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May 6, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(19):1466-1467. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580450032013

No mammal mother is so completely incapacitated for carrying out the duties necessary to protect and nourish her young during the first few days after parturition as is civilized woman. On the first day after birth, the mother is usually absolutely dependent on the ministrations of others. The infant shares this dependence. Even the natural food supply of the parturient mother is extraordinarily small, for the total fuel value of the colostrum is insufficient during the first few days, even under the most favorable circumstances. These statements by careful students of the physiology of the new-born infant,1 expressing facts long appreciated by pediatricians, serve to raise a number of questions of practical as well as of theoretical importance. There are many who will say, with the characteristic mental inertia established by long custom, that experience has given adequate indications for the management of the early days of infancy, and