1. Plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline concentrations and plasma renin activity were measured in 21 mothers at delivery and in their babies at birth (umbilical cord blood) and on days 1 and 5 of extrauterine life.
2. At birth plasma renin activity was significantly higher in the newborn than in mothers. Plasma renin activity increased further, but not significantly, on day 1 of life and significantly decreased on day 5. On day 5, 10 min head-up tilting caused no change in plasma renin activity.
3. Plasma noradrenaline in the newborn was higher than in mothers at birth and significantly decreased thereafter. Plasma adrenaline levels at birth were similar in the newborn and their mothers and significantly lower in the newborn in subsequent days. Tilting caused no increase in either plasma adrenaline or noradrenaline levels.
4. No correlation was found between plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline levels and plasma renin activity, or between noradrenaline, adrenaline or plasma renin activity and blood pressure.