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Medical News
June 22, 1964

Hospital Nursery: Factor in Child Development

JAMA. 1964;188(12):34. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060380078050

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Abstract

The possibility that hospital nursery practices for premature infants may be a factor in aberrant behavioral development was raised by Harry H. Gordon, MD, of New York, at a symposium on "The Child" at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in May.

Gordon commented that "Although many prematurely born infants develop normally, there is abundant evidence that many develop aberrantly, and they yield more than their share of children with intellectual, sensory, and motor deficits, and behavioral problems. Some of these residua are unquestionably derived from perinatal damage or congenital cerebral malformations. The possibility exists, however, that aberrant development may be conditioned by less well-defined factors.

"For years we have been uncomfortable about the striking disparity between nursery practices for prematurely born infants and the principles one considers commendable for getting full-term infants off to a good start—prepared childbirth, rooming-in, self-regulation of feeding at breast or bottle. All are considered suitable

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