Development of Normal Fetal Movements: The First 25 Weeks of Gestation / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


This work aims to provide a detailed reasoned map of fetal behavior by describing its features and evolution from 10 to 25 weeks gestation. Each behavioral event is described, measured in seconds and presented as it occurs in its natural sequence, thus providing a 'real-time' picture of fetal behavior. Links between events become clear, and events are connected to the changing anatomy and physiology of the nervous system and of the fetal body in general. Transient behaviour with its underlying structures and possible functions is carefully distinguished from anticipatory functions heralding post-natal life. Furthermore, phenomena of physiologic significance during prenatal life, but which can acquire pathological connotations for the premature infant having to meet the different requirements of the post-natal environment, are also outlined. Finally, various prenatal 'myths' are discussed, in order to give scientific information on issues;that are particularly relevant, given the heated pro-life versus pro-choice debate.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788847014015
  • Publisher: Springer Milan
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Edition description: 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 133
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 General Movements 7

1.1 General Movements: 7-16 weeks 8

1.2 Length of the Feet and Epidermal Ridges 11

1.3 General Movements: 17-25 weeks 12

1.4 General Movements: Frequency and Duration 16

1.5 Central Pattern Generators 16

2 Startles, Twitches and Clonuses 19

2.1 Startles 19

2.2 Twitches 25

2.3 Clonuses 27

3 Hiccups, Yawning and Gasping 29

3.1 Hiccups 29

3.2 Yawning 33

3.3 Gasping 36

4 Fetal Breathing Movements 39

4.1 Fetal Breathing Movements: General Features 40

4.2 Fetal Breathing Movements: Non-Coincidence with other Behavioural Events 41

4.3 Apnoeic Pauses 42

4.4 Possible Functional Significance 44

4.5 Neurological Substrate 45

5 Swallowing, Sucking, and Handedness as Inferred from Fetal Thumb Sucking 49

5.1 Swallowing and Sucking: General Features 49

5.2 Swallowing: Development 50

5.3 Fetal Swallowing: Possible Functions 53

5.4 Swallowing: Possible Regulation 54

5.5 Handedness in the Human Fetus as Assessed by Thumb-Sucking 54

6 Localized Movements 59

6.1 Hand and Arm Movements 61

6.2 Leg Movements 71

7 Facial Expressions 77

7.1 Basic Emotions 78

7.2 Cross-Modal Integration 80

7.3 Preparing for Post-Natal Communications 82

7.4 Parental Reactions 83

7.5 Yawning: a Form of Communicating? 85

8 Rest-Activity Cycles, Clusters and the Ontogeny of Sleep 87

8.1 Sleep in Children 88

8.2 Behavioural States in Premature Infants and Mature Fetuses 88

8.3 Early Fetal Functioning: Rest-Activity Cycles and Clusters of Activities 89

8.3.1 Ontogeny of Sleep and its Possible Precursors 92

9 Twin Fetuses and Twin Myths 97

9.1 Beginnings of Intrapair Stimulation and its Relevance for Our Knowledge of the Sensory Capacities of All Fetuses 97

9.2 Features of Rest Cycles Revealed by Twins 99

9.3 Similarities and Differences 100

9.4 Behavioural Individuality 104

9.5 Universal Myths 104

9.6 Twins: Open to Mutual Communication 105

9.7 Maternal Emotions and their Impact on the Twin Fetus 105

9.8 Bereavement in the Twin Fetus 106

10 Conclusions. Movement is Life 107

10.1 Fetal Movements: Varied and Varying Functions 107

10.2 Shaping a Sense of our Boundaries 109

10.3 Building a Body Schema and a Proto-Sense of Self 110

10.4 Forming the Cortical Homunculus and its Curious Layout? 111

10.5 Building on Expressive Repertoire 112

Glossary 115

Subject Index 131

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