question-answerNurture is a big study and we know that questions might come up after you enroll. We have tried to cover the most common questions you might have. If you have others, please feel free to contact us.

Study funding

How is the study funded?

Nurture is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, or “NIH” for short. The NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is a government agency dedicated to supporting the nation’s medical research — “making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.” Nurture is funded under grant number R01DK094841.


How long does the study last?

You’ll participate in Nurture for about one year after your baby is born. The entire Nurture study, however, is a much longer project and will continue collecting information from other moms and their babies until 2017. We may ask you to continue to participate in the Nurture study for another few years. It’s up to you to decide if you would like to continue with the study.

Can I tell my friend about the study?

Although we would appreciate your help, we enroll only women who are receiving prenatal care at the Durham County Health Department and Duke’s Maternal and Fetal Medicine Clinic. If your friend goes to one of these clinics for her prenatal care, then she will come up on our list as we screen the clinic schedule. If she is eligible, we will reach out to her.

I’m pregnant again! Can my next baby participate in Nurture as well?

While we really appreciate your willingness to contribute to the study, we can only enroll one baby from each mother. We want to collect data from as many different mom and baby pairs as possible to learn as much as we can from this study.

How we reach you and when

When and how will I be contacted during the study?

After your baby is born we’ll be contacting you once every month, either over the phone or at your home. Check out “What You Do” for more detailed information.

The information we collect

What will my information be used for?

The information we collect from you and your baby, along with all the other Nurture moms, will be put together to help us better understand how babies grow. The information you’re contributing is very important in helping us learn how to keep babies healthy and strong.

Will the information you collect from me and my baby be kept safe?

Your privacy and the security of your information is something we take very seriously. Our trained research staff are the only ones who will see your information.

Why do I need to complete so many surveys?

We know that we ask a lot of questions, but we want to make sure we notice and record any important changes in your baby’s growth, diet, sleep, and care. The information we collect about these changes will help us better understand how babies grow and develop during their first year. We thank you for your patience in filling out all of our surveys!

Why do some of the survey questions seem to ask the same thing?

We know that lots of our questions sound like they’re asking the same thing, but don’t worry – we’re not trying to trick you or waste your time! Each one of our questions is trying to collect a very specific and important piece of information about your baby. Many of the questions we ask come from other big research studies, so we know that they work well and will help us collect the information we need.

Other caregivers participating

Why do you want to talk to the baby’s father, relatives, and other child care providers?

As you know, the purpose of Nurture is to understand what influences your baby’s growth and development. The time your baby spends with his or her father, relatives, and other care providers may be important factors that we want to measure and understand better.

Your payments

What will I receive for my participation?

For each phone call survey you complete, you will receive $5. For every home visit you complete, you will receive between $30 and $50 — $30 at 3 months, $40 at 6 months, $45 at 9 months and $50 at 12 months. You’ll also get a $10 bonus at 6 months if you’ve done all activities up to then and another $10 bonus at 12 months if you do all activities from 6 to 12 months.

The phone surveys

How long are the phone surveys?

Phone surveys should take around 5 minutes to complete. You will get an automated call when your baby is 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11 months old to ask about your baby’s eating, physical development, sleep, and child care arrangements. We will ask the same questions each time. We will try to call you from the number 919-935-0026 up to 5 times over 5 days, between 9am-8pm.

What should I do if I miss the automated call?

If you miss your first call, you can call the automated Nurture hotline any time in the next 5 days. The Nurture survey hotline is available 24 hours a day at 919-935-0026. After the system tries you for the 5th time, your call window will close and you can no longer finish the survey via the automated system. Don’t worry! Someone from our office will try to reach you by phone or email to complete the survey.

I tried to call back but it’s asking me for my 5-digit study ID. What should I do?

If you call from a number different than the one called by the automated system, you will need to enter your 5-digit study ID. You can call or email the Nurture office at 1-919-668-4376 or nurture@duke.edu to get your ID if you do not have it. It is also written on the “Cheat Sheet” that we mailed when your baby was born.

The in-person visits

How long are the in-person visits?

The in-person visits take about 90 minutes to 2 hours. We will contact you to schedule the visits at times that are most convenient for you and your baby. We can either come to your home or you can come to our offices located near the 9th Street Commercial District and Duke’s East Campus in Durham.

What will happen during a visit?

During an in-person visit, a member of the Nurture staff will give you a survey asking questions about your baby’s sleep and activity, the foods your baby eats, and the care your baby receives. The staff member will also measure your baby’s weight, length, skin folds, and motor development and may collect a poopy diaper and a saliva swab. For a more detailed description of what will happen at your home visit, please visit “What You Do.”

How can I schedule the visits so they fit into my schedule?

We know that mothers with small children lead very busy lives and we appreciate that you’re taking time out of your schedule to meet and talk with us. We will contact you to schedule home visits for days and times that work best for you and your baby. If something comes up and your scheduled visit time no longer works, feel free to contact our study office and we’d be happy to reschedule.

The activity monitors

What does the monitor measure?

Think of the activity monitor like a motion detector – it keeps track of your baby’s body movements. The information it collects will help us know how much time your baby spends awake and moving or sleeping.

Is the monitor tracking my baby’s location?

No, the monitor your baby is wearing will not tell us his or her location. Instead, the monitor works like a motion detector and will tell us when your baby is active or sleeping.

Where does the monitor go on my baby’s body?

Your baby will wear the monitor around his or her left ankle. The monitor strap shouldn’t be too tight so that it makes your baby uncomfortable, but it should be snug enough so that the monitor doesn’t fall off or wiggle around when your baby isn’t moving.

How long should my baby wear the monitor after each visit?

Your baby should wear the monitor for 5 days in a row after each home visit. After your baby is done wearing the monitor, make sure you send it back to us, along with the survey packets you’ll be asked to complete.

Can I take the monitor off and put it back on?

Once your baby is wearing the monitor, it should remain on at all times for 5 full days. The monitor is very sturdy and waterproof, so it can even stay on during baths and while your baby plays or sleeps. But if you do need to remove the monitor before the 5 days have passed, be sure to record the time that you took it off and put it back on in the booklet we’ll give you at your home visit.

Contacting us

Whom can I contact with questions/concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns about participating in Nurture, please contact us right away at 1-919-668-4376 or at nurture@duke.edu. If you know the name of a specific Nurture team member you want to reach, please visit the “Our Team” page for the phone number and email address.

What if you move or we lose touch

What should I do if I’ve moved or my phone number has changed?

Thank you for thinking of us after your move! Please contact the study office right away at 1-919-668-4376 or at nurture@duke.edu so we can update your information in our records. If you are willing, we may be able to send someone to your home to complete the in-person visit – even if you are far away.

I haven’t been able to answer the Nurture telephone calls or schedule a visit for some time, can I still continue to be a part of the study?

Yes! Even if you’ve missed several phone calls or home visits we’d love to have you continue with Nurture. Please contact the study office right away at 1-919-668-4376 or at nurture@duke.edu. You can still participate in the remaining Nurture activities based on your baby’s age.