Exposures in Pregnancy
Finding the Answers, Informing the Community
If you’re pregnant, you may wonder if the medicine you take to manage your illness is safe for your baby, or if recreational substances like alcohol or marijuana will also be ingested by your baby. These are common concerns, but many times women and health care providers don’t have enough information to answer these questions. We strongly believe that every mom deserves to know whether the things she is exposed to can affect her baby – and with your help, we can find the answers!
Fast Fact: Did you know that 9 out of 10 women in the United States take a medication during pregnancy, but only 10% of medications have known safety information for use in pregnancy?
“There is a huge need for more data on the things that pregnant women are exposed to. With your help, we can provide this much-needed information.”
-Dr. Christina Chambers, Center for Better Beginnings’ co-Director
MotherToBaby Research Program
Gaining Important Safety Information
For the vast majority of medications, chemicals and other exposures, there are not enough studies to determine if they are safe or if they are harmful. Our researchers are taking important steps to provide this much-needed information – but we need your help!
The Center for Better Beginnings is home to the MotherToBaby Research Program, a series of observational studies aimed at evaluating the safety in pregnancy of a variety of exposures – from prescription medications to vaccines to recreational substances. These critically important studies help women and their healthcare providers learn more about what may be safe and what should be avoided in pregnancy.
Our studies are “observational,” meaning we do not ask women to take any medications or change any part of their medical or daily routine. Rather, participating moms-to-be are followed by our research team through their pregnancy, and their babies are followed for a period of time after birth. Only through the participation of women during pregnancy and during the first years of life can we improve the health of future moms and babies.
Volunteer for a Study
Help Us Pave the Way to Healthier Babies
A healthy baby is the universal goal of pregnancy, and we want to ensure that this is possible for everyone. Only by carefully monitoring what pregnant women have been exposed to can we start to understand if these exposures will impact the health and development of their baby. How is this possible? By collecting information about real-life treatments and exposures from the true heroes of our cause: pregnant moms who volunteer for our studies.
It’s important to know that our studies are“observational,” meaning we do not ask women to take any medications or change any part of their medical or daily routine. So how do the studies work? First, a pregnant mom tells us if she has been exposed to a particular medicine, vaccine, recreational substance, etc. If she has, then she may be asked to enroll so our research team can follow her pregnancy. But even if she does not have one of the exposures of interest, she may be asked to enroll into one of our important comparison groups. Participation is by phone interviews, digital communications and by mail; there is no travel required.
When baby has arrived, there also may be an opportunity for him or her to have an in-home examination by our pediatric specialists, which gives many women extra peace of mind. And some studies even have the opportunity for long-term follow-up of your child that includes free developmental testing.
If you would like to help us pave the way to healthier pregnancies and healthier babies, consider joining our MotherToBaby Research Program.