In 1964, after witnessing the grief of a young man whose wife died during childbirth, obstetrician Professor Will Nixon of University College Hospital set up the Childbirth Research Centre. Joined by leading members of the medical profession, Sir George Pinker, Lord Brain, Sir John Peel and Wilfred Sheldon, and businessmen Mr Bonham-Carter, Mr Farrer-Brown and Mr Holman, the Centre was registered as a charity in October that year.
In 1972, the name was changed to Birthright – The National Fund for Childbirth Research and, in 1975, the charity agreed to work in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Birthright broadened its remit to include all aspects of obstetrics and gynaecology.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the charity was honoured to have the support of Diana, Princess of Wales, as an active and committed Patron. The charity was renamed Wellbeing and, in 2004, we united with the National Birthday Trust Fund to become Wellbeing of Women. In 2014, we celebrated our 50th anniversary.
Wellbeing of Women remains unique in having such a comprehensive remit for women’s health. We are one of very few funders of peer-reviewed medical research on topics such as the menopause and incontinence alongside work seeking to prevent so many pregnancies ending badly and to discover new therapies for gynaecological cancer.