Stress in Pregnancy Study

What is this study about?

The purpose of this research study is to find out how stress during pregnancy and the environment that children grow up in affect childhood development.  We are doing this research because we know that stress can have an impact on a child’s wellbeing and we want to learn more so that we can improve children’s health outcomes in the future.

Who can volunteer?

  • Women aged 13-45
  • Currently <24 weeks pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • Written and verbal fluency in English
  • 7th grade reading/ comprehension level

What will happen during the study?

  • Multiple study visits throughout your pregnancy and as your child grows up
  • Compensation for each visit ($50 for the first visit, $25 for each following visit)

What will be collected at each visit?

  • Questionnaires about your past medical history, stressful events in your life, symptoms of mental health conditions, and any treatment you have been receiving
  • Information about any medicines, vitamins, supplements, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances of abuse that you have used since you became pregnant
  • Urine and blood samples

What will be collected about your baby?

  • Study visits until they are 18 years old
  • If you agree, a sample of blood from the umbilical cord
  • Questionnaires about behavior and temperament
  • Saliva samples

How much time will I spend on this study?

  • 4 visits during your pregnancy, including an enrollment visit and a visit during each trimester
  • 4 visits after delivery, which will happen once every 6 months for 2 years
  • Follow-up every few years until the baby reaches 18 years of age

Can the father of the baby or their siblings participate?

  • Any siblings can participate, and we would collect saliva samples and information about their behavior and temperament

The father of the baby can also participate in the study, and would provide a blood sample and complete questionnaires before and after delivery

Important things to know:

Taking part in research is voluntary. You can choose not to be in this study, or stop at any time. If you decide not to be in this study, your choice will not affect your healthcare or any services you receive. There will be no penalty to you. You will not lose medical care or any legal rights. You don’t have to be in this study to get care for your health condition.

For questions about the study, contact the research team:


For questions about research participants’ rights or complaints contact:

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Patient Relations Representative 608-263-8009