Objective: To determine the postnatal course of neurosteroid levels in relation to gender, mode of delivery and the extent of skin-to-skin (STS) contact during the first days of life in healthy term newborns. Study Design: Prospective observational study of 39 neonates in which parents recorded total duration of STS in the first 2 days and nine neurosteroids (dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, progesterone, pregnenolone, pregnenolone-sulfate, allopregnanolone, isopregnanolone, epipregnanolone, pregnanolone and pregnanolone-sulfate) were assayed from blood samples at birth and at 1-2 days of age. Results: All nine neurosteroid levels declined significantly during the first 2 days of life. Gender did not significantly affect the change in neurosteroid levels. The decline in neurosteroid levels was generally more pronounced in vaginal deliveries, and there was a trend toward a larger decline with more exposure to STS. Conclusion: Ongoing studies may better characterize the role of neurosteroids and the influence of STS in more critically ill and premature neonates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology