The only study in Europe in which women from the general population were recruited when not pregnant and then those who subsequently became pregnant were followed through pregnancy and the children followed-up. Thus this study has information obtained directly from the mothers before conception, and includes women who were not necessarily planning a pregnancy.

The aim is to learn more about the dietary and lifestyle factors that influence the health of women and their children.

Between 1998 and 2002 the Survey team interviewed over 12,583 Southampton women aged 20 to 34 years. Those who became pregnant after interview were invited to take part in the pregnancy phase of the survey. Women received ultrasound scans at 11, 19 and 34 weeks of pregnancy, and their babies were measured soon after birth. There were 3,158 babies born to women in the study between 1998 and 2007. The survey has also followed up these children with home visits at six months, one year, two and three years. A sample of over 1,000 children was seen at 4 years of age, more than 2,000 children were seen at ages 6-7 years, and more than 1,000 at 8-9 years. We are currently following-up children at 11-13 years and this will continue for a number of years. The follow-up at 17-19 years is currently being piloted.

Sometimes our SWS families move house and we lose touch with them. If your child is part of the SWS Children’s follow-up, and you have not heard from one of our team in recent times, please get in touch with us on our freephone number: 0800 783 4503. We are very keen to follow-up all our SWS children, to continue this important research.