I found out about the possibility of taking part in research while I was pregnant when I received information in the mail and via email about the C*STEROID feasibility study. At that stage I wasn’t sure I was going to have a caesarean section, so I didn’t decide to go ahead with participating in the study until about a week before I had my little boy, Theo.
I was quite interested in taking part after reading about the study, but I also discussed it with my obstetrician, and he was very positive about it. His opinion (from my memory) was that if anything, the checking of babies’ blood sugars after birth (a key part of the study) can only be helpful. We discussed how babies that are in higher risk groups (high/low birth weight, mums with gestational diabetes etc.) get tested, and that if blood sugars are so important for babies why are we not routinely testing. Potentially that’s something this study could find out too. So, for us it was a way we could have more checks that our little one was getting the best possible start.
At first, I was a little hesitant about the study’s steroid injections. I discussed them with my obstetrician and confirmed it’s a steroid that is already in use, so after realising that it is just being used in a different way, I became confident that I did want to participate.
All the research staff I was in contact with were very accommodating and friendly, especially since I only decided to participate very close to the end of my pregnancy. I also liked the fact that taking part gave me something to do while I was off work!
I’m very interested to see the results of this study and I think there will be findings to help babies born in the future. For our family, our little man ended up on the lower end of the weight scale at birth (he’s now thriving!) and he had low blood sugar results, so instantly it was beneficial for us to have taken part. We also had support from the researchers and staff on the ward every hour for the first hours of his life to ensure he got back on track. We then had help from research staff with feeding and general positive support and encouragement in caring for our newborn. I’m hoping that when it comes time for baby number two, we can take part in research again!