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Re: [IPk] Re: Pregnancy and the pump
>I have just checked with my sister - also a diabetic, and also a Member of
>the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists...
So what makes you think she knows *anything* about having babies?? ;-)
On a vaguely related subject, Anne Storey published a paper in "Evolution
and Human Behaviour" in January 2000 describing the hormonal changes in
*men* during their partners' pregnancies. Apparently this has not been done
This may explain why *I* experienced wildly fluctuating insulin
requirements during my wife's pregnancy last year. Once she had given birth
my basal rates settled straight back to how they were pre-pregnancy. Funny
how men never get offered special care for the diabetic pregnancy...
Anyhow, here's a summary of the findings as reported in The Economist:
"Dr Storey's first task was to see what hormonal trends occurred in men. To
do so, she recruited 34 couples from an assortment of pre-natal classes and
sampled their blood. The men in these couples, she discovered, exhibited
significant changes in their levels of cortisol, testosterone (the
principal male sex hormone, and thus in some sense the masculine equivalent
of estradiol) and prolactin over the courses of their partners'
pregnancies. In each case the level of the hormone in question changed in a
way that matched the pattern that is seen in pregnant women-which is,
presumably, why men experience many of the same pre-birth symptoms as women
do. Dr Storey's hypothesis, which is supported by evidence from other
biparental species, is that these increased hormone levels predispose a man
to behave in a fatherly way when his child is born.
In addition to following long-term changes, Dr Storey was also interested
in the expectant fathers' short-term responses to things infantile. To test
these, she and her colleagues took blood samples before and after a
half-hour procedure that involved both members of a couple watching a video
of a breastfeeding mother, listening to a recording of a distressed
newborn, and holding a doll which was draped in a blanket that had recently
been worn by a real new-born baby. The parents-to-be were thus exposed to
visual, auditory, tactile and (from the blanket) olfactory stimuli
associated with having a baby around.
The researchers found that, like mothers, fathers show a significant drop
in cortisol levels during this procedure. The closer a man's partner was to
giving birth, the steeper the hormonal plunge he experienced. In addition,
men who held the doll throughout the entire 30-minute experimental period
showed bigger declines in testosterone than those who did not.
All of which suggests that fathers-to-be are undergoing almost as much of a
change of life-probably as a result of behavioural and chemical signals
from the mother-as that mother is herself. Whether this extends as far as
switching off the "going-off-for-a-drink-with-mates" circuits in a man's
brain, and activating the "cleaning-dirty-bottoms" circuits, is, however,
something that many women might beg leave to doubt."
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