“I am an obstetrician, I deliver babies and after I meet a couple and start looking after them, roughly 9 months later I will be delivering their happy, healthy baby. But there is an exception, despite all of my experience and knowledge, there is one problem that I can do nothing about: extreme premature labour. When it happens, there is nothing that I can do, I might be able to delay the labour for a little while, but not stop it. Most people who come in with premature labour have no idea that they are at risk. Generally, the first sign is that contractions start and people rush to the A&E, wondering what is happening. They meet someone like me who will tell them: “I am very sorry, but it looks like your baby may be coming a little early”. Most people know that babies born early go to the NICU, spend a little while there and come out fine. Then they discover that being born early is the single largest cause of death in children less than 5 years of age. It causes more years of disability, than stroke, heart disease or any other chronic condition. This is because the disability of prematurity is present throughout a persons’ life, it begins at the beginning and only ends at the end. ” – Professor Mark Johnson
In 2013, when Professor Mark Johnson, an Obstetric Consultant at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, realized he couldn’t give his patients a thorough explanation as to why their babies came too early, he decided to found a research charity to better understand the causes of prematurity. And so Borne was established, co-founded by Professor Mark Johnson, the maternity team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, colleagues at CW+ and a group of parents almost all of whom have personal experiences of the tragedy and complications of preterm birth. Their aim was to eradicate death and disability in childbirth and create lifelong health for mothers and their babies.
As Borne has steadily grown over the years, so has our need to speak more widely and loudly about a topic that touches so many of us.
So, we would like to welcome you to our blog! Here we will keep you up to date with Borne news: the fundraising events we host throughout the year, the exciting work being done by our PhD students and real life stories about prematurity. We will also keep you up to date with all things preterm birth, both in the UK and internationally.
Everyone at Borne shares a common belief that through medical research and implementation we can tackle critical challenges facing both mothers and infants on a global scale. Working in the UK and abroad, from studies on fatty acid levels to the effects of progesterone during labour, our funding strives to prevent life-threatening pregnancy conditions and bring us closer to breakthroughs to save and improve lives.
This could of course never be achieved without our dedicated team of supporters, who make donations, run events and introduce potential corporate partners. They make sure that we can raise vital funds for research, which will save lives and create brighter, happier futures for babies and their families.
We are here to start a conversation about prematurity, about preterm babies and the often continuing struggle they and their families have to face, so please to do not hesitate to share, ask, talk or debate.