The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
From: Cemail@example.com (Reuters) Subject: More signs that fetus ``decides'' birth date Organization: Copyright 1996 by Reuters Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 14:20:13 PSTWASHINGTON (Reuter) - Scientists said Thursday they had added to the evidence that a fetus decides when it is ready to be born.
The latest research, on rhesus monkeys, suggests that the fetus monitors its own developing systems and sends out a signal that sets off labor in the mother.
Scientists are looking into this mechanism to help understand premature labor, which can lead to the death or disability of the baby, and also to develop better care for women who go past their expected due date.
``The possibility that, in normal human pregnancy, it is the fetal brain that controls the duration of pregnancy is an exciting one,'' said Dr. Peter Nathanielsz of Cornell.
The research was done at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Mt. Sinai Medical School and will be published in the April edition of the journal Nature Medicine.
Earlier studies of sheep had identified mechanisms in the fetuses' brains similar to those now seen in the monkeys.
A group of brain cells that controls the fetal lamb's adrenal gland, setting of a chain reaction of hormones that eventually stimulates the mother's cervix to dilate and the uterus to contract -- labor.
Monkeys have slightly different hormonal circuits than the sheep, but the scientists successfully induced early delivery of baby monkeys 80 percent of the way through the pregnancy by delivering the corresponding infusion of hormones.
Live monkeys were delivered seven days later. In the control group that received a placebo the mothers did not deliver for 20 more days.
More work must be done to learn how the human system works, but Nathanielsz said the studies were exciting.
``It would be of great survival value if the fetal brain can act as a 'computer' taking messages from several vital developing systems, such as lungs, kidneys and other parts of the brain, to compute the level of maturation and act accordingly.''
``It is absolutely essential that we learn how these natural systems
work and how to help when they don't.''
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