Fetal growth and activity at 20 to 24 weeks of gestation (preliminary study) | Crescimento e actividade fetal às 20-24 semanas de gestação (estudo preliminar)

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Conde A
Publisher: Ordem dos Médicos
Publication year: 2008
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 1-3
Start page: 55
End page: 64
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 1646-0758
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB), Portuguese-Portugal (PT-PT)


Background: Recent researches show that psychological development begins
much before birth and prenatal influences can explain a significant
part of the future variability in infants' behaviour and development.
Aims: The aim of this study was to characterize the fetal development
between 20 and 24 weeks of gestation, related to the measures of fetal
growth - biparietal diameter, abdominal circumference, head
circumference, femur length and fetal weight - and fetal activity -
fetal heart rate and fetal movements. We also tried to establish if
there are any differences in these measures related to the mothers' and
fetus' sociodemographic features, obstetrical conditions and exposure to
drugs. Method: The sample of this study involved 48 fetus (52.1% female
and 47.9% male) with an estimated gestational age (GA) between 20-24
weeks (Mean = 21 weeks and 1 day), whose mothers had appointments at the
Obstetric and Gynaecological medical consultation of Júlio Dinis
Maternity Hospital (MJD, Oporto). A video tape of the fetal behaviour
was made and ultrasound biometry measurements were collected from the
morphological ultrasound report. Results: A statistical analysis of
fetal data, after gestational age control, showed differences in fetal
growth measures related to mothers' occupational status [F(1,41) = 7.28;
p = .000], marital status [F(1,41) = 2.61; p = .04], household
arrangements [F(1,41) = 2.91; p = .03] and coffee consumption [F(1,40) =
2.55; p = .05]. Differences in fetal activity measures (fetal heart
rate) associated to fetus gender [F(1,16) = 5.84; p = .009] were also
found. Conclusions: We can conclude about the sensibility of fetal
development to prenatal factors related to the mothers' and fetus'
sociodemographic features and exposure to drugs.


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Last updated on 2019-10-08 at 00:30