The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on June 27, 1965 · Page 48
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The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 48

Racine, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 27, 1965
Page 48
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Page 48 article text (OCR)

I^stmilyr U^cJcIy/juve 27,1965 MEDIQNE'S NEW SECRETS OF SURVIVAL FOR UNBORN BABIES A YOUNG "miscarriage- prone" Tennessee housewife went to her doctor the minute she thought she might be expecting again. He found that she was—but the only new advice he gave was the surprising instruction: "Promise me you won't tell Marilyn." The young woman could hardly believe her ears. "Not tell Marilyn? Why, she's my best friend!" The doctor smiled gently. "She can be an even better friend if she doesn't know for a while. There's no earthly reason why a person as healthy as you should go on losing babies. This time, let's see what happens if you hold off on giving Marilyn the opportunity to fret over you so early in the game." Reluctantly the patient agreed. Sure enough, without Marilyn's well-intentioned warnings not to do this or that lest she "lose it again," the young woman went through her critical first few months uneventfully. When Marilyn did find out and began offering cautionary comments, she was firmly hushed. "My doctor thinks otherwise," said the patient. Confidsfitly following her doc* tor's advice, the patient duly gave birth to a handsome son—her first surviving infant in six successive pregnancies. Until recently, women like the Tennessee housewife often have been doomed to a grim cycle of diminishing hope and mounting disappointment—despite the best medical care. Some 10 percent of all pregnancies in the U. S. (nearly 500,000 a year) end in spontaneous abortion, which is the medical term for miscarriage during the first 16 weeks. Often this is thought to be nature's way of preventing the birth of a malformed child. At times, maternal ill health also plays a part. But what about women in good physical condition? Recently doctors started to wonder whether repeated losses had to be inevitable among those healthy women who ' seem prone to spontaneous abortion. Might not closer attention to the psychodynamics of pregnancy —the effect a woman's mental state has on her condition—^help cut the rate of loss substantially? It seemed worth exploring. Today the new philosophy of "avoidable miscarriage," which grew out of this idea, is yielding dramatic results. A Philadelphia woman with a record of four losses in a row was advised, when she conceived the fifth time, not to inform her mvn mother. The reason: the mother, a goodhearted woman, would at each pregnancy take over her daughter's household so completely that the younger woman's bottled-up frustration took its toll in the form of a miscarriage. Ironically the mother of the pregnant woman was convinced that by lending a hand she "took the strain off the poor girl." Instead, she compounded it. When, on the fifth time around, she was denied the chance to "help out," she had the satisfaction of becoming grandmother to a lovely little girl. In a growing number of progressive medical centers, the abortion- prone are finding man-and-wife conferences with the obstetrician especially valuable. At these conferences, the doctor helps the couple bring to the surface and put in proper perspective such emotionally disturbing flaws in their marital relationship as money problems, differences in their backgrounds (religious, social, and educational), irresponsibility or dependency in the husband, interference from either family—^all now recoernized as potential threats to full-term delivery of a healthy baby. Once the parents-to-be understand how frequently these insidious factors are to blame for losses in early pregnancy, they are better able to work with the doctor in eliminating them, or at least minimizing them, for the sake of their future child. Dr. Jerom* A. Dolan is a busy New Jersey obstetrician-gynecologist on the faculty of Seton Hall College of Medicine and a dedicated practitioner of the early prenatal man-and-wife conference. He believes it is vital that abortion- prone women have the opportunity to bring their husbands into the picture. Without help from her doctor, he points out, an already apprehensive expectant mother isn't likely to find either the emotional resources or the psychological know-how to awaken a family outlook in a husband who never possessed it. "You'd be surprised how many married men lack a family-oriented point of view," says Dr. Dolan, "and I don't mean just newlyweds. Yet the sense of emotional solidarity which the right attitude on the part of her husband can give a pregnant woman—especially if Family Weekly, June 27,1965

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