Our microbiome is the collective term for the trillions of microbes that live as a community, in us (such as our gut and mouth) and on us (such as our skin). Research has shown us that the health of our microbiome can also impact on our health as a person. Parents pass their microbiomes onto their unborn children – but to what extent is still unknown.
The MothersBabies Study is investigating changes in the human microbiome from pre-pregnancy, throughout your pregnancy and birth, and onto your baby’s first birthday. The microbiome has been already researched in pregnancy, and now what we need to know is how your health in the 12 months prior to a pregnancy affects your pregnancy, your birth, and your baby’s health. Studies that follow women through their pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and birth story have not occurred anywhere in the world and this study aims to do this.
This study is entirely observational, and there is no treatment involved.
We ask you questions about your medical and surgical history, any prior pregnancies, what you do for work, your sexual orientation, ethnicity, household income, what you eat and drink, how much you exercise, medications you currently take, and ask you pregnancy-wellbeing questions as your pregnancy progresses. We will also conduct a small physical examination (height, weight, vital signs) and body composition analysis, and ask you to provide a stool, blood and urine sample alongside oral, skin and vaginal swabs for microbiome analysis.
Once your baby is born, we ask you questions about their birth, ongoing development, feeding, medications, immunisations, and general wellbeing. They will also have a small physical examination at each visit (length, weight, head circumference and vital signs) and we ask you to collect stool and urine samples, as well as skin and oral swabs for microbiome analysis.