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The Microbiome and Postpartum Depression Study

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The purpose of this research study is to produce a better understanding of how pregnancy impacts the microbiota-gut-brain axis including the composition of the gut microbiota (the types of bacteria that live in the gut), the system that creates serotonin, and the stress system, particularly how the stress system adapts to handling psychological stressors. The goal of this study is to better understand how these three systems impact one another and may influence the risk of developing Postpartum Depression (PPD).


Mental Health, Microbiome, Pregnancy, Women's Health





18 - 45 years


Study Population

Pregnant women 18 years-old or greater in the first or second trimester.


Mary Kimmel
Clinical Assistant Professor
Psychiatry - General

For questions, contact:

Hannah Rackers
(919) 445-2729

Recruitment Period End

September 1, 2019


Primary Location
UNC Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic
North Carolina Neurosciences Hospital, 101 Manning Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
Secondary Location
UNC Medical School Wing D
Medical School Wings, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA

Study Qualifications

Gender Female

Age Range 18 - 45 years

Participant qualification(s) Pregnant, in the 1st or 2nd trimester

Not eligible if: Non-English speaking History of bipolar affective disorder or psychotic symptoms Alcohol abuse or illicit drug use within the past 90 days Gastrointestinal surgery (other than appendectomy or cholecystectomy) Irritable Bowel Disease or Celiac Disease (those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome will be included but symptoms will be monitored)

Number of Visits

    » 3 In person visit(s)

    3 Clinic Visits

    » 1 Remote visit(s)

    1 Postpartum Check-in Call

Participation Period

22-48 weeks


By clicking I am interested, your contact information will be sent to the researcher/study coordinator for this study. The coordinator will respond by email with additional information on how to proceed.