COVID-19 Exposure Study


Pregnancy can be a very stressful time.
We’re here to help!

Project RESCUE stands for Reducing Elevated Stress from COVID-19 Exposure. In this research study, our team will leverage its mastery of sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging studies to identify risks of COVID-19-related maternal psychological distress changes how your baby’s brain develops during pregnancy and after birth. This important study aims to answer many pressing questions. With your help, we’ll conduct multiple MR imaging studies. We’ll perform clinical, genetic, environmental, physiological, behavioral and neuropsychiatric evaluations starting during pregnancy and continuing through the time your child is a preschooler. Because your health and your infant’s well-being are our No. 1 priority, we are working with community partners to weave a comprehensive safety net that strengthens maternal mental health, boosts parental resiliency and enriches infants’ early environment to offset harms experienced in the womb.

Contact Us to Join our RESCUE Study
+1 202.476.3842

Blog Article Figure
Study participants will have no health risk factors outside of living/being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic.


When Project RESCUE: Reducing Elevated Stress from COVID-19 Exposure is complete, our team will know the unique impact of multiple stressors for pregnant women giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic and for their offspring. And we’ll know whether earlier, targeted stress-reduction interventions help to reduce those negative impacts.

  • Who can participate

    Pregnant women of all races and ethnic backgrounds who are older than 18 years with a singleton pregnancy of 8 weeks gestation or greater. Study participants will have no health risk factors outside of living/being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Who may not participate

    Pregnant women:

    • Whose fetuses have known chromosomal syndromic conditions.

    • Who are unable to enter the MRI scanner for physical or psychological reasons.

    • Who do not meet standard criteria for MRI safety.

    • Whose health conditions make their pregnancy high-risk, such as diabetes, hypertension or placental disorders.

  • What should I expect?

    You will complete a number of questionnaires to assess your mood and overall health and to measure physiological stress you’re experiencing. You will be randomly assigned to participate in a mindfulness and prenatal yoga intervention for either five weeks or for 10 weeks. You will complete these interventions and questionnaires via your personal computer/smartphone or tablet. You will undergo safe, non-invasive MRI imaging during your pregnancy and after your infant is born. After your baby is born, our team will perform developmental exams at key times in your child’s life.

  • Will I be paid?

    Pregnant women:

    Study participants will receive $75 compensation at each fetal MRI study visit and another $25 once all of the prenatal questionnaires are complete. Participants will also receive $75 for each developmental follow-up visit if it is ordered as a routine clinical assessment. All participants will receive a parking voucher for the garage at Children’s National Hospital at each outpatient study visit.