Roo Study on Mom and Baby Well-Being

Are you interested in the Roo Study On Mom and Baby Well-Being?

What is being studied? 

The purpose of this study is to better understand mood and stress during pregnancy and how it relates to infant brain development. This study examines potential effects of a mindfulness intervention, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), during pregnancy, and uses questionnaires, cognitive testing and infant brain imaging. This data will provide important information on well-being during pregnancy and infant brain development and well-being.

Purpose of the Study

  • Promote well-being
  • Support parents and babies
  • Improve mood postpartum
  • Examine infant brain development

If you are interested in receiving more information and taking our screening survey, please enter your email below.

Have questions? Please see our FAQ below.

Who is eligible? 

  • People between 21-45 years old
  • 8-22 weeks pregnant

What is MBCT?

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a skills-based intervention, meaning it is focused on developing new coping skills and strategies. In MBCT, you learn new skills to recognize thoughts and feelings and understand how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect each other.

MBCT also includes mindfulness skills. Mindfulness is a type of skill that involves learning to focus your attention on what is happening at the moment without judgment.

MBCT group sessions include:

  • education related to depressive symptoms and depression
  • review of mindfulness activities done during the week and anything that made it hard to complete the activities
  • presentation and discussion of mindfulness and coping skills
  • practicing mindfulness and coping skills in session

You will be asked to do some activities, or “homework,” in between the group sessions, which includes practicing new skills learned in the group and completing an electronic log of when you did these activities.

The groups run for 8 consecutive weeks, each lasting 2 hours. Each group will have up to 8 people in it. Groups are currently being run over group video calls.

When will the groups be?

Groups will likely occur on a weekday evening. The exact day and time of the groups will be determined later, and we will try to pick a day and time that is the best for everyone.

How long is the study?

Study activities you are eligible to complete would last approximately:

  • 10 – 15 minutes for the on-line screen
  • 3.5 hours for the in-person interview and a 30 minute physiological health follow-up
  • 8 weekly 2 hour group sessions during pregnancy OR 1 psychoeducation session postpartum
  • 15 – 45 minutes for online/phone assessments
  • 1.5 hour for 34 Week Perinatal Visit
  • 2.5 hours for the infant MRI session
  • 1.5-2.5 hours for 6 Month Follow-Up Visit and activities with your baby

What study activities can I do at home? What study activities can I do in-person?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have created an option for ‘remote’ or ‘at-home’ study activities. Most study activities, with the exception of the infant MRI, have the flexibility to be done over video call at home. With the ever-changing situation with the pandemic, we may ask you to complete some study activities, such as an interview or a physiological health visit, in-person if you are comfortable in the future. The only study activity that is currently required to occur in-person is the infant MRI. If you choose to complete some study activities in-person, that may change your overall compensation amount.

Can you pay for my transportation?

All visits and groups take place at the OHSU Marquam Hill Campus. Researchers will provide you with courtesy parking. If you need assistance getting to your visits, researchers will provide bus fare or arrange for other transportation.

Which group will I be randomized to?

Your participation could involve 8 MBCT groups during pregnancy or a single psychoeducation course 6-9 months postpartum. You have 50/50 odds of being randomized to either group.

What does the MRI Session entail?

After your baby is born, you will be asked to bring your baby into the lab for an MRI scan.

The MRI scan will be done while your baby is naturally asleep. MRI does not involve any radiation, sedation or injections and is safe for all ages.

Your baby will sleep quietly inside the center of a large, doughnut shaped magnet that takes pictures of your baby’s brain. Your baby will be made as comfortable as possible by lying in a pillow.

Are MRIs safe? 

MRI scanning is a noninvasive process that uses a large magnet to take pictures of the brain. It is painless and does not involve X-ray radiation. MRI does not involve any radiation, sedation or injections and is safe for all ages.

Before scanning your baby, we check for metal several times. Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned with MRI because of the effect of the magnet which is why we check for metal.

There are no known side effects of an MRI scan. The benefits of an MRI scan are in allowing use to visualize the structure and blood flow within the brain.

Can I change my mind about the MRI for my baby?

Yes. All activities in this study are entirely voluntary.

Will I be compensated for participating? 

You may receive the following for study activities you are eligible to complete:

  • $10 for an on-line screening
  • $75-$85 for completing an in-person or video conference interview and nutrition assessments
  • $30 for an in-person physiological health visit at OHSU OR $20 for an at-home sample collection*
  • $15-$20 each for 3 sets of assessments
  • $50-60 for 34 Week Perinatal Appointment
    • $20 for in-person or video conference interview
    • $30 for an in-person physiological health visit at OHSU OR $20 for an at-home sample collection*
    • $10 for nutrition assessments      
  • $150 for the infant MRI session
    • $100 2nd Infant MRI Scan (if applicable)
  • $20 for a 6 Week Postpartum in person or video conference interview
  • $40-60 for 6 Month Follow-Up Appointment
    • $40 for the in person or video conference interview
    • $20 for activities with your baby
  • A potential for up to $25 in bonus payments

Please note that most activities have the flexibility of being done at home or over a video call, with the exception of the infant MRI. As things change, we may ask you to complete study activities in-person if you are comfortable doing so but for now we have an option to complete the majority of the study at home or over video call.

*Please note that the mode of the study activities (in-person/at home) have different compensation amounts.

Who do I contact for additional information?

To find out more information and to learn if you are qualified to participate, please call the INSPIRE Lab at 503-494-4476 or email us at