UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


COVID-19 New Mum Study

Covid19 New Mum Study Logo
The COVID-19 New Mum Study is a study conducted by Professor Jonathan Wells and Professor Mary Fewtrell and their team carried out online between May 2020 and June 2021. It aimed to identify how different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic  affected mothers who had recently had a baby. 

The survey explored how COVID-19 was impacting infant feeding practices, which groups were most affected, and which were least able to access relevant support. It gave mothers the opportunity to share their experience and highlighted any challenges they may have faced.

The findings have led to several publications which we hope will help develop sustainable ways to improve support for mothers with young infants who were impacted, and continue to be, by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to mitigate negative impacts and improve resilience in this vulnerable group in future pandemics. 

For this study, we invited adult mothers currently living in the UK with an infant aged up to 12 months to fill out an online survey (designed on Redcap). The study received approval from UCL Research Ethics Committee and ICH GOS R&D. A total of 3400 eligible mothers responded. 

Study Team

Professor Jonathan Wells
Professor Mary Fewtrell
Dr Adriana Vazquez-Vazquez
Sarah Dib
Emeline Rougeaux


Survey participants had to be 18 years or older with a baby under 12 months and living in the UK. They did not need to have been under lockdown or feeding their child in any particular way. Participation was entirely voluntary. The survey took approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. It was designed by the team using Redcap online software (securely provided by UCL).

To view the study information sheet, including details of data protection, ethics and consent, and to access the survey please get in touch via email (details below).

  • Vazquez-Vazquez A, Dib S, Rougeaux E, Wells JC, Fewtrell MS. The impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the experiences and feeding practices of new mothers in the UK: Preliminary data from the COVID-19 New Mum Study. Appetite. 2021 Jan 1;156:104985. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104985. 
  • Dib S, Rougeaux E, Vázquez-Vázquez A, Wells JCK, Fewtrell M. Maternal mental health and coping during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK: Data from the COVID-19 New Mum Study. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Dec;151(3):407-414. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13397
  • Rougeaux E, Dib S, Vázquez-Vázquez A, Fewtrell MS, Wells JCK. Socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on new mothers and associations with psychosocial wellbeing: Findings from the UK COVID-19 New Mum online observational study (May 2020-June 2021). PLOS Global Public Health. 2022; 2(7): e0000576. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgph.0000576
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International collaboration

The survey was shared with colleagues in several countries, including China, Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico and Argentina, who adapted and translated it for their own studies. Publications relating to these studies can be found here.

  • Yu J, Gao M, Wei Z, Wells JCK, Fewtrell M. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on maternal delivery experiences and breastfeeding practices in China: data from a cross-sectional study. BMC Pediatr. 2022 Feb 24;22(1):104. doi: 10.1186/s12887-022-03155-y. 
  • Wei Z, Gao MY, Fewtrell M, Wells J, Yu JY. Maternal mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing, China. World J Pediatr. 2021 Jun;17(3):280-289. doi: 10.1007/s12519-021-00439-8. 
  • Mohd Shukri NH, Gan WY, Zalbahar N, Tusimin M, Mohamad Nasri N. COVID-19 Restrictions and Maternal Experience and Infant Feeding. Nurs Res. 2022 Mar-Apr 01;71(2):E10-E20. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000568.
  • Sirikul W, Ongprasert K, Piankusol C, Siviroj P. Maternal Mental Health under COVID-19 Pandemic in Thailand. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 29;19(1):347. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010347
  • Piankusol C, Sirikul W, Ongprasert K, Siviroj P. Factors Affecting Breastfeeding Practices under Lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Thailand: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 18;18(16):8729. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168729

If you have any questions about the study, you can contact the study team at covid19-newmum-study@ucl.ac.uk. Please note that we are not able to respond to any individual queries about infant feeding.

Thank all to all the mothers who took the time to contribute to our study!