Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

Vaginal birth prepares the fetus for postnatal life. It confers respiratory, cardiovascular and homeostatic advantages to the newborn infant compared with elective cesarean section, and is reported to provide neonatal analgesia. We hypothesize that infants born by vaginal delivery will show lower noxious-evoked brain activity a few hours after birth compared to those born by elective cesarean section. In the first few hours of neonatal life, we record electrophysiological measures of noxious-evoked brain activity following the application of a mildly noxious experimental stimulus in 41 infants born by either vaginal delivery or by elective cesarean section. We demonstrate that noxious-evoked brain activity is related to the mode of delivery and significantly lower in infants born by vaginal delivery compared with those born by elective cesarean section. Furthermore, we found that the magnitude of noxious-evoked brain activity is inversely correlated with fetal copeptin production, a surrogate marker of vasopressin, and dependent on the experience of birth-related distress. This suggests that nociceptive sensitivity in the first few hours of postnatal life is influenced by birth experience and endogenous hormonal production.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41598-019-40650-2

Type

Journal article

Journal

Sci Rep

Publication Date

11/03/2019

Volume

9