Participant Information Sheet
Compassionate Mums study
The purpose of the study
Becoming pregnant, and having a baby, can be a happy time. It can also be a hard time. Some people are warm, caring, and kind (known as compassion), and others are harsh, self-critical, and tough (known as shame). We want to know how you are thinking, feeling, and acting towards yourself and others since becoming pregnant.

We also want to know about the experience of women who become pregnant after loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, and/or neonatal death). If that is you, you will be asked to complete one more scale on your current experiences of grief only. We will only ask you about the type of loss (e.g., miscarriage at X weeks) and you will NOT be asked to talk about your loss in any more detail.

Participation and withdrawal 
To participate you need to be in your third trimester of pregnancy (28+ weeks), and be aged 18 years or over. Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You are free to stop completing the survey at any time. If you do withdraw from the study, you can ask us to delete your responses up to that point. We will require your email address to be able to delete your responses. If you agree to participate, you will go into a draw to win one of ten ($20) Westfield vouchers after each completed survey. You will need to enter your email address in the survey so we can contact you if you win.

What is involved? 
A short survey to be completed online (about 20 to 30 minutes each time):
1. Now (during pregnancy),
2. When your baby is around 3 months of age, and
3. When your baby is around 6 months of age.

The pregnancy survey will ask you questions on how you are thinking, feeling, and acting towards yourself and others since becoming pregnant (shame, guilt, compassion), your feelings in relationships (attachment), and how you are coping so far. If you are pregnant after a loss, we will ask you about your current experiences of grief. The two surveys when your baby is 3 months and 6 months will have the same questions, plus another scale on your relationship with your baby (emotional availability).

There are two optional extra components to the study:

(1)   An interview when your baby is around 3 months of age. The interview will be 30 to 45 minutes in length. We will conduct the interview over a video conferencing program called zoom (similar to Skype) at a time convenient for you and your baby. We will ask you about how you are thinking, feeling, and acting towards yourself and others since having your baby. You will receive a $20 Westfield gift voucher for your time. You do not have to take part in this interview. It is an optional extra.

(2)   An observation when your baby is around 6 months of age. The observation will be 20 minutes in length conducted again over zoom (similar to Skype). We will organise the observation at a time convenient for you and your baby. It will involve you sharing a recording of yourself interacting (or spending quality time) with your baby. You will receive a $20 Westfield gift voucher for your time. You do not have to take part in the observation. It is an optional extra.

What are the possible risks and benefits? 
Participation in this study should involve no risks (physical or mental discomfort) beyond those of everyday life. If you don't want to answer any question, you can either not answer that question or stop participating in the study. We know that parenting can be a sensitive and emotional topic for some women. Although there are no direct benefits, your answers will provide valuable information on how we can better support mothers. 

If you experience an emotional response to completing the survey, you can obtain support through the following people/organisations:
- PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) on 1300 726 306 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 7:30pm) or
- COPE (Centre of Perinatal Excellence) on (02) 9376 6321/0438 810 235 or
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Pregnancy Birth Baby Helpline on 1800 882 436
- Your local GP
- SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Support) on 1300 072 637
- Bears of Hope (Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support) on 1300 11 BEAR or

Can I access the results of this study?

Please contact Julia Caldwell (PhD student/Clinical Psychologist) on 0423 195 627 or at in early 2020 for findings.

Confidentiality and security of data 
If you consent to participating in the survey, you will be asked to complete a two-step process for the pregnancy survey only. The first step will collect identifying information (e.g., expected due date, date of birth, email address, etc). This is so we can sign you up for the survey, as well as email you to complete the survey when your baby is 3 and then 6 months of age. Your email address will be deleted from our records at the end of the study. 

The second step is the survey with the questionnaires. We will use a code name (the first four letters of your mother's surname plus your birth year) and your date of birth to match your results at the different time points. All data from the questionnaires will be analysed and reported in such a way that responses will not be able to be linked to any individual. The people involved with the study (study personnel) will have access to the data but will not reveal your identity at any time. The data you provide will only be used for the specific research purposes of this study. 

Ethics Clearance and Contacts
This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with project staff (Julia Caldwell on 0423 195 627 or at; Professor Pamela Meredith on 07 4930 9497 or at; Dr Koa Whittingham on 07 3069 7346 or at; and Professor Jenny Ziviani on 07 3365 1048 or at, if you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Coordinators on +617 3365 3924 / +617 3443 1656 or email

This study (Ethics Approval Number: 2018001332) is being conducted by Julia Caldwell (Clinical Psychologist) as part of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at The University of Queensland (UQ). Ms Caldwell is supervised by Professor Pamela Meredith (Occupational Therapist, Central Queensland University [CQU]), Dr Koa Whittingham (Clinical/Developmental Psychologist, UQ), and Professor Jenny Ziviani (Occupational Therapist, UQ).

Thank you for your participation in this study.

Julia Caldwell
Professor Pamela Meredith
Dr Koa Whittingham
Professor Jenny Ziviani
*Participant Consent Statement

Compassionate Mums study

Would you like to participate in the survey?

If NO:
If you would not like to participate, simply close this window on your computer.

If you would like to participate then please click "YES - I want to participate" below to begin the survey. By clicking "YES - I want to participate", you consent to the following:
- I have read the information statement for the Compassionate Mums study.
- I agree to participate in the survey study at the three time points:
    1. Now (in pregnancy)
    2. When my baby is around 3 months of age, and
    3. When my baby is around 6 months of age. 
- I am in my third trimester of pregnancy (28+ weeks).
- I am aged 18 years or over.

- I have had the details of the study explained to me to my satisfaction.
- I understand that my information will be stored confidentially and that the study personnel will not reveal my identity.
- I understand that I can choose to withdraw from this study at any time without any negative consequences.
*(Optional): I consent to be contacted by email about the optional research projects in the future which may include the interview (when baby is around 3 months of age) and the observation (when baby is around 6 months).