From pregnancy to lactation: changing relations between mother and baby — a biological perspective

  • Mary McNabb
  • Suzanne Colson
Part of the Midwifery Practice book series (MIPRA)


From a biological perspective, the nutritional and developmental needs of the embryo, fetus and infant are met by a series of reciprocal interactions between mother and offspring that extend from conception to spontaneous weaning. These successive events are regulated by neurohormonal and enzymatic changes that demonstrate continuity and discontinuity, from pregnancy and parturition, to lactation and suckling. This chapter will identify particular examples of continuity and discontinuity, with a view to highlighting the dynamics of maternal-fetal-neonatal interactions from pregnancy to spontaneous weaning.


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  • Mary McNabb
  • Suzanne Colson

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