Umbilical cortisol levels as an indicator of the fetal stress response to assisted vaginal delivery

Gitau, Rachel, Menson, Esse, Pickles, Victoria, Fisk, Nicholas M., Glover, Vivette and MacLachlan, Neil (2001) Umbilical cortisol levels as an indicator of the fetal stress response to assisted vaginal delivery. European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 98 1: 14-17. doi:10.1016/S0301-2115(01)00298-6


Author Gitau, Rachel
Menson, Esse
Pickles, Victoria
Fisk, Nicholas M.
Glover, Vivette
MacLachlan, Neil
Title Umbilical cortisol levels as an indicator of the fetal stress response to assisted vaginal delivery
Journal name European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-2115
1872-7654
Publication date 2001-09-01
Year available 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0301-2115(01)00298-6
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 98
Issue 1
Start page 14
End page 17
Total pages 4
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Abstract Objectives: While it is well established that delivery by elective caesarean section is less stressful for the fetus than normal vaginal delivery, little attention has been paid to the effect on the baby of an assisted delivery.
Formatted abstract
Objectives:
While it is well established that delivery by elective caesarean section is less stressful for the fetus than normal vaginal delivery, little attention has been paid to the effect on the baby of an assisted delivery.

Study design:
We examined cortisol levels in venous cord blood from seven babies born by forceps, 10 by ventouse extraction, 28 by unassisted normal vaginal delivery, and 12 born by elective caesarean. Paired maternal bloods were taken immediately after delivery.

Results:

Cord blood cortisol values were significantly different in the different groups (one-way ANOVA, P < 0.0001). The forceps group had the highest values and the caesarean group the lowest; both were different from the normal vaginal delivery group (P = 0.019 and P=0.046, respectively). There was no effect of length of labour, or method of pain relief on cortisol levels. Maternal values were similar in the different groups, confirming that the differences observed derived from the fetus.

Conclusions:

There is increasing evidence that the stress experienced by the fetus or neonate can have long-term effects on the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in later life. We speculate that the stress caused by some assisted deliveries may contribute to this.
Keyword Assisted deliveries
Cortisol levels
Fetus
Caesareans
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences -- Publications
 
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