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The effect of (induced) maternal emotions on fetal behaviour: a controlled study.

Authors
  • Van den Bergh, B R1
  • Mulder, E J
  • Visser, G H
  • Poelmann-Weesjes, G
  • Bekedam, D J
  • Prechtl, H F
  • 1 Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Early Human Development
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1989
Volume
19
Issue
1
Pages
9–19
Identifiers
PMID: 2721422
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In ten healthy near-term pregnant women the effect of induced maternal emotions on fetal motor behaviour was studied. Emotions were induced by showing a film of a normal delivery. Fetal behaviour was recorded by means of real-time ultrasound observations of general movements and eye movements and by fetal heart rate monitoring. The observations had a duration of 2 h. The data were compared with those obtained during a 2-h control period, which took place the day before (n = 5) or after the study period (n = 5). Maternal emotions (induced) were measured by means of psychological tests. No effects on fetal motor activity or on behavioural state organization could be found as a result of this film. There was, however, a significant positive correlation (P less than 0.01) between the mean level of anxiety of the women and the motor activity of the fetuses.

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