Plasma catecholamines in newborn rats (0-2 hr old) were analyzed following vaginal birth, cesarean section with simulated labor contractions, or cesarean section without labor contractions. Upon delivery, pups were exposed to key elements of the rat's natural birth process, that is, umbilical cord occlusion, tactile stimulation, and cooling. Only pups exposed to actual or simulated labor showed an immediate rise in norepinephrine and epinephrine. Initial postpartum respiratory frequencies were higher in vaginal than in cesarean delivered pups and, in all groups, inversely correlated with catecholamine titers, suggesting respiratory distress or transient tachypnea at lower catecholamine levels. These findings establish a rat model for analyzing effects of labor on neonatal adaptive response during the transition from prenatal to postnatal life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience