The history of policy and practice related to the perinatal hospital stay

Clin Perinatol. 1998 Jun;25(2):257-70.


The issue of early newborn discharge has received widespread attention in both the lay press and the medical literature over the past few years, culminating in passage of Public Law 104-204, Title VI: The Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996. This article reviews the road to passage of this legislation, including the historical trends and forces determining postpartum length of stay in the United States, the evolution of guidelines as put forth by official representative bodies such as the AAP, the current status of state and federal legislation, and the relationship between length of stay and follow-up practices. The status of newborn length of stay in other countries also is discussed.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Length of Stay / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Discharge / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Perinatal Care
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • United States