Associate and Assistant Professors, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pediatrics, respectively, University of Minnesota, Medical School
The production of body heat at a rate sufficient to offset its inevitable loss, and thus to maintain the body temperature at a constant level is necessary for every warm blooded animal. This function apparently is not fully developed until about the time of birth, for with infants born prematurely, external heat must be applied in order to sustain the body temperature at the normal level. After the ability to maintain a normal temperature has been acquired, minor fluctuations occur, which, according to Benedict and Talbot,1 amount to about 0.33 C. during the first eight days of postnatal life.
VARIATIONS IN TEMPERATURE
Variations in normal temperature at different ages are very slight It is known, however, that the temperature of the fetus is slightly higher than the rectal temperature