risk early on.

  • Photo of a premature baby asleep holding his parents finger. The words 'My premature baby - a free app for parents' can be seen.

    Tommy's Prematurity App

    Early birth can be traumatic, particularly if your baby isn't very well. Tommy's app for parents of premature baby aims to make those first few days, weeks and months with your baby that little bit easier.

  • premature birth infographic

    Premature birth statistics

    A preterm birth is one that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies will end in preterm birth.

Find a premature birth research project

Current premature birth research projects

Was this information useful?

Yes No