Research Article

Fetal malnutrition--the price of upright posture?

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 04 August 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:317
  1. A Briend


    The pattern of preterm fetal growth faltering, normally seen in man, differs from that observed in animals. This type of fetal growth cannot be considered as an adaptation to facilitate birth but is more likely to be due to rapid evolution and imperfect adaptation to the upright posture. The pattern of posture and physical activity during pregnancy may therefore be an important determinant of fetal growth. Differences in intrauterine nutrition existing between social groups, usually ascribed to variations of maternal diet and nutrition, may well result from different patterns of maternal activity in the weeks preceding birth.