WSU Introduces Research Collaborative for Mothers, COVID-19

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A collaborative research effort among Washington State University researchers will explore the impact on COVID-19 on mothers and newborn children.

The WSU COVID-19 Infant, Maternal, and Family Health Research Collaborative will include studies by dozens of WSU researchers across several disciplines, including developmental biology, human development, psychology, and biocultural anthropology.

Researchers hypothesize that the stress and anxiety of pregnant and parenting women may be greater than the general population at this time, as transmission and survival are largely unknown in pregnant women, childcare largely remains the responsibility of mothers -- even if both mothers and fathers are both working from home -- and financial security is lower for women than men.

"Our goal is to identify the knowledge and resources that could help pregnant and postpartum women cope with all of the unique stressors they are facing right now so that we can secure the health of moms and babies," said Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, an associate professor in the College of Nursing and vice chancellor for research for WSU Health Sciences Spokane. Several studies will examine substance use, including cannabis, and other health behaviors of pregnant or recently postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As a land-grant university, WSU focuses much of its research enterprise on initiatives and projects that address the societal needs that impact our state," said John Roll, associate vice president for strategic research initiatives for WSU Health Sciences. "The new COVID-19 Infant and Maternal Health Research Collaborative is a prime example of how our researchers are pivoting their work to gain new knowledge that will help Washingtonians during this pandemic."

Source: WSU Insider

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