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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2013

Authors: Klaus, T; Schöpper, H; Huber, S

Title: Effects of chronic stress during pregnancy on maternal performance in the guinea pig (Cavia aperea f. porcellus).

Source: Behav Processes. 2013; 94:83-88

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Huber Susanne
Schöpper Hanna

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Morphology
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Stress experienced during pregnancy can have persistent impact on the female"s physiology and behaviour not only during but even beyond pregnancy. The present study aimed to evaluate such long-term effects of stress in terms of repeated strobe light exposure during early to mid gestation on behavioural aspects of mothering activities and lactational effort in lactating guinea pigs. We found that maternal behaviour was negatively affected by stress experience during pregnancy with treatment females developing a higher level of offspring-directed aggression than controls. In addition, our measure of lactational performances showed tendencies of lowered milk supply and longer pup suckling durations in stressed females. We suggest that this may represent a strategy to advance infant weaning following demanding conditions caused by chronic stress experience during pregnancy.

Keywords Pubmed: Aggression/psychology*
Behavior, Animal
Guinea Pigs
Maternal Behavior/psychology*
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
Stress, Physiological/physiology*

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