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This study investigates the genetic basis of lamb vigour (defined as neonatal lamb activity and sucking ability) and lambing difficulty as potential traits to be included in selection programmes to improve ewe and lamb welfare. Scores for lamb birth difficulty, vigour and sucking ability were collected shortly after birth on 1,520 lambs born in 2006 in 19 different flocks that were members of the UK Suffolk Sire Referencing Scheme. Scores evaluated each trait on a scale of 1 to 4; 1 being no assistance given either during birth or to suck, or excellent vigour, through to 4 where a large degree of assistance was required, or poor vigour. Genetic parameters (heritabilities, genetic correlations) were estimated by fitting an individual animal model using ASREML. Variance components obtained from univariate and bivariate analyses were averaged to provide genetic parameter estimates. Heritabilities for birth difficulty and vigour were moderate but heritability for sucking ability was not significant. The genetic correlation between vigour and sucking ability was positive and high, that between vigour and birth difficulty moderately negative, and that between birth difficulty and sucking ability not significant. Birth difficulty and vigour could be included in Suffolk breeding programmes to help reduce health and welfare problems associated with these traits in Suffolk sheep, and in flocks producing crossbred lambs sired by Suffolk rams. Further work is required to evaluate correlations between these traits and performance traits and to comprehensively validate the scoring system once more data become available.
Why is birth so dangerous, even today, with modern medicine? Through historical anecdote and a contemporary case history we explore this question, discussing the process of birth and what can go wrong. By thinking about who is in control of labour – is it the mother or her fetus? – we think about how a couple might prepare for birth. The challenge posed by birth makes us look to human evolution for answers, and we describe the insight it gives into birth in some low-resource settings around the world. We tackle the question of the rising numbers of caesarean sections around the world and the possible consequences. Although it may be widely believed that a smaller baby would mean a less difficult birth, we go on to explore the risks of being small for the survival of the baby alongside new research revealing how the mother’s body limits the growth of her baby inside the womb. We discuss whether the growth of the fetus is set by the genes which the mother or the father have passed on, mother’s size, or her environment. This leads to how the fetus develops and what controls this, the focus of the next chapter.
Pregnancy-related anxiety and fears of childbirth are very common indeed. This chapter focuses on anxiety about pregnancy and birth. It covers the range of fears that mothers can experience during pregnancy, including the health of your baby, your bond with your baby, what birth will be like, your appearance during pregnancy or after birth, your parenting abilities and / or how life might change after birth. It provides tips to understand why you migtht be feeling particularly anxious at this time, and techniques to tackle the factors that keep anxiety going, so that you can enjoy more of your pregnancy wihtout interference from anxiety.
In this paper we introduce new birth-and-death processes with partial catastrophe and study some of their properties. In particular, we obtain some estimates for the mean catastrophe time, and the first and second moments of the distribution of the process at a fixed time t. This is completed by some asymptotic results.
Actions to rescue, rehabilitate and release calves of manatees are the main initiatives and strategies for conservation of the species in Brazil. The survival rate of animals in a natural environment and the reproductive success, identified by birth records, are some of the indicators used to estimate the release success for manatees. This study evaluated the effectiveness of releases of West Indian manatees based on the reproductive success of rescued animals that were released back into the wild in Brazil. Twenty-two female manatees were released in the states of Alagoas (into an extinct area) and Paraíba (into an existent population) from 1994–2020. Six females gave birth to 13 calves, all in Alagoas State. The average age of the first calving event was 11.7 (±1.49) years and 8.0 (±1.41) years after release. Among the females that had more than one calving, the average was 3.6 (±1.18) years between each calving. All calves observed were born alive; nevertheless, three (23.1%) died a few weeks after birth. In general, females rehabilitated in captivity and released in the wild were able to reproduce, especially in protected areas. This study emphasizes the need to intensify actions for the conservation of manatees and their habitats in order to achieve healthier wild populations.
