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Unformatted text preview: on, 1988; D.
the fetus and newborn are normally exposed, we have begun
Walker, Grimwade, & Wood, 1971). Tactile, kinesthetic, and
to e xamin e in the rat maternal c ontribution s to the perinatal
vestibula r concomitants of maternal speech, movement, and
sensory environment . In contrast to previous studies of rophysiolog y may provide especially potent sources of prenadent m aternal behavior (Beach & Jaynes, 1956; Rosenblat t
tal sensory stimulation. Prenatal transduction of these and
& Lehrman, 1963; Weisner &L heard, 1933), our observaother forms of sensory stimuli may intensify as birth apMATERNA S CONTRIBUTIONS
tion s were made from the offspring's point of view. In
proaches (Bradley & Mistretta, 1975).
particular, we q uantifie d maternal stimulation of fetal and
Early in gestation, the fetus is surrounded by a f luid-filled
amnioti c sac that can b uffe r the impact ofssociated. Neaith tneonatal rats blicking g nd dam's activitieimme- gestion a stimulation w r tationdam' s, andadeliveryaotfhepupsandlintge sgoaurinfgthese
he , labor y nalyzin
h . Thus, h d l o
term, there is a dramatic decline in amniotic f lui d volume in
studie s to wombq followean q uantitativel y d
relation to increases in fetal boddiatelynd nffspring arey from s tihe describe , ualitativel y d dby repeatematery size, a o o deliver Flight
0 Contact righting
P5 P5 Female behavior stimulates offspring in utero
brief episodes of postpartum licking and handling. During
parturition, offspring are also exposed to seemingly hostile
forms of stimulation associated with cooling and with compression under the weight of the dam's body. f locornotion General Discussion Our results share many features with previous observations of parturient behavior in the rat (Dollinger et al., 1980;
Rosenblatt & Lehrman, 1963; Weisner & Sheard, 1933),
and other species (Lickliter, 1985; Schneirla, Rosenblatt,
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