This paper was presented at the conference Technological Approaches to Obstetrics: Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, sponsored by the University of California Program in Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, Birth and the Family Journal, the Bay Area and Los Angeles Chapters of A.S.P.O., and the North American Society for Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology on Feb. 3–4, 1979.
Catecholamines: The Effects of Maternal Fear and Its Treatment on Uterine Function and Circulation
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
Volume 6, Issue 3, pages 167–174, September 1979
How to Cite
Levinson, G. and Shnider, S. M. (1979), Catecholamines: The Effects of Maternal Fear and Its Treatment on Uterine Function and Circulation. Birth, 6: 167–174. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1979.tb01329.x
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
ABSTRACT: Catecholamines, epinephrine and norepinephrine, cause characteristic “fight or flight” responses of increased heart rate and blood pressure, vasoconstriction, and other autonomic responses. In animal studies, either injection of Catecholamines or fright causing secretion of these hormones resulted in lower uterine blood flow and fetal bradycardia or acidosis.
Anxious human mothers had weaker contractions and longer labors and higher circulating catecholamine levels. In the presence of lower uterine circulation the normal fetus may compensate by extracting the oxygen needed, while the previously compromised fetus is less able to compensate for the reduced blood supply.