Risk in mother-infant separation postbirth

Image J Nurs Sch. Winter 1989;21(4):196-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.1989.tb00142.x.


The United States ranks poorly worldwide on infant mortality and breastfeeding, and recent trends are discouraging. The continuous rooming-in method of care is the general rule in European countries, which have low infant mortality and high breastfeeding rates; but this is a method of care (or an option) that the poor, and even some affluent, do not have available to them, or do not know how to go about obtaining, in the United States. The mother and infant are considered mutual caregivers, whose self-regulatory interaction postbirth is mutually beneficial, conducive to breastfeeding and cost effective. Newborn infants deprived of self-regulatory (on cue) access to their mothers are considered at increased physiological and developmental risk. Continuous rooming-in is recommended for study in a multisite, controlled clinical trial and then, if findings warrant, for implementation nationwide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Infant Care*
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Object Attachment*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Rooming-in Care*
  • United States