In 2009, pregnant moms experiencing the historic Red River flood were a part of a study in our lab looking at stress and health. One important finding of this research was that moms who lived closer to the flooding at the time of the river crest were more likely to have smaller babies. This is important because we know that smaller babies are at a higher risk for developmental and health obstacles!
Now in 2018, our moms and children (that were in utero at the time of the 2009 flood) are back, and we are asking them questions about stress, emotions, behaviors and health. We are also collecting hair samples from the children to measure cortisol, a hormone in the body that mobilizes energy for such things as exercise and stress. This exciting research helps us to learn more about how stressful experiences during pregnancy may affect child development and health!