The National Children’s Study collected health data on over 5,400 birth families from prenatal up to early childhood (age 5). That data and samples from these participants is available in the NCS Archive. The report, Breastfeeding and Autism Spectrum Disorder in the National Children’s Study, provides an example of the use of the NCS Archive data for pediatric research.


An exploratory examination of the association between breastfeeding of infants and risk of later development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was completed using the 1,429 children who were screened for risk of autism using the M-CHAT instrument and whose mother completed both 6-month and 12-month postpartum questions on breastfeeding.

Descriptive analysis for mothers and the children was completed for those screened by the M-CHAT as At Risk or Not At Risk.

For mothers the analysis included:

For children analysis included:


If a researcher is interested in pursuing the current research topic further, for example, exploring breastmilk composition in relation to various child health outcomes, breastmilk specimens were collected from a subset of mothers during the birth and 3-month interview visits. These samples are available to approved researchers for laboratory analysis and can be requested through the NCS Archive. The NCS also provides a rich collection of familial information such as demographics of the father, child medications, physical measures, tobacco smoke exposure, insurance status, childcare arrangements, and home exposures for future exploration.

To learn more about available NCS data, please Login or register.