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August 1933

PREVENTING LOSS OF WEIGHT IN THE NEW-BORN

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK
From the Department of Pediatrics, the Fifth Avenue Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1933;46(2):280-308. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1933.01960020043004
Abstract

Loss of weight in the new-born is sanctioned universally. It is a period of semistarvation during the first few days of life that is too stupefying to be ignored, too debilitating to be physiologic, too prolonged to be a sacred law of nature. A century ago Clausius was the first to record the characteristic loss in weight of the new-born. And it is still being recorded, apparently without question. Civilization may have perfected the physique of the new-born, but it has simultaneously impaired the maternal secretion of milk; it may have improved the methods of delivery, but it has not been contributory in combating birth shock in the new-born. The present postnatal procedure of awaiting an ample food supply from the mother is no longer productive of the nutritional adequacy that obtained in primitive times. The modern consequence is an initial period of semistarvation, a condition nonexistent among animals and

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