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Alexa, open Tommy's Midwife...

Alexa, open Tommy's Midwife...

Given the current situation, it’s more important than ever that we find more way to give women expert pregnancy information available at home.

As a vulnerable group, right now lots of pregnant women are very anxious. We’re also hearing of women not being able to access their GP, midwife or maternity/early pregnancy unit for advice and support due to COVID-19. The number of people contacting our midwife helpline has already risen 40% this month.

So… please give a warm welcome to the newest member of our team, Tommy’s Midwife voice skill, on Alexa and Google Assistant! Whatever time of day it is, parents-to-be can ask their questions about pregnancy and receive instant expert, up-to-date advice verified by our team of in-house midwives.

We’re really excited about getting this out to parents-to-be and their families and hope that it can provide an extra source of support and reassurance at a time when national resources are extremely stretched.

We also hope it can be a source of fun too as we encourage people to try it out, let us know what is and isn’t working for them so we can add to the information and improve, improve, and improve some more.

Please share this information with your colleague, friends and family. There is lots of info here. We want this to reach as many women as possible.

This has been a huge learning curve for all of us here at Tommy's. Our skill is brand new and is a free text skill (i.e. people can use natural language to ask what they like, the same way they would talk normally).

Therefore, we are expecting and hoping for lots of feedback to help us refine and improve its functionality! Please share with your network and ask them to get in touch with us any feedback they have on the tool or at voice@tommys.org so we can give the best possible support to women across the country at this time.

Give it a go and let us know what you think!

Team Tommy's

Tommy's and COVID-19

Tommy's and COVID-19

To our fantastic Work for Good partners,

In these weird/uncertain/strange times (choose whichever variation is appropriate) we wanted to let you know what’s going on with Tommy’s, as well as share something lovely amongst the gloom.

Our phoneline is temporarily suspended, but we continue to support pregnant women to protect against COVID-19.

We have been at the forefront of providing pregnant women with the latest information on the corona virus. We will continue to work closely with the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecology and the Royal College of Midwives to keep our guidance updated as we learn more.

Our midwives are available as normal over email and with more presence on social media to ensure we provide the best service we can, at a time of heighted anxiety and worry for pregnant women and their families. You can find them here and here.

We will be launching the Tommy’s Midwife voice activated tool for Alexa and Google devices at the end of the month, so more women can access expert pregnancy information without leaving the house.

We are adding information about COVID-19 to the tool. It’s a hugely exciting step for us to take, and one that feels so very important at this time.

We are proud that some of our Tommy’s clinical staff will be diverted to supporting the management of the corona virus within the NHS.

All recruitment of patients to our clinical trials is currently on hold. However there are many, many people that make up a Tommy’s research centre: our statisticians, social scientists and medical scientists continue to drive research forward to end baby loss in the UK. When this ends, there will still be many, many women and their families who will need our work, and we intend to be there for them.

Like the Tommy’s Head Office staff, everyone is social distancing and most continue to work from home; there is much of research that can be done anywhere.

Whilst we source a new date for the London Landmarks Half Marathon, we are proud to announce the Local Landmarks Challenge!

We're working really hard with the local authorities to try to secure an alternative date for LLHM 2020. In the meantime, we've launched a solo, virtual challenge to help raise the vital fundraising we and our charity partners were expecting from LLHM 2020 in the coming months.

Our Tommy’s fundraising target is £3.7 million and we still have a good way to go to reach this goal! We're asking everyone (LLHM runner or not!) to run any distance, great or small, around their local landmarks, and earn their exclusive medal. The response has already been incredible:

“What an incredibly brilliant idea considering the situation that is going on. Very motivational and fantastic opportunity for everyone. Well done LLHM Team x”

“Our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”

This is a difficult time. Our timelines are full of COVID-19 and fear - I wanted to bring some positivity to your inbox to remind you that through everything, there is still joy and wonderful things happening.

Last week baby Willow celebrated her 1st birthday! She is a rainbow baby, born after her mum Rachel lost 3 babies to miscarriage. You can read the whole of her story here.

“Our daughter Willow was born on St Patrick’s Day, so she truly is our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I remember being in shock the first time I saw Willow and feeling both relief and disbelief that she was finally here and safe.

“All the months of worrying and hurdles were all worth it. From going from feelings of having no hope, disappointment, sadness and loneliness to pure joy, happiness, and excitement was one bumpy ride. Willow is our little symbol that anything is possible."

Tommy’s will continue to give pregnant women information to keep them safe, and provide support to women like Rachel. We are so very lucky to have people like you by our side now more than ever.

We appreciate that things are really worrying at the moment, especially for some businesses like yours. If you would like a chat, please let Libby know at lrackham@tommys.org and we can arrange a phone/video call. Thank you and stay strong.

Team Tommy's

Our first 2020 update!

Our first 2020 update!

Happy New Year!

It's now February and we've settled right into the new year - we hope you have too! It's already been a very exciting start to 2020, so we have a few updates to share with you from the team here at Tommy’s.

Tommy’s news

New treatment for recurrent miscarriage - We are excited to share this breakthrough research news with you, which you may have spotted on BBC News Online. A pilot trial led by Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research suggests a diabetes drug could lead to new treatment for recurrent miscarriage. Read our important findings here.

Miscarriage and post-traumatic stress – And that’s not the only news our Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research has made recently! They found that miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger long-term post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. Click here to learn more about the results of our study.

Safer pregnancy tool – We have been working on the technical development of our new ‘safer pregnancy’ tool which will help women understand and reduce their risks during pregnancy. We are working with NHS England, Public Health England, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Midwives to inform the content of our tool, which will be launched in the Spring. This will complete our trio of tools that support women before, during and after pregnancy.

New Year’s Resolution?

Promising yourself to use that gym membership more this year? Turn your New Year’s Resolutions into a fundraising opportunity!

You can sign up now to join Team Tommy’s at some of the UK’s biggest sporting events. Join us at Manchester Half Marathon or grab your bike for RideLondon, or sign up for the world’s biggest half marathon – the Great North Run. Check out the rest of our sporting events here, and see if you can sign up some of your friends, family or colleagues to join you!

Supporter story

On 8 September Rachel will be taking on the Great North Run for Tommy's. After suffering recurrent miscarriages, Rachel and her partner looked into Tommy’s information on miscarriage and decided to get checked out when Rachel felt unwell during her third pregnancy. She was diagnosed with a liver condition called obstetric cholestasis and was induced early. Born on St Patrick’s Day, the couple now have their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - their daughter Willow (pictured above).

“Had it not been for the information on Tommy’s, I would have put myself down to being over the top and would have never got it checked…I have done the Great North Run before and wanted to set myself a personal goal after a difficult two years. It was important to me to do something positive for myself as well as others and can’t think of a better way than to get my running shoes back on. I may have been adventurous with my goal as it will have only been six months since my daughter was born, but I have realised anything is possible if you put your mind to it and don’t want people to give up.”

Thank you for all of your support throughout 2019. With such a great start to the year already, we're excited to see where the rest of 2020 will take us as we work #TogetherForChange!