Study seeks pregnant women planning to deliver at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Study Purpose

Many more people today are developing chronic illnesses, especially in city environments. Previous studies have suggested that a children's early development can be affected by the environment in which they live. This research study, Origins of Child Health and Resilience in Development, or ORCHARD, hopes to gain more knowledge about how the environment can impact diseases, in particular obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. With this information, we may be able to develop better strategies to treat and prevent chronic diseases in children. ORCHARD also hopes to learn more about long-term research studies involving pregnant women and their children.

The study follows pregnant women and the children from their pregnancies. They are followed through pregnancy until the child is 18 years old.

Eligibility Criteria

Participants must be ages 16-55 years old, less than 20 weeks gestation, and planning to deliver at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Study Procedure

We will mainly collect a few samples and gather information through surveys and chart review. We can try to coordinate these visits with your scheduled prenatal care appointments.

First trimester visit:

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Oral, vaginal, rectal swabs (self-collected)
  • In-person survey (~30 minutes)

Second and third trimesters:

  • Urine


  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Oral, vaginal, rectal swabs (self-collected)
  • Umbilical cord blood
  • Placental samples
  • In-person survey (~30 Minutes)

After Delivery:

  • Short surveys via phone or email (about 15 minutes)

Compensation up to $60

If you are interested in participating or have questions, contact Mia Feller or Julia Clemens at or 410-955-3636.

IRB number: IRB00142614 Principal investigator: Irina Burd, MD, PhD