Observations on the behavioral state of newborn infants during the first hour of life
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Minute-by-minute observations are reported on the behavioral state during the first hour of life of 18 term infants delivered by the Leboyer (L) method and 18 by the conventional (C) method. The mothers were unmedicated and only two women in each group received epidural anesthetics. All deliveries were spontaneous and the infants were healthy. The behavioural states of both groups of infants were very similar, with the infants spending approximately 60% of the first hour in the quiet-alert state (median time: L = 41.5 C = 35.0 minutes) and only 10% of the time in the irritable-crying state. ALthough there were some individual differences, both groups of infants spent the second 30 minutes of the first hour predominantly in the quiet-alert state. The clinical relevance of these observations is that the first hour of life can be used to advantage in promoting parent-infant interaction.
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