The Mothers’ and Young People’s Study (MYPS)

The Mothers’ and Young People’s Study (formerly known as Maternal Health Study) is a multi-wave, prospective cohort study investigating the health and well-being of over 1500 first-time mothers and their firstborn children. Women were recruited to the study from six Melbourne metropolitan hospitals between 2003-2005.In the early years of the study the main focus was on women’s health and recovery after childbirth. Women taking part in the study completed questionnaires and telephone interviews in early and late pregnancy, and at three, six, nine, 12 and 18 months postpartum, and when their first child was four and ten years of age. Over 800 women in the study have also been followed up after second and subsequent births.

Data have been collected on common maternal physical and psychological health problems, including incontinence, sexual health problems, depression, anxiety and intimate partner abuse, and on a range of child health and developmental outcomes. We have also collected information regarding the social context of women and children, and changing life circumstances as the children grow up.

In 2022, we will be commencing follow-up of mothers and young people as the study children turn 18 years old.

The study aims to improve understanding of social and obstetric factors influencing maternal and child health. The information collected is being used to inform policy and practice in maternity care, early childhood services and primary health care.

Year 2003-2005 2003-2005 2003-2006 2004-2007 2004-2007 2004-2007 2004-2006 2005-2008 2005 2006 2008-2011 2013 2013 2020-Ongoing
Wave 1 2 2a 3 4 5 6 7 8/11/13 9/12/14 10 15 15a 15b
Age 10-20 weeks gestation 30-32 weeks gestation Birth records abstraction 3 months postpartum 6 months postpartum 9 months postpartum 12 months postpartum 18 months postpartum 6 months postpartum (2nd/3rd/4th) 12 months postpartum (2nd/3rd/4th) 4 years postpartum 10 years postpartum 10 years postpartum 14 years postpartum
N 1507 1454 1454 1431 1400 1387 1357 1327 840 (second child) 214 (third child) 29 (fourth child) 840 (second child) 222 (third child) 32 (fourth child) 1102 952 mother (questionnaire completed) 615 mother-child pairs (site assessment) 1143 mother 1142 young people
RELEVANT LIFECOURSE DOMAINS Anthropometrics Anthropometrics Anthropometrics
Cardiovascular health
Community environment Community environment Community environment
Demographics Demographics Demographics
Education and childcare Education and childcare Education and childcare
Environmental exposures
Family environment Family environment Family environment
Health services Health services
Medications and supplements Medications and supplements Medications and supplements
Mental health and behaviour problems Mental health and behaviour problems
Neurocognitive development
Nutrition Nutrition
Other health information Other health information
Peer relationships
Physical activity Physical activity Physical activity Physical activity
Pregnancy and birth Pregnancy and birth Pregnancy and birth
Psychosocial wellbeing Psychosocial wellbeing Psychosocial wellbeing
Romantic relationships Romantic relationships
Screen and technology use
Sexual health and activity Sexual health and activity
Sleep Sleep
Speech and language
Substance use Substance use Substance use Substance use Substance use
Temperament and personality
Study Summary
Study name The Mothers’ and Young People’s Study
Study abbreviation MYPS
Current principal investigator/s Stephanie Brown
Current project manager

Deirdre Gartland

Primary Institution/s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute - MCRI
Collaborating Institution/s The University of Melbourne - UoM
Judith Lumley Centre
University of Birmingham
Major funding source/s National Health and Medical Research Council - NHMRC
VicHealth Public Health Research Fellowship
Medical Research and Technology in Victoria Fund
William Buckland Foundation
La Trobe University
Study website
Key reference for study Brown, S. J., Gartland, D., Woolhouse, H., Giallo, R., McDonald, E., Seymour, M., … & Mensah, F. (2021). The maternal health study: Study design update for a prospective cohort of first‐time mothers and their firstborn children from birth to age ten. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12757.
Study focus

Women’s physical and psychological health and recovery after childbirth

Sampling frame

Prospective pregnancy cohort of >1500 nulliparous women recruited in early pregnancy at six metropolitan public hospitals in Melbourne (April 2003 – December 2005)

Primary study type Longitudinal cohort
Primary participant (at recruitment) Mother
Year commenced


Is this study ongoing? Yes - the study is ongoing
Ongoing recruitment? No
Sample size (N)

1507 mothers

Survey data available? Yes
Imaging data available? No
Linkage to administrative dataset/s? No, no consent to link to administrative dataset(s) obtained
Biosamples available? No
Are data available to others outside study team, with appropriate safeguards and structures in line with the cohort’s ethics and governance processes? Yes
Are there any costs associated with data/sample access for approved requests? There are usually no costs associated with access
Broadest type of participant consent available Specific consent (can be used for this project only)
Wave Year Age Sample size (N)
1 2003-2005 10-20 weeks gestation N(Total)=1507
2 2003-2005 30-32 weeks gestation N(Total)=1454
2a 2003-2006 Birth records abstraction N(Total)=1454
3 2004-2007 3 months postpartum N(Total)=1431
4 2004-2007 6 months postpartum N(Total)=1400
5 2004-2007 9 months postpartum N(Total)=1387
6 2004-2006 12 months postpartum N(Total)=1357
7 2005-2008 18 months postpartum N(Total)=1327
8/11/13 2005 6 months postpartum (2nd/3rd/4th) 840 (second child) 214 (third child) 29 (fourth child)
9/12/14 2006 12 months postpartum (2nd/3rd/4th) 840 (second child) 222 (third child) 32 (fourth child)
10 2008-2011 4 years postpartum N(Total)=1102
15 2013 10 years postpartum 952 mother (questionnaire completed)
15a 2013 10 years postpartum 615 mother-child pairs (site assessment)
15b 2020-Ongoing 14 years postpartum IN PROGRESS
Study Contacts
Principal investigator/s Stephanie Brown
Project manager

Deirdre Gartland

Study Contact

Phone: +61 3 9936 6675
Address: Murdoch Children's Research Institute,
Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Road, Parkville
Victoria 3052 Australia