Taking part in prematurity research

You may be asked if you would consider taking part in research into premature birth. We explain what this might involve.

There is still so much we don't know about why premature birth happens, what the consequences are, and how to deliver the best care to premature babies. Scientists are searching for answers and they need parents' help. This is because new knowledge required to improve care for the babies of tomorrow must come from studying the babies of today. The UK has a strong track record of newborn research which has helped shape the clinical practices that have resulted in improved survival rates after preterm birth.

Finding out more about premature birth

At some point, one of the healthcare team may ask you if you would consider involving yourself or your baby in a study. If this happens, they will explain the study to you in detail and will ask you to sign a consent form.

How it works

Any research must follow strict ethical guidelines. Participating in a study is voluntary, and you don't need to agree to anything without being given full information. You can also change your mind at any point.

Why your input will help premature babies

Taking part will give you the opportunity to help develop knowledge and contribute to the care of babies in the future. Whether or not you decide to participate will not affect the care of your baby in any way.

The baby unit

Caring for your baby

  • Mother holding baby to her chest.

    Kangaroo care

    Skin-to-skin contact with your premature baby is a wonderful way for you both to bond. It also provides health benefits.

  • Mother holding premature baby.

    Caring for your baby: your role

    You will play an important part in your premature baby's care, even while they are in the NICU.

  • Premature baby using feeding equipment.

    Feeding your premature baby

    Your premature baby's diet will be carefully balanced to suit their tiny digestive system while meeting the needs of their growing body.

  • Premature baby in incubator.

    Positioning your premature baby

    Positioning your premature baby correctly can make them feel secure, improve their breathing ability, strengthen their muscles and reduce the risk of cot death.

Treatment and medical support your baby may have

    Last reviewed on October 5th, 2016. Next review date October 5th, 2019.

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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Sep 2016 - 12:12

      That's fine, but if you need more information or want to have a chat with one of our Midwives please free to ring our information line on 0800 0147 800 (9am to 5pm) or email us at [email protected]

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Sep 2016 - 13:08

      I understand but its not clearly for me

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