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The Soweto First 1000 Days Study (S1000)

The first 1000 days plays a critical role in setting the stage for later childhood and adult health and well-being.


The Soweto First 1000 Days Study (S1000) is a new longitudinal pregnancy cohort study involving approximately 4000 pregnant women residing in Soweto. The name of the study originates from the fact that there are 1000 days from the time of conception until when a child is two years of age.

In view of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DoHAD) hypothesis, a transgenerational effect from mother to child is shown to exist for chronic conditions. The developing foetus is strongly influenced by the in utero environment, which can alter developmental mechanisms that control physiology and metabolism. With this in mind, the S1000 study aims to investigate what maternal factors influence foetal and infant growth and development.

The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Pregnant women are recruited early in pregnancy and followed-up at DPHRU at six time points during their pregnancy. At each appointment our research assistants ask a woman a series of questions, our research nurses examine each woman and our sonographers perform a foetal ultrasound

Levels of physical activity, stress, blood glucose and dietary patterns are just some of the variables being investigated in this cohort.

In addition to collecting data on the pregnant women, their partners, who are the biological fathers of the unborn babies, are invited to participate in the Father of the Baby sub-study; a study within S1000 looking at the general well-being of the fathers and investigating their body composition

Post-pregnancy, both mother and baby will be followed up for a period of two years to assess the child’s growth and development and the mother’s health.


The formative work for the intervention has been funded by: