Your first experiences in our study will usually happen after your baby is born but, whenever possible, we are also going to try to work with pregnant women and their partners to gather valuable ante-natal information.


Data collection just before and after your baby’s birth will all take place at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary site. For the most part, you and your baby won’t have to leave the Simpson Unit.

> Ante-natal details

We will ask to collect information about you and your pregnancy from your medical records. We will also talk to you (for no longer than 30 minutes) to collect information that may not be recorded in your medical records.

> At birth

Samples of placenta, umbilical cord blood and an extra blood spot (the “Guthrie card”) will be collected when your baby is born. These samples will be taken when other blood tests are being done as part of usual NHS care – no extra needle episodes are involved. If your baby is born unexpectedly or overnight you may not have agreed to take part in the study at that point. If this happens we will ask your permission to use some of the sample that was collected as part of your usual NHS care for the study. We will also ask to collect information about the birth of your baby from your and your baby’s medical records and in discussion with you.

> Neonatal (from birth, until you leave hospital)

A blood sample will be collected from your baby. This sample is timed to coincide with a blood test that is needed as part of your baby’s usual NHS care and no extra procedure is involved. We will ask to collect a saliva sample from your baby. The saliva sample will take 5 to 10 minutes and is collected using a mouth swab sample kit, similar to a cotton wool bud being placed just inside the cheek. We will also ask to collect a nasal secretion sample from some babies but not all. This will take 5 minutes and is collected using an absorbent strip of paper placed in the nostril. A sample of your baby’s first stool will be collected and again before your baby leaves hospital. We do this by keeping a dirty nappy.

Also, sometime near to their due date, your baby will be invited for an a MRI scan at the Clinical Research Imaging Centre situated near this hospital, in Little France Crescent.There’s more information about MRI scans at this page.

We will ask you to complete six questionnaires about you and your baby before you leave hospital and will take about one hour in total to complete. This will include a short reading questionnaire for yourself because this is a good way to learn about abilities that children inherit from parents.

Finally, we may ask that your baby comes for an eye test because we want to investigate whether pictures of the back of the eye tell us useful information about the brain. This will take about 20 minutes and uses equipment that resembles that used by opticians.

For information about how we process your personal data please access our GDPR Participant Information here.


All of your appointments for this stage of the TEBC study will take place in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort, Queens Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, EH16 4TJ
Phone number
Study Mobile: 0758 464 2278

Office: 01315376289

Our researcher will come and meet you on the maternity ward or in the neonatal intensive care unit as required. You don’t need to go anywhere for these appointments – we will come to you.

What to bring

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Newborns question one

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Newborns question two

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Newborns question three

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Newborns question four

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More questions? Please get in touch.