The Supporting Our Ladies and Reducing Stress to Prevent Preterm Birth (SOLARS) study is one of the first, large-scale studies, led by women of color and by women who have had a preterm birth, designed to help us understand the impact of stress, anxiety, and racism - in addition to resilience and coping - on gestational duration and preterm birth in Black and Hispanic/Latina women. The data we collect - including survey and biospecimen information, may help us unlock new pathways, discoveries, and findings that may lead to effective interventions to increase gestational duration and decrease the risk for preterm birth in women of color.
While increased psychological stress has consistently been shown to be associated with preterm birth, we do not yet understand how stress impacts a woman's biology making her more likely to deliver early. This study aims to address important knowledge gaps by partnering with women of color to better understand how stress gets under the skin during pregnancy.

What is preterm birth? Why is this important to me, my baby and my community?

Preterm birth is when a baby is born too early (before 37 weeks of pregnancy have been completed). Preterm birth affects about 1 of every 10 infants born in the United States with higher rates in communities of color. Being born preterm can lead to many health complications early and later in life. Babies with preterm birth are more likely to experience learning and behavioral difficulaties in school and are more likely to have health conditions like diabetes and hypertension later in life. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by these patterns. We want to understand why and we want to do something about it. 

How does SOLARS work?

Women who self identify as Black or Hispanic/Latina, are less than 21 weeks of gestation, live, work, or receive care in Oakland, Alameda, Emeryville, San Leandro, Berkeley or San Francisco, and is a resident of Alameda or San Francisco County*, who are 13 years-of-age or older and are pregnant with a singleton are invited to participate in the study (see participants page for more detailed participation requirement). Participants are asked questions about past and present life circumstances and are asked to contribute biospecimens including saliva, urine, and blood at various time points throughout pregnancy and at 5-6 weeks and 6-months after delivery. Women are compensated for the time it takes them to participate in the study.

*If you reside outside of Alameda or San Francisco County and receive care in these areas, you may still be eligible if willing to have specimens collected at our site in Oakland or San Francisco.

For more details about the study and how you can participate, please visit the "Participate Here" page.