All mammals undergo a common, fundamental, and dramatically rapid developmental transition from life as a fetus inside the mother’s body, to a newborn that is challenged with the requirements of new and vital functions such as oral ingestion, temperature regulation, and social interactions. The life of a fetus and the life of a newborn are so different that we are essentially studying metamorphosis when examining life across the birth transition. We have found that the experience of being born is itself a mechanism for development.
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Ronca,A.E., Kamm, K., Thelen, E., & Alberts, J. R. (1994). Proximal control of fetal ratbehavior. Developmental Psychobiology, 27(1), 23-38. PDF
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Abel, R. A., Ronca, A. E., & Alberts, J. R. (1998). Perinatal stimulation facilitates suckling onset in newborn rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 32(2), 91-99. PDF
Alberts, J. (2008). Self-sensitivity in fetal development. Infancy, 13(3), 270-274. PDF