The Duchess of Cambridge spent Wednesday afternoon at Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research at Imperial College in London, learning more about the charity’s efforts into reducing the rates of miscarriage, premature births and stillbirths.
While at Imperial College London, Kate visited with nationally renowned research organisation, Tommy’s, to see the work conducted at their National Centre for Miscarriage Research. The Centre is located within the College’s Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology.
Kensington Palace wrote that the Duchess’s visit was vital for her Early Years work, saying in a social media post, “Support for families facing challenges before birth has been a key focus for The Duchess, as the Early Years initiative continues to shine a spotlight on the importance of early childhood.”
During her visit, Kate received a tour of the facilities by a team of leading researchers including Professor Phillip Bennett (director of the Institute), Professor Andrew Shennan, Professor Basky Thilaganathan, Professor Catherine Williamson, and Professor Siobhan Quenby, all of whom work with various Tommy’s research centres around the UK.
Following her tour of the facilities and discussion about the ground-breaking research taking place into the science behind pregnancy losses, Kate was introduced to families who have dealt with miscarriages, stillbirths and premature births by Tommy’s Chief Executive Jane Brewin. The families have all been supported by Tommy’s through their losses.
One of the women, Clare Worgan, told the Duchess how her own experience with stillbirth in 2017 led to her becoming a midwife to help other families through their pregnancies. “When we went home our lives had been turned upside down,” she said.
“We had become devastated. A week after Alice’s funeral I decided I wanted to become a midwife, because the care I received was so amazing. I wanted to do what they had done for me… Alice literally changed my life. I feel her short little life is having quite a big impact.”
Kate told her, “It’s so brave of you to be able to talk so openly. A lot of the research, a lot of the support for organisations, is being driven by parents who have been through this experience, and want to help others. It is so inspirational.”
Kate’s visit came in the middle of Baby Loss Awareness Week, a poignant week for bereaved parents to remember their babies’ lives.
According to statistics provided by Imperial College London, in the United Kingdom, there are roughly 250,000 miscarriages every year; as well as 11,000 ectopic pregnancies, 3,000 stillbirths and 2,000 babies who die shortly after their birth.