Washington State University researchers are committed to addressing all aspects of infant and maternal health as it relates to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), from stress and behavioral impacts during pregnancy, transmission from mother to neonate and child and vice versa, as well as psychological and physical impacts on parenting women living through the pandemic. We hypothesize that stress and anxiety of pregnant and parenting women will be greater in this population compared to the general population as transmission and survival remains largely unknown in pregnant women, safety and survival of children largely remains the role of the mother, and financial security is lower in women than in men. In addition, while mothers and fathers are both largely working from home, women are disproportionately affected by having to balance caregiving, domestic duties, and their job responsibilities.
Health Behaviors in pregnant women during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The purpose of this survey-based study is to characterize the mental and behavioral health and related behaviors of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include measures of depression, stress, anxiety, healthy behaviors, substance use, and food insecurity. Contact Dr. Crystal Lederhos Smith for more information.
Measures of physiological stress (cortisol levels) during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between COVID-19-related psychological and physiological stress in pregnant women, and how that affects stress responsiveness in infants. In this study, stress is measured by cortisol levels in hair. Contact Dr. Erica Crespi for more information.
Pregnancy, Health, and Motherhood during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The purpose of this study is to investigate how COVID-19-related stress (psychological and physiological) and coping during pregnancy links to the birth experience, mother-infant relationship quality, and mother and infant stress and coping. Contact Dr. Sara Waters for more information.
COVID-19 Qualitative Interviews: Substance Use
The purpose of this study is to interview (over the phone) women who are pregnant or have recently given birth and who use substances about the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and/or parenting. This study is focused on cannabis use and medication-assisted therapy. Contact Dr. Celestina Barbosa-Leiker for more information.
Social media study of pregnant and parenting mothers during COVID-19
The purpose of this survey-based study is to use detailed psychological and social support questions with a focus on substance use to investigate the impacts of COVID-19. Contact Dr. Celestina Barbosa-Leiker for more information.
COVID-19 and Human Milk
The purpose of this study is to investigate the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and antibodies in human milk, its viability, and possible transmission between mothers and infants. Contact Dr. Courtney Meehan for more information.
COVID-19 in the Washington State Twin Registry
The purpose of this study is to observe the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and general wellbeing. The survey is sent to adult twins and parents of twins under 18, asking about changes to lifestyle, wellbeing, and mental health since start of COVID-19. Contact Ally Avery for more information.