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Maternal Hormones Prepare Fetuses for Stress of Delivery

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Publication Date: January 2007

Publisher(s): National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

Funder(s): John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Funder(s): John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Population and demographics (Children and youth)

Keywords: Obstetric care; Childbirth; Developmental neurobiology

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

It was found that the hormone oxytocin, naturally produced by the mother just before birth to facilitate delivery, also protects the fetal brain from potential complications and well-known stressors that arise during birth, indicating that the maternal-fetal connection can have long-term impacts on health outcomes.