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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Serendipity


“Our work in this area began when one of our medical students failed to follow the instructions for another study. She was only supposed to obtain the approval of primiparous, healthy mothers in early labor. They were then to go through the usual hospital routine, and the study was to begin at their babies' birth. She obtained the approval for the study early in labor, but stayed with each of 10 study mothers giving emotional and physical support until they delivered (family support was not permitted in this hospital). When we first heard about this error, we were upset, because all of these mothers and babies had to be removed from the ongoing study. However, when we looked more closely at the charts of these mothers, we found that they had unusually short labors. Surprisingly, three of these mothers delivered in the bed. This was unheard of in this hospital, because the focus of the delivery unit was sterility, and the rules of the hospital were that every mother was to deliver in a "sterile" delivery room. It is this serendipitous observation of altered labor with emotional support that has been the focus of our research for the last 10 years.”
Klaus, Marshall H. Touching during and after childbirth. In Field, TM (Ed), Touch in early development (pp 19-33). Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum. 

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