The study was designed to investigate the impact of disaster-related prenatal maternal stress on neonates’ reactivity to the routinely administered, painful, newborn screen procedure (heel stick or heel prick). We hypothesized that pregnancy exposure to a flood stressor would affect fetal developmental pathways and subsequently neonatal responses to other stressful events, including the newborn screen. The pregnant women we recruited were affected by sudden onset floods in Queensland, Australia in 2011. Using methods similar to those described in the literature, we collected neonatal saliva immediately prior to the newborn screen and +20 and +40 min afterwards. Saliva sampling was halted after failed saliva collection attempts by trained research staff on 17 newborns. This article discusses reasons for our failure, including the influence of bioethical concerns and the requirement that research activities are compliant with hospital policies as well as the necessity of publishing studies that fail to replicate prior research.