Gestational hormone profiles predict human maternal behavior at 1-year postpartum

Gestational hormone profiles predict human maternal behavior at 1-year postpartum In many non-human species, including primates, gestational reproductive hormones play an essential role in the onset of maternal motivation and behaviors. We investigated the associations between prepartum estradiol and progesterone and maternal behavior at 1-year postpartum in 177 women. Blood was obtained at five gestational time points and an index of quality of maternal care was determined using a well-validated mother-child interaction protocol. Women who exhibited higher quality maternal care at 1-year postpartum were characterized by unique gestational profiles of estradiol, progesterone and the estrogen to progesterone ratio; specifically by slower accelerations and levels of these hormone trajectories beginning in midgestation. Further, it appeared that both fetal sex and parity moderated these findings, with first time mothers and mothers of females showing stronger associations. In sum, these data document persisting associations between prepartum hormone profiles and human maternal behavior. More broadly, these findings add to the growing literature highlighting the perinatal period as one of critical neurodevelopment in the lifespan of the human female. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hormones and Behavior Elsevier

Gestational hormone profiles predict human maternal behavior at 1-year postpartum

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0018-506X
eISSN
1095-6867
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.07.002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In many non-human species, including primates, gestational reproductive hormones play an essential role in the onset of maternal motivation and behaviors. We investigated the associations between prepartum estradiol and progesterone and maternal behavior at 1-year postpartum in 177 women. Blood was obtained at five gestational time points and an index of quality of maternal care was determined using a well-validated mother-child interaction protocol. Women who exhibited higher quality maternal care at 1-year postpartum were characterized by unique gestational profiles of estradiol, progesterone and the estrogen to progesterone ratio; specifically by slower accelerations and levels of these hormone trajectories beginning in midgestation. Further, it appeared that both fetal sex and parity moderated these findings, with first time mothers and mothers of females showing stronger associations. In sum, these data document persisting associations between prepartum hormone profiles and human maternal behavior. More broadly, these findings add to the growing literature highlighting the perinatal period as one of critical neurodevelopment in the lifespan of the human female.

Journal

Hormones and BehaviorElsevier

Published: Sep 1, 2016

References

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