I love studies. Yes, I am a bit of a nerd. But I love the idea that just going along for routine tests or scans can possibly help save or improve lives in the future. There is something very magical in that.
Which is why I’m taking part in a few studies while pregnant this time.
Studies on pregnant women are hard to organise – this is because it is not considered ‘ethical’ (so, morally right or just) to test anything on a woman who is pregnant due to the risk to her health and her child’s. This is why so many on the shelf or over the counter products you may pick up have a warning ‘not to be taken if you’re pregnant or breast feeding’. Many of these are actually perfectly fine to take (always check with a GP, pharmacist or on https://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/before taking anything that is warned against during pregnancy) but due to ethical limitations, studies cannot be undertaken using pregnant women which is why things are a little, well, vague.
Any official study you take part in when pregnant will have needed to have been ethically proven to be funded and allowed to go ahead by the institution it is backed by (more on that hereif you’re interested).
I’ll be taking part in two studies this pregnancy so far. One is for the impact of when the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy is given right here in Oxfordshire, and the other is in London at St Thomas’ Hospital for something called the CARP study(or Pip study). I’m already pretty excited about this one as a) I get a trip to my old home city of 6 years London and b) I get to see an MRI scan of my placenta, heart and my baby. Eeep!
Often studies won’t expect you to do much more than show up, agree to their terms and that is it. Others will ask you to come along to a follow up appointment. The CARP study is even possibly looking to follow me in my pregnancy and then me and my baby as he or she grows up. Most studies will be happy to pay local expenses for you to travel and some will also pay you to take part in a study if it will impact severely on your time.
While this can be a big commitment (it’s worth noting you can back out of a study at any time that you want) it’s also possible to provide invaluable results which will aid research to improve things for my children, grandchildren or nieces or nephews.
If that isn’t an incentive, what is?!
If you’d like to take part in the CARP or Placenta Imaging Project at St Thomas’ or any other studies, you can find more details in the links below:
CARP or PiP study, London: