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The First Thousand Days: Motherhood, Scientific Knowledge and Local Histories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Michelle Pentecost, Fiona Ross

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-761
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Anthropology
Issue number8
Early online date4 Apr 2019
Accepted/In press20 Feb 2019
E-pub ahead of print4 Apr 2019
Published17 Nov 2019



King's Authors


Since 2013, South African nutrition policy focuses on “the first thousand days,” (conception to two years), informed by Developmental Origins of Health and Disease research. Drawing on ethnographic research, we show how policy foregrounds certain categories of persons and casts “the maternal” as a time frame for interventions to secure future health and argue that this constitutes a “knowledge effect” – the outcome of framing questions in a particular way and with specific knowledge horizons.

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