Do you want to know more about your microbiome, the collective term for the trillions of microbes that live in and on us, such as your gut, blood, mouth, and skin? The MRC is conducting The MothersBabies Study, an innovative study that will be investigating how the microbiome impacts on pre-pregnancy health, throughout the woman’s pregnancy, and into the first year of their child’s life. This study has ethics approval to conduct this study (SESLHD 2019/ETH00192) over the next 5 years, and we are also registered on the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR).
What we eat, who we date, our physical activity, our environment, even our ethnicity – all impacts on our microbiome. If someone’s health is already disrupted before they start to consider pregnancy, these can have long-lasting implications on the health of the couple, and ultimately their child. Focusing on pre-pregnancy health will have a positive impact on the health of the whole community, and has the potential to reduce chronic disease burden for many generations to come.
You can be a part of this innovative study if you are female, aged 18 years or older, are actively trying to conceive a pregnancy (which we are defining as not using any form of contraception and having regular intercourse; or undergoing fertility treatment), planning to receive antenatal care within NSW, be willing to follow protocol requirements; and be willing to provide written informed consent for yourself and your newborn. If you decide to take part you would need to be available for the duration of the study, which is approximately 22-33 months (depending on when you fall pregnant in the 12 month preconception period), willing to provide height, weight, medical history, obstetric history (if any), fill out diet and physical activity questionnaires; be willing to provide multi-site microbiome sampling (including oral, vaginal, & skin swabs, stool samples and blood tests); and be willing for your newborn’s microbiome to be studied once they are born, including length, weight, head circumference, developmental milestones, and type of feeding. We also do a baseline pregnancy test to make sure participants are not pregnant as the pre-pregnancy data is so incredibly important to us. There is also the option for your partner to have a microbiome baseline assessment (stool and oral swab for correlation with your baseline microbiome).
This study is currently approved to recruit at The Royal Hospital for Women, St George Hospital, and Nepean Hospital. We are also planning to open at Sutherland Hospital in the coming weeks.
This study cannot be conducted without the help of the community, so please come get in touch if you want to know more. Make sure you like and follow our Facebook page, The MothersBabies Study, and an Instagram @mothersbabiesstudy for study updates.