Before they were grandmothers women were mothers-in-law. Until recently they played a major role in the arrangement of their sons’ marriages. Young brides moved into their families, the start of one of the most toxic family relationships. They looked eagerly for signs of pregnancy. If this did not come about they prayed for one, even taking their daughters-in-law to a shrine of Guanyin, the goddess who ‘sends sons’. Son-preference was embedded. Today her shrine on Putuo Island is one of the major pilgrimage sites in China.
Once a pregnancy was established the grandmother-to-be put the mother-to-be on a strict regime. The older women supervised the birth and the month-long sequestration of the new mother, and fed her special foods to encourage the flow of rich milk. The grandmother took control of the infant, tending to it ceaselessly. Babies were held constantly, and even slept with their grandmothers. The aim was to make the baby happy, placid and adorable.
These traditions have weakened but not disappeared. The dominance of the mother-in-law is weaker – and paternal grandmothers coexist with maternal ones. Baby worship continues.
In the 1870s and 1880s, some of Japan’s leading intellectuals and modernizers discussed human rights, reintroduced the binary difference between male and female, and declared motherhood the core principle of women’s nature. As gender displaced status as the primary system of social and legal classification, women began adopting the language of rights and representing themselves in public. By the beginning of the twentieth century, women forcefully entered and shaped a range of debates. Chapter 2, “Controlling Reproduction and Motherhood,” discusses women’s struggle to both define motherhood for themselves and take control of reproduction – the debate about motherhood being closely tied to the quest for legalizing abortions. Notably, this demand was increasingly at odds with the country’s advancing imperialism, which relied on rapid population growth. The end of the Japanese empire constituted a major rupture within the question of reproductive control, ultimately leading to today’s effects of rapid population decline and the lack of will among the young generation to have babies.
This article looks to the past to consider how government officials, health professionals, and legal authorities have historically framed racial disparities in birth and the lasting impact these explanations have had on Black birthing experiences and outcomes.
This chapter considers how a liminal lens help inform contemporary discussions surrounding embryos in vitro and beyond using three case studies: 1) the 14-day rule, 2) in vitro gametogenesis, and 3) ectogenesis. The first case study is important as it is the principal manifestation of law’s attempt to reflect ‘special status’ on the embryo, and because it is also an example of legal attempts to deal with embryonic processes. This example is used to examine what the context-based approach developed in this book could bring to contemporary debate about the nature of such a rule, as well as its retention, reduction, or extinction. The second example enables us to consider what the analysis offered in this book says about these relatively new technologies in relation to their regulation, and the key biological and legal thresholds involved. The final case study focuses specifically on partial ectogenesis, a technology which not only introduces new thresholds, but leads us to question our existing understanding of meaningful legal thresholds, most notably birth as the moment in which the foetus/baby attains personhood. By these means, the analysis engages with the entire trajectory of embryonic development as this is driven by scientific possibilities, both current and near future.
This chapter chronologically traces past legal engagement with the human embryo, from the 13th century, to the end of the 20th century. It does so with a view to demonstrating that a historical perspective is required to understand that process is a key facet of law-making in this area. Notable from this legal history is the law’s persistent efforts to engage with the embryo’s uncertain, processual nature. We cannot fully understand our present legal position without understanding the social, moral, and legal context from which it was born. By looking at the past ‘legal embryo,’ we can see how the law has reached today’s ‘legal embryo’.
Jean Golding, born in England in 1939, is one of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service ‘Research Legends’. Trained in Human Genetics and Biometry, she is best known for having planned and directed the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), initiated with 14,500 pregnant women in the south of England. The aim was to determine the ways in which different aspects of the environment and genetics are associated with child health and development, including criminality. In a comparison with Brazilian children, conduct problems, hyperactivity, and violent crime were found to be more prevalent in Brazil, but the ALSPAC children had more nonviolent crimes. The associations between behavior problems during childhood and criminality were partly explained by perinatal health factors and childhood family environments in both countries.
Review of growth and development process before and after birth. Definition of tissue types, hyperplasia, and hypertrophy. Brain and language development, theory of mind, weaning, motor development, and dental development are covered. The human stages of infant, child, juvenile, adolescent, and adult are defined. Human senescence is described.
