In this issue Clara Riley shares with our readers her approach to teaching pregnant mothers to communicate with their babies. I think her account is clear, concise and eminently practical. Those of you who engage in pre-natal counselling will find this article full of helpful hints.
F. Rene Van de Carr and Marc Lehrer bring us up to date on their research in prenatal stimulation. This is an area rife with controversy, even in our own association. It will be discussed in depth at our forthcoming meeting in August at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Totally supported by our rank and file but still hotly debated by established medicine is the issue of pain perception by the human fetus and neonate. Anand and Hickey, from the Department of Anaesthesia of the Harvard Medical School explore in depth current views on this subject. Any one who works in neonatal intensive care units, obstetrics or pediatrics should read this article, then xerox it and pass it along to those doctors who seem to be the most open in the department to humanizing the medical care of infants. Since this paper was first published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious of American medical journals, the cynics will have a hard time dismissing it as "flaky."
Finally, for those of you who have a strong research bent, I recommend Jeffrey Gray et al.'s finely crafted paper on the relationship between neonatal cardiopulmonary condition and perinatal risk factors. It is both, an excellent review article and a fine methodological study.
As they say in Monty Python "and now for something completely different." I want to tell you that I am very unhappy about the lack of response I have been getting about the Journal. I have no idea whether it is meeting your needs or not. Do you read it cover to cover or do you only read the comics? You say there are no comics; are you sure? This Journal does not write itself. I spend an awful lot of time on it and so do many others: editorial consultants, authors, the staff at Human Sciences Press, etc. Would any one notice if we stopped?
In addition to opinions about what we publish in the Journal, I would also like to receive book and video reviews, announcements about courses, research proposals, or any other communication that will help our readership in their work. So get thee to a pen and parchment.
Thomas R. Verny, M.D.