Document Detail

The quality of fetal arm movements as indicators of fetal stress.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20947272     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: Although a number of studies have found that maternal stress affects the fetus, it is unclear whether jerky fetal movements observed on ultrasound scans are indicative of fetal stress, or whether they are part of normal development.
AIMS: The present study was designed to examine the relationship between jerky fetal arm movements in relation to fetal age and stress.
METHODS: Video recordings were made of routine ultrasound scans of 57 fetuses (age range 8 to 33 weeks) classified into three age groups: 1st trimester (8-12 weeks, N=9), 2nd trimester (13-24 weeks, N=38), and 3rd trimester (26-33 weeks, N=10). Following previous research on stress behaviour in neonates, a fetal index of stress was derived from frequency of hiccup, back arch and rhythmical mouthing.
RESULTS: Results indicated that while stress level was unrelated to fetal age, jerkiness of arm movements was significantly associated with the fetal stress index but not age.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that jerky arm movements in fetuses are suggestive of fetal stress.
Nadja Reissland; Brian Francis
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-10-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Early human development     Volume:  86     ISSN:  1872-6232     ISO Abbreviation:  Early Hum. Dev.     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-03     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7708381     Medline TA:  Early Hum Dev     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  813-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, University of Durham, Science Site, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
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