Looking For A Few Good Moms-to-be

02.17.10 Calling all pregnant women! U.S. officials need your help in long-term study on children's health

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Science would like to track your baby for the next 21 years. Sound good? Then you're just what the government is looking for. The National Children's Study is trying to enlist 100,000 women in the U.S. for the largest analysis on the health of children, beginning even before they're born, The New York Times reports.

As part of their research, National Institutes of Health scientists will be collecting nail clippings, breast milk, placentas and anything else you can imagine in hopes of answering questions about how the environment, genes and other factors affect a child's health, the Times reports.

So far, several hundred women have been signed up; the study expects to enroll moms-to-be from 105 counties across the U.S. However, researchers are running into several challenges in their search: Women are wary of the goal and length of the project; plus, there are eligibility requirements that the moms-to-be must meet. Needless to say, these experts are going to have to really sell this project to get more people on board.

When it comes to long-term health, there's no better time than while you're pregnant to create a healthier environment for your baby and yourself. As Fit Pregnancy has long advocated, even little changes in your home and your diet will help your growing family and the planet. Check out our Going Green guide for some eco-conscious tips. And remember: It's never too late or too early to make a healthy change!

And for more information about the project, contact the National Children's Study website.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.