Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Beth Bailey

Committee Member

Kathryn Goddard

Committee Member

Jennifer Stevenson

Committee Member

Beth Bailey

Department Chair

Beth Bailey

Project Description

In response to different stressors, the heart develops what is called cardiac hypertrophy, in which the heart enlarges in order to maintain its pumping capabilities. Throughout the gestation period of a pregnancy, the heart undergoes hypertrophy due to the increase in blood volume necessary for the fetus, however the classification of this pregnancy-induced cardiac hypertrophy is not well characterized. Previous studies have shown tremendous changes in the contractility properties and overall morphology of the heart during pregnancy, but knowledge on the recovery of the heart postpartum is lacking. In humans, while heart rates typically return to pre-pregnancy levels 12 weeks postpartum, cardiac output and total peripheral resistance still remain at their abnormal levels a full year after delivery. The Bailey Lab has studied the recovery of the murine heart both 1 week and 2 weeks postpartum, but have not seen full return to pre-pregnancy levels. This study will investigate the changes in contractile and morphological changes 3 weeks postpartum to determine whether these cardiac parameters will return to pre-pregnancy levels after this extended period of time.