Fetal and Early Child Behavior Study (Imaging Study)

In this study we are looking at the effects of prenatal (before birth) use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), benzodiazepines, and/or other psychotropic (mood altering) treatments on the developing child before and after birth. We are also looking at indices of brain development and early child biobehavioral development. 

Visit our FAQs page for answers to common questions about this study.

Who can participate

  • healthy pregnant women
  • pregnant women experiencing depression (treated with or without antidepressant medication)
  • pregnant women delivering either at home or at Children’s & Women’s Hospital 

What’s Involved

Participation in the study begins during pregnancy and continues into the newborn and infant period. For study details email fetalstudy2@gmail.com or call 604-875-2392.

At recruitment (approximately 26 weeks gestation): We use standardized questionnaires to assess your general and mental health and we will also collect blood from you.

35-36 weeks gestation: We measure fetal movement, fetal heart rate and maternal and fetal blood flow using ultrasound and fetal monitoring equipment. We will also collect blood and saliva samples from you. Participants receive remuneration at the end of this visit. 

At delivery: We arrange for hospital staff to draw blood from you as well as your baby’s umbilical cord. We will also collect samples of your placenta after delivery. 

Neonatal period: We will measure indices of brain development by taking pictures of your baby’s brain. An Occupational/Physical Therapist will assess your baby’s behavior using standard assessment. We will also collect saliva from your baby and ask you to complete questionnaires to provide information about your state of wellbeing and your baby’s health.

3, 6, 12 and 18 months: We mail you a package of questionnaires about your state of well-being and your baby’s behavior and health. This will also include a one-day saliva package to collect saliva from your child, to be completed at home.

24 months: We will have some fun games for your baby to play while they sit in your lap to assess their ability to learn, remember and solve problems. A Physical Therapist will assess your baby’s growth and development. We will also collect saliva from your baby and you will be asked to complete some questionnaires about you and your baby’s health and well-being. Participants receive remuneration at the end of this visit.