ABSTRACT: The group of babies at lowest risk for neonatal problems have experienced a significant drop in morbidity and mortality since neonatology began in the 1960's. Up to 50% of such low-risk babies develop jaundice which requires treatment. ABO hemolytic disease and polycythemia affect 5% and 3% of full-term babies, respectively. Congenital malformations occur in about 1–2% of term newborns, and infection will be found in 2–5 babies per thousand. Because infections can be life-threatening and the symptoms are vague in newborns, we do from 25 to 40 septic work-ups for every one infection confirmed.

Handling the high risk mother whose infant needs diagnostic or treatment procedures is easier than handling the shocked mother who expected a normal outcome according to Dr. Phibbs. It is better to give a simple statement of what is being done, and why, than to give technical explanations. Because of the adaptability of human mothers and infants, we find that separation of mothers and infants for common procedures does not interfere with bonding.