Information for participants

Study Timeline

From mother:

  • Stool and saliva samples before pregnancy, when applicable, and/or in each trimester following enrollment
  • Heath status, dietary recall, and reproductive history questionnaire
  • Optional vaginal swab in the third trimester (collected by your own health care provider at the same time as the swab collected for the routine Group B streptococcus test)
  • 1-2 mL breast milk sample (if nursing)

From baby:

At Birth

  • Umbilical cord blood (optional)
  • Placenta (optional; only applies to participants delivering at Mount Sinai Hospital)
  • Meconium (baby’s first stool passed after birth)


  • Diapers at 18 time-points: 7 days, 14 days, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years, 8 years, 9 years, 10 years, 11 years and 12 years after birth
  • Infant/Child diet, development, and vaccination questionnaire
  • Child behavioral survey
  • 24 hour diet recalls
  • One-time Buccal (cheek) swab
  • Naturally shed baby tooth (optional)
  • Toenail clippings (optional)

From father and siblings (optional):

  • One-time stool and saliva sample, collected before the baby is born
  • Health status and dietary recall questionnaire


Participants in the MECONIUM Study will be compensated up to $975. The amount of compensation is prorated based on samples successfully collected.  Compensation occurs first after delivery and then again after 3 months, after 2 years, and then every year after 5 years. Family members will be compensated and additional $25 for their optional participation.

Sample collection instructions

Stool and Saliva:

All stool and saliva samples can be collected at home and shipped back the research team using a collection kit and pre-paid shipping label that we provide.

Placenta, cord blood, and meconium at delivery:

If you are delivering at Mount Sinai Hospital, all samples at delivery will be collected by our research coordinators at the hospital.  If you are delivering outside of Mount Sinai Hospital, we will ship the delivery samples collection kit to you well before your due date.  This kit will contain tools to collect your baby’s cord blood and meconium, along with detailed instructions and a letter to your healthcare provider requesting the cord blood draw.  When they are collected, these samples can be picked up by our courier service and delivered to the research team 24/7 by calling 347-620-0210