BABY1000 study

Before, during and beyond the baby years: the first 1000 days

Through the BABY1000 study we’re aiming to identify and deal with interactions before and during pregnancy that can contribute to the development of health disorders that impact future generations.

Through the BABY1000 study we’re aiming to better understand how interactions before and during pregnancy, particularly with the health of the mother, can contribute to the development of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other related disorders throughout the lives of the next generation.

We are currently recruiting for the following study:

BABY1000 study – Before, During and Beyond the Baby Years

A call out to all women who are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy to participate to an ambitious research project taking place at the Charles Perkins Centre (Camperdown). 

Researchers will explore the first 1000 days of life to determine whether and how we can intervene in early life to prevent conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, to promote a healthier life for the next generation.

To take part, please contact

You can also follow @BABY1000study on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter using #BABY1000.

Other volunteers for research opportunities: 

  • The effect of clinician advice vs a pillow on time spent sleeping supine in late pregnancy
  • GP's understanding of preconception health
  • Parents and parents-to-be understanding of preconception and pregnancy health
  • Research Priority Setting in intergenerational obesity
  • Evaluation of the SLHD iSAIL service - integrated care after infant loss
  • NICUCAM Project at Royal Prince Alfred hospital
  • Interpregnancy weight changes and impact on cause
  • Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis on sleep position and late pregnancy still birth

We have a number of PhD projects currently underway at the University of Sydney including:

  • Evaluation of probiotics for the prevention of mastitis in breastfeeding women: the APProve randomised placebo-controlled trial
  • Newborn body composition and cardiac structure and function: improving identification of newborns at risk of heart disease
  • Evaluation of the Baby Buddy Australia mobile app focusing on positive behaviour changes in pregnant women from vulnerable populations

To volunteer in any of the projects above, please contact

Research shows that the health of parents at the time of conception is closely linked with the future health of their children.

Until now, most health initiatives have focused on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease as medical conditions, concentrating on their biology at the levels of genes, cells and organs. Through the BABY1000 Study, we’re taking a complex systems approach to disease states.

As an observational study, the combined expertise of the group will follow parents and their offspring, from preconception and early pregnancy through to the first 1,000 days of life.

Our current research is focused on three key projects:

Stillbirth and adverse pregnancy outcomes

Our team will investigate the effects of maternal and paternal obesity, weight trajectory during pregnancy, suboptimal nutrition, lack of exercise, gestational diabetes, sleep disturbances, dysregulated gut microbiome, immune system challenges, and depression and the relationship of these factors to impaired fetal outcomes.

Pre-pregnancy obesity

We have found that lifestyle changes towards a healthy maternal body weight before pregnancy may play a key role in combating the obesity epidemic. The outcomes of the studies planned will aim to both increase understanding and test interventions that guard against non-communicable disease and improve the health of the next generation.

Maternal nutrition

The effects of maternal nutrition have been observed in communities around the world. In Ghana, for example, it has been shown that women who conceive during the wet season have children who live longer and are healthier than those conceived in the dry season, most likely because in the wet season people eat more green, leafy vegetables. Our research will aim to identify the most beneficial nutritional choices for pregnant women.

These three areas of research are crucial for examining the relationships between biological, environmental and lifestyle exposures and their impact on pregancy and development.

Our research aims to improve the health of future generations by:

  • identifying modifiable risks and interventions before and during pregnancy
  • testing interventions, as well as providing an unprecedented resource for designing and implementing interventions, that guard against non-communicable disease and associated co-morbidities in childhood and beyond

Internal collaborators

External collaborators

  • Professor John Aitken, University of Newcastle
  • Professor Clare Collins, University of Newcastle
  • Professor Sandra Eades, Baker IDI
  • Professor John Hopper, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Mark Lock, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Jimmy Chun Yu Louie, University of Wollongong
  • Associate Professor Louise Maple-Brown, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Dr Therese McGee, WSLHD
  • Professor Caroline McMillen, University of Newcastle
  • Professor Margaret Morris, UNSW
  • Dr Rob Ogle, SLHD
  • Professor Sally Redman, The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre
  • Professor Roger Smith, University of Newcastle
  • Ms Nicki Turner, University of Newcastle
  • Manny Noakes (Adelaide, CSIRO)
  • Kyn Rae, University of Newcastle
  • Kristy Pringle, University of Newcastle
  • Rebecca Reynolds, University of Edinburgh
  • Jane Norman, University of Edinburgh