International Journal of Pediatrics / 2012 / Article / Fig 5

Review Article

The Experience of Being Born: A Natural Context for Learning to Suckle

Figure 5

Percentage of pups attaching to a nipple of an anesthetized dam during a standardized suckling test. Shown below the horizontal axis are the prenatal olfactory conditions for each group and the lower row shows the odor conditions during postnatal treatments. The leftmost (black-filled) bar illustrates the baseline rate of attachment by vaginally delivered pups in these nipple attachment tests when the pups were exposed prenatally to natural amniotic odors and tested with a natural-scent dam (Vaginal group). The groups that received simulated birth experiences with different odors were also differentiated by the presence or exclusion of compressions. Within the set of Simulated birth groups, pups compressed in the presence of natural amniotic odors attached to natural-scented dams at rates comparable to the vaginally-delivered pups, but those that lacked compressions did not. If pups receiving compressions in the presence of citral (grey bar) also attached at the high rate to a citral-scented dam, but uncompressed pups in that group did not. The rightmost, striped histogram shows that pups receiving compressions in the presence of citral did not attach to natural-scented dams.

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