Food and water intakes were measured in pregnant rats to determine whether parturition is preceded by significant changes in food and water intake. Three diets of different palatability and caloric value were used. Over the last 5 days of pregnancy, pregnant rats were found to ingest more calories/day than nonpregnant rats, and females with prior parturitional experience (multiparous) ingested more than virgin or primiparous females. Pregnant rats also ingested significantly greater amounts of fluid when compared to nonpregnant rats, and multiparous rats (pregnant or not) ingested greater amounts of fluid than did virgin or primiparous rats. On the last day of pregnancy, the intake of solid foods or a liquid diet did not change significantly, but the intake of either water or 5% sucrose was significantly reduced
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