Researchers at Colorado State University, Saint Louis University, and California State University San Bernardino want to understand your experiences with combining pregnancy, parenthood, and work.

The workplace plays an important role in the experience of caregiving and parenthood. Parenthood impacts the process of parental leave and return to work.

We invite you to be part of this important study so that we can learn from your experiences! Your participation will be a major contribution toward increasing our understanding about working parents, well-being, and work/life balance.


7 Questions You Might Ask:

1. Who is asked to participate?

Pregnant working women who are 18 years old or older who are pregnant and not carrying multiples. Ideally we would like you to join us before your 35th week of pregnancy, in your second trimester or the beginning of your third trimester to complete a survey online. Participation is voluntary and you may stop participating at any time. We will also invite your spouse/partner to participate so we can hear about their experiences too.

2. What are we trying to learn in this study?

We want to learn about…

  • How work-related experiences may affect your well-being
  • How work experiences encourage or discourage mothers’ plans to breastfeed their baby and maintain breastfeeding after returning to work
  • How sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy and after having your baby influence your well-being and your work experiences
  • Factors that influence whether and when to return to work after your pregnancy
  • Factors related to whether and for how long spouse/partners take parental leave
  • How both partners experience parental leave and the return to work process

3. Will I be compensated for my time?

Yes! We understand the tricky balance of work, parenthood, and caregiving. We know your time is very valuable – and limited! The success of this study depends completely on parents like you. In gratitude for your time, you can receive up to $125 for participating: $10 for each of 5 online surveys and a $25 bonus for completing all five, plus another opportunity to earn $50. If your spouse/partner participates, they will receive $10 for each of two completed surveys.

4. How long will the study last and what do I have to do?

There are seven parts to the study that span from pregnancy to 12 months after having your baby:

  • At the time you enroll in the study, you and your spouse/partner will each complete a 30-40 minute online survey for $10.
  • At 6-8 weeks after having your baby, you will complete an online survey that takes about 25 minutes for $10.
  • About 3-4 months after having your baby, you will complete an online survey that takes about 25 minutes for $10.
  • If/when you return to work, you may earn an additional $25 if you are willing to wear a sleep watch for two weeks. More information about the sleep watch portion of the study is described at the bottom of this page.
  • If you return to work within 4 months of giving birth and you are breastfeeding, you will also be eligible to participate in a brief daily survey (5-10 minutes) each day for 2 weeks for an additional $25.
  • At 6 months after having your baby, you and your partner will each complete another online survey for 25 minutes for $10. This will be your partner’s last survey.
  • At 12 months after having your baby, you will complete your last online survey for about 25 minutes for $10.

If you complete all 5 online surveys, you will receive a $25 bonus.

5. You mentioned that part of this study is about breastfeeding. What happens if I stop breastfeeding or choose not to?

We would still like you to participate! It is important to us to learn about your experiences regardless of how you feed your baby.

6. How will my answers be used?

Results from this study will…

  • Help us develop training programs and other resources to assist mothers with having a smooth transition between going on maternity leave and returning to work
  • Help workplaces provide the support necessary for breastfeeding continuation and facilitating employees returning to work
  • Provide a foundation for workplace policies and programs related to healthy sleep

7. Who will be able to access my data?

The researchers at Colorado State University, Saint Louis University, and California State University San Bernardino will be the only people to see your answers. Your name and any other identifying information will not be linked to your responses at any point during the study. All information is strictly confidential.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us!


Sleep Watch Information

Once you return to work, you may have the opportunity to participate in an additional sleep watch data collection. If you are invited and willing to participate in this portion of the study, we will ask you to wear the sleep watch for two-weeks straight and will compensate you $25 for your time and effort. Following the data collection, we will share with you a report of your sleep data.

The wristwatch-like devices contain a small instrument called an accelerometer that measures your activity. The devices and associated software use this activity data to identify periods that you were likely sleeping. Additionally, the watches contain a small sensor that records light data. The watches do not have the ability to record audio, video, or location information, just activity and light.

If you participate in the sleep watch portion of the study, the researchers will combine your sleep data with other study participants to better understand how work, home, and parenting experiences influence sleeping patterns.