Neonatal Behavioral Effects of Anesthetic Exposure during Pregnancy

  • John W. Scanlon
  • Albert R. Hollenbeck


In the last several decades, human infant development has increasingly become the focus of interest for a wide range of professionals in medicine, psychology, nursing, and affiliated disciplines. Knowledge from these fields has converged to the extent that we have greatly increased our understanding of early human life events—especially those associated with childbirth. Reflection on the nature of these advances awes us with the complexity of those processes involved with the creation of new life and their influence on subsequent life events. Current interest in the study of intrapartum processes arises not only out of medical necessity for facilitating life itself, but also out of a more fundamental need—the need to understand ourselves. Life does not begin with birth, yet human birth marks a beginning in life. Logic dictates that to understand ourselves, we must begin to understand such critical events. In this chapter, we will explore the current state of knowledge in a more limited way and with a more limited focus, but, at the same time, we will attempt to place current knowledge into the larger context of understanding human development.


Down Syndrome Behavioral Effect Anesthetic Agent Epidural Anesthesia Infant Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Aubrey Milunsky, Emanuel A. Friedman, and Louis Gluck 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Scanlon
    • 1
  • Albert R. Hollenbeck
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia Hospital for WomenGeorgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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