Find a premature birth research project
Premature or preterm birth is when a baby is born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies end in premature birth – around 15 million babies every year.
Research is vital so that we can understand which women are likely to go into labour early, and help them carry their baby for as long as possible. Tommy’s support cutting-edge work on the causes and prevention of premature birth through our centres in both London and Edinburgh. Clinics at both centres care for mums at risk of preterm birth.
- Researchers have found that levels of a protein called elafin could be used to tell which women are most at risk of going into early labour.
- We are helping women around the world have healthy pregnancies by trialling a cheap, easy-to-use saliva test that can tell how likely a woman is to give birth prematurely.
- The SUPPORT trial is the first ever clinical study comparing the effectiveness of three different treatments in preventing premature birth in women with a shortened cervix.
- Scientists have found that drugs normally used to prevent heart disease may delay preterm birth.
Current research projects
Completed research projects
At 24 weeks pregnant, Beth found out that her baby had fetal growth restriction. She was referred to the Placenta Clinic at the Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre at St Mary’s Hospital. After close monitoring and specialist care, baby Isla was born at 31 weeks weighing 2lb 5oz.
If there is only one thing you take away from reading my story and Lukas’s, please take away 'hope'.
Owen, co-author of parenting blog 'Love amongst the stars' opens up about navigating the emotions he felt after the loss of his son Kaspar.
"I hope our story gives couples some reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel because after 9 miscarriages we have our miracle on the way"
This unique Preterm Surveillance Clinic – funded by Tommy's as part of our research in St Thomas' Hospital, London, has won an NHS Innovation Challenge Prize, for its success in reducing the number of premature births in South East London.
Tommy’s prematurity research centre in London is based at St Thomas’ Hospital, where the charity first began. Opened in 1995, it is the first Maternal and Fetal Research Unit in the UK.
A preterm birth is one that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies will end in preterm birth.
1. WHO (2012) Country data and rankings for preterm birth 2012, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2012/201204_borntoosoon_countryranki...
2. WHO (2017) Preterm birth fact sheet 2017, World Health Organisation, Geneva Switzerland, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs363/en/Hide details