Research study seeks moms-to-be
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers in ECU’s Division of Health Sciences are finding it difficult to find participants for grant-funded studies.
But research remains one of the most important endeavors in the division—and researchers can’t afford to take a pause.
That’s the case for Dr. Linda May, associate professor in the ECU School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Foundational Sciences and Research—the first researcher to study how a mother’s exercise affects her child’s heart function, neuromotor skills and body composition.
May and other researchers need your help to spread that word that research studies still need participants, and they are conducted following the strictest safety guidelines to keep participants and researchers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As researchers on the Health Sciences Campus, we are not only focused on research results; we are committed to the safety of the participants who help us make key discoveries,” May said.
May’s research study is free of charge to participants— pregnant women who are able to complete an exercise program from 16 weeks of pregnancy until they deliver. Women must be between 18 and 40 years old, and under 300 pounds and be willing to participate in weekly activities with personal trainers.
The research is part of a grant from the American Heart Association to continue May’s groundbreaking study of the effects that exercising while pregnant has on the health of babies.
During the study, a computer randomly assigns participants into different exercise groups. Some of the women take part in more aerobic-type activities while others focus on toning and strengthening-type workouts. Some of the moms-to-be are assigned to a combination of those workouts, while others do more yoga and stretching exercises.
“We can make sure that they’re doing the appropriate exercises – not only for them, but for their baby – and that they’re doing them in a healthy way,” May said.