About the COVID Mothers Study

The COVID Mothers Study is a worldwide survey of mothers which aims to answer the following questions about an infected mother's maternity experiences: Was she separated from her infant? Was she allowed to have skin-to-skin contact in the first hour after birth, and was she allowed to directly breastfeed her infant? We also ask if she had her breasts washed. We then ask about the outcomes: Did she have difficulty breastfeeding? Did her infant get COVID? If so, how severe was the infant's disease?

The survey was reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Harvard University. Mothers were able to participate if either they or their infant had COVID-19 prior to the infant's first birthday. In order to gain full knowledge of how a mother's peripartum experience affected her, mothers were not allowed to out the survey until their infants were at least 1 month old. The survey was available exclusively online from May 4, 2020 through September 30, 2020. By including infants who experienced COVID at ages beyond the perinatal period, we will be able to correlate disease incidence and severity with breastfeeding history if we have a large enough sample size. We also asked mothers about the psychological impact of infant separation on them, in order to get a sense of the magnitude of maternal harm, if any, from this routine practice. Read about the Study Team. 

The survey was built on the Qualtrics platform licensed to Harvard Medical School, and took respondents anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes to complete. Not all respondents saw every question. The survey was anonymous, and no identifying information was collected from respondents, including their IP addresses or demographic information. We only asked respondents their country of residence. The survey was available in English, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Arabic. Countries in the European Union and the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland are covered by the General Data Protection Regulation, which required a separate approval process, so could not participate until July 1. 

(Updated October 1, 2020)

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