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COVID-19 New Mum Study

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The COVID-19 New Mum Study is a study being conducted by Professor Jonathan Wells and Professor Mary Fewtrell and their team. It aims to identify how different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected mothers who have had a baby in the last year.

 

The survey explores how COVID-19 is impacting infant feeding practices, which groups are most affected, and which are least able to access relevant support. It will give mothers the opportunity to share their experience and highlight any challenges they may have faced.

The findings will be used to help develop ways to improve support for mothers feeding young infants during this outbreak, and may contribute to similar support in the future. 

For this study, we are inviting adult mothers currently living in the UK with an infant aged up to 12 months to fill out an online survey. The study has received approval from UCL Research Ethics Committee and ICH GOS R&D.

Study Team

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

Survey

Survey participants must be 18 years or older with a baby under 12 months and living in the UK. They do not need to have been under lockdown or feeding their child in any particular way. Participation is entirely voluntary. The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

To view the study information sheet, including details of data protection, ethics and consent, and to access the survey please click here.

Help with sharing the survey would be much appreciated! We will keep the survey open throughout the lockdown and recovery period, and provide regular updates.
Survey updates

August 3rd

We have over 3200 participants in the study now! The study is still ongoing so please continue to help us spread the word!
We've been analysing the results on maternal mental health and coping from the first two weeks of the study (N=1329), to be published soon. Below are some of our main findings: 

 

  • More than half of new mothers reported feeling down, lonely or irritable and nearly 3 in 4 said they felt worried to some or a high extent since lockdown began.
  • Mothers who received enough support with their own health, contacted infant support groups, or had infants with a higher gestational age were at lower risk of poor mental health*. 
  • Mothers who travelled to work had significantly worse mental health*. More than a third of women who said they went to work were frontline workers. 
  • Lockdown having a major impact on the ability to afford food and having a household income below £30k predicted poorer mental health*. 
  • Despite all this, 70% of mothers reported feeling able to cope with the situation. Mothers who felt supported with their own health, and who felt household chores have become more equally divided coped** better. 

*derived from scores of feeling down, feeling lonely, feeling worried, trouble relaxing, irritability using PCA methods;**derived from scores for opportunity to chat with family & friends, enjoyed spring weather, ability to cope with situation using PCA methods

June 23rd

More than 2100 new mums have completed our survey so far!   We are particularly keen to hear about the experiences of mums from BAME backgrounds, and /or from Scotland, Wales and Northerm Ireland as these groups are currently under-represented in the survey. 
The findings from the first week of the survey are now published as a pre-print, and are being submitted for peer-review. So see this click here
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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.