Skip to Main Content
Phase COVID-Pilot

Toxic Stress and Microbiome

  • Study HIC#:2000026253
  • Last Updated:07/15/2021

The purpose of this research study is to explore the relationship between maternal stress, infant stress, and bacteria that are naturally present in the infants' gut (part of the digestive system). Mothers will complete self-report questionnaires about their mental health, sleep, parenting, and their childhood experiences. Saliva samples will be collected from mothers and infants to evaluate inflammatory markers, and a stool sample will be collected from infants' diapers to evaluate gut microbiota. The goal of this study is to understand how stress may influence infant health through via the gut microbiome. 

  • GenderBoth
  • Start Date12/02/2019
  • End Date09/30/2020

Trial Purpose and Description

This is a cross-sectional pilot study with maternal-infant dyads (N=40, infants age 2-4 months). The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between maternal stress, infant stress, and infant gut microbiome composition and structure. Methods involve maternal self-report measures, collection of mother and infant saliva to test inflammatory biomarkers, and collection of infant stool samples to analyze for microbes

Eligibility Criteria

. Inclusion criteria:

1) Biological mothers age 18 years and older with an infant age 2-4 months

2) English-speaking

3) Infant has not yet started solid foods.

 Exclusion criteria:

1) Infant history of preterm birth (<37 weeks gestation)

2) Infant history of gastrointestinal disease or disorder

3) Maternal history of chronic immune or metabolic illness (e.g. cancer, HIV, diabetes mellitus)

4) Mother lacks parental custody

For more information about this study, contact the Help us Discover team on: