A study of the effects of fetal stress on neonatal behavior

P. Jirón Silva, C. Costas Moragas, F. Botet Mussons, M. De Cáceres Zurita

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of fetal distress associated with metabolic acidosis (pH<7.15 and BE<-18 in blood samples from umbilical artery) in neonatal behavior. Patients and Methods: Infants were evaluated with the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) on the third day of life (60-84 hours) in the Clinic Hospital of Barcelona, Spain. Fifteen anoxic neonates (experimental group) were compared to a sample of eight-seven newborns (control group) with the same characteristics, but with normal pH and BE levels (pH>7.25 and BE>-5). Results: Statistically significant differences were found between the two groups. The control group performed much better than the experimental group in almost all of the NBAs clusters: habituation, orientation, autonomic, regulation of states and motor functioning. There were no differences between the group sin the cluster range of states. The anoxic newborns of this study showed more irritation, stress, hypersensibility and difficulties to modulate states than the neonates without this problem. Conclusion: The NBAS is a useful evaluation technique as a complement to the physical examination because it gives a detailed description of the newborn behavior and competence. Habituation (p=0.002), orientation (p=0.000) and autonomies (p=0.000) are the clusters who discriminate best between the groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-166
    JournalAnales Espanoles de Pediatria
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


    • Fetal distress
    • Infant newborn
    • Neonatal anoxia
    • Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
    • Newborn behavior
    • Perinatal asphyxia


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