This paper contextualises and interprets a text seldom addressed in Anglophone scholarship: De die natali (‘On the birthday’), written by Censorinus to celebrate his patron Caerellius’ birthday in 238 c.e. By exploring both gestation (natalis) and time measurement (dies), the work seeks to elucidate and isolate Caerellius’ birthday in time; it is the ultimate guide to his dies natalis. Despite a seemingly narrow focus, De die natali is best understood as part of a broad ‘spectrum’ of encyclopaedic texts, exemplifying the ‘totalising’ impetus of knowledge ordering in the Roman Empire, while simultaneously exposing the limits of such efforts. An interlocking set of tensions underlie the text, which resonate with other encyclopaedic projects — tensions between unity and plurality, centre and periphery, and the relationship between nature and culture. De die natali is both a product of, and commentary on, the conditions of human knowledge and the Empire's cultural diversity in the early third century.
This critical biography of Jeanne establishes a framework for the thematic analyses of subsequent chapters. It outlines Jeanne’s family background, marriage, and motherhood, before detailing the paternal and maternal inheritance which was the basis of her eventual power. It argues that Jeanne’s succession seemed more secure in the lead-up to 1341 than has generally been assumed in light of the war’s outcome. For the period of the war itself, it turns away from the standard military-oriented account to highlight the turning points that most influenced Jeanne’s governance and role. It also examines the neglected final twenty years of Jeanne’s life, including her financial difficulties and her position during the 1379 rebellion, as an important comparison with her official tenure as duchess.
Lorenzo de’ Medici’s marriage to Clarice Orsini in June 1469 had created a precedent, for it was the first time that the Florentine mercantile and banking family had married out of Tuscany and into a family of long-established Roman aristocrats. The Milanese ambassador predicted at the time that it would give ‘the populace, as well as some of the leading citizens, plenty to talk about’, and so, too, did the lengthy wedding ceremonies.1 Only six months later, Lorenzo’s father Piero died, plunging the twenty-year-old Lorenzo into a political crisis, as he ‘hoisted his sails’ to secure his primacy in Florence, and all too soon – before the end of his first decade in power – he was at war with the pope and the king of Naples following his brother’s murder in 1478.2
When the deprivation of liberty constitutes a violation of the international law for reasons of discrimination based on birth, national, ethnic or social origin, language, religion, economic condition, political or other opinion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other status, that aims towards or can result in ignoring the equality of human rights.1
This chapter examines birth customs and bodily experiences and practices as an important but rarely considered dimension of private life under Nazism, setting them in the context of the complex racial and ethnic hierarchies created by Nazi occupation policy in Poland. It outlines the power relations and practices associated with women giving birth in the Nazi-annexed Polish territory of the ‘Reichsgau Wartheland’, and focuses in particular on the relationship between ethnic German (Volksdeutsche) women giving birth and the German and Polish midwives they sought out to assist them. Efforts by Reich German midwives to control events in the birth room sometimes faced fierce opposition on the part of the women giving birth, who asserted their right to privacy and to choose persons they trusted to be present at the birth. While the Nazi regime sought to exclude Polish midwives from attending German women giving birth, the supply of German midwives was inadequate. Polish midwives therefore continued to practise, though their precarious status made them vulnerable to harassment by the occupation authorities and accusations by Volksdeutsche of malpractice.
This chapter examines the home leave granted to soldiers during the Second World War as a fundamental dimension of private life for millions of Germans in wartime. It explores the topic from a number of different perspectives. It outlines the regime’s policies and propaganda regarding home leave as a privilege, focusing on the regime’s goals and its conflicting impulses both to control the time men spent away from their military duties and to allow some degree of undisturbed privacy. The chapter then examines personal letters between home and front in order to explore the expectations and experiences relating to home leave on the part of the men on leave and their wives or girlfriends and families. Finally, it uses cases from military and civil courts to show instances of marital conflict and domestic violence associated with home leave.