What we do

Tommy's funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information to empower parents to have a healthy pregnancy. We believe it is unacceptable that one in four women lose a baby during pregnancy and birth.

When a pregnancy fails or a baby dies, it causes devastation. Tommy's was started by two obstetricians who worked in St Thomas' Hospital in London with a patient. They were frustrated with the scale of pregnancy loss in the UK, and the fact that they could rarely tell families why their babies were dying. Tommy's was started to fundraise for more research into pregnancy problems. Today we are proud to say that we fund four maternal and fetal research centres across the UK.

Thanks to our supporters, we are able to grant £1,600,000 a year to vital research into the prevention of baby loss in pregnancy and premature birth.

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. Incredibly, over 3,500 babies are stillborn every year in the UK and many of these deaths remain unexplained. Tommy’s research is dedicated to improving these shocking statistics.

  • Nurse monitoring premature baby in hospital

    Research into premature birth

    Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK and many suffer lifelong consequences as a result. Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal death in the UK.

  • Clinical researcher looking at test tube

    Research into miscarriage

    Miscarriage affects 200,000 couples every year in the UK, with 85% of miscarriages happening in the first 12 weeks. Often parents receive no answers to their questions. We want to change that.

We have a track record in achieving the 'impossible'

We have a track record in achieving the 'impossible'

Our track record in achieving ‘impossible’ goals is impressive…

In 2009, for example, Tommy’s decided to focus our Manchester research centre on stillbirth despite the prevailing view that nothing could be done/it wasn’t important.

Our work has shown that research can make a difference:

  • in the population served by our Manchester clinics, stillbirth has reduced stillbirth by 22% in the region over the last four years
  • stillbirth is starting to decline around the UK
  • reduction of stillbirth is now a government target.

Tommy’s is still funding the only stillbirth centre in the UK and we are doing amazing things to improve antenatal care and save babies lives.

Tommy’s can help to make a real difference to saving babies lives…

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Why support Tommy's

Why support Tommy's

Maternal and fetal research needs more funding. Without research we believe that there will be no change in the shocking statistic that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in the death of the baby.

That's why Tommy's exists - we want to save babies by creating research and clinical hubs that investigate all aspects of pregnancy, that understand the mechanics of pregnancy and that will bring greater understanding to why pregnancy goes wrong. With research comes tests that predict when things might go wrong and treatments to save babies' lives.

How we grant funding

We do not give small amounts on a project basis. Instead we provide large yearly grants of £400k each to Maternal and Fetal Research Centres of Excellence that each investigate different aspects of pregnancy loss.

This allows our centres to set up networks, recruit the best scientists and doctors and commit to long term trials where needed to get results. It also allows them to set up clinics and support and treat women who are at risk.

Our research centres collaborate and share learnings with each other. Our clinicians participate in the national committees and groups that make decisions on NHS clinical practice. Professor Jane Norman, who is the Director of the Tommy's Edinburgh Centre, for example, is Chair of the NICE preterm labour and birth group and Chair of Scottish government stillbirth group. Arri Coomarasamy works at the forefront of gynaecological studies in the UK, with a focus on miscarriage and global women’s health

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Why our work is necessary