Children of the Children of the 90s (COCO90s)

COCO90s logo

What is COCO90s?

The original "Children of the 90s" were born in Bristol and the surrounding county in 1991 and 1992. Thousands of them have attended clinics and completed questionnaires as they have grown up. Their samples, measurements and other information have helped scientists around the world make important discoveries about health and development. For instance:

Now that these young people are starting to have children of their own, we are very keen to follow their pregnancies, births and babies. Together with the detailed information and samples we already have from other family members, this will provide a unique opportunity to investigate social and health issues across three generations. We call this research project "Children of the Children of the 90s", or COCO90s for short. It is run by Professor Debbie Lawlor of our Executive Committee.

Who can take part?

You are eligible if you are one of our "Children of the 90s" and are, or will soon become, a mum or dad. We are also interested in your partner and will be inviting them to take part. No matter how much or how little you have been involved with us in the past, we would love for you to be involved in this ground-breaking research.

What will it involve?

We would like to continue to collect information about your general health as well as your experiences and expectations about becoming a parent. If you are female this will include detailed information about your health during pregnancy and birth. We will then follow the health and development of your child. This happens in a number of ways:

Visiting you and your baby

We would like to see you and your baby as soon as possible after the birth, to take measurements and ask some questions. These first measurements are important, because by comparing them to future results we will see how your baby grows and develops.

We understand that the first few weeks after birth are a special time and that you will be in the process of getting used to life with your baby. So we will keep the visit as short as possible and will visit you in your home at a time that is convenient to you. We will contact you to arrange the visit when we have been told that you and your baby have come home from hospital. We will only do this if you have given us permission.

Collecting breast milk

As part of the COCO90s study, one of the samples we would like to collect is breast milk. Breast milk can be useful in looking at infant nutrition and measurement of certain chemicals can be useful to researchers looking at mastitis. If you inform us that you are planning to breast-feed your child then one of our fieldworkers will talk to you about this sample collection.

Taking your measurements

We will invite you to a number of visits both before and after your baby is born, to take various measurements and procedures.

Taking the child's measurements

Your child will be invited to visit us at 6 months, 12 months, 24 months and 36 months.

Collecting samples

We would like your permission to take samples, including cord blood, placenta and meconium (the baby's first bowel movement/stool).

Asking your permission to look at your medical records

With your permission, we would like to follow your health and life events by linking to your official records; such as those held by the NHS.

Do I have to take part?

No! Participation in this study is completely voluntary. If you decide not to take part in COCO90s this will not affect your involvement in Children of the 90s. If you decide to be part of COCO90s you can opt out of individual visits, samples or questionnaires without it affecting your future invitations. You are also free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason.

"As the children themselves become parents, the team is expanding the scope of the study to a new generation." -Nature (scientific journal), 11 April 2012

What are the benefits and disadvantages of taking part?

Some of our measures and tests are similar to those carried out by your midwife or doctor, but they do not replace your normal antenatal or postnatal visits. We may sometimes get results that show an increased risk for some health problems so, if you have agreed to feedback, we will inform you of any results outside the normal range and give you a letter to take to your doctor. The main thing we are asking for is your time, which we appreciate is valuable. We will pay your travel expenses and give you a £20 shopping voucher to thank you for any visits you attend. You are free to take part as much or as little as you wish. Other than this we do not see any disadvantages to taking part.

How do I know the information I give you is safe?

All the samples and information we have from you – whether taken at our clinic, at your home or by midwives – is stored with a unique ID number. Researchers do not need and will never see your name, address or exact date of birth. Sometimes researchers will be given the month and year of birth, for example to study season of birth effects. The information we keep about you is held securely and access is restricted to key Children of the 90s staff. We will never share your details with anyone else except in exceptional circumstances where we feel there is a risk to the safety of you or your child.

We are committed to respecting your rights, safety and dignity, and we only take part in research that meets the highest ethical standards. This research project has been approved by independent experts to confirm that we follow that commitment.

Further details

View, download or print an information leaflet (PDF, 231kB) or postcard (PDF, 237kB). If you have trouble viewing these files, you may need Adobe Acrobat Reader

If you would like to contact us for further information or have any comments regarding this study please contact the team.