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A Mother's Paradoxical Response to Advice

BRIAN BIRD, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1964;107(4):383-385. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02080060385009.
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ABSTRACT

Advice physicians give to mothers about their children should affect the way these mothers handle their children, and much of the time it does. Many mothers do respond readily and appropriately when told to take their child's temperature, to give aspirin, to put a sick child to bed, to change a formula, to start solid foods, to bring the child in for a shot, etc.

But some mothers do not follow the advice they get. Often they have what seems to them a good reason. The physician's advice may conflict with the mother's past experience, or with the advice they have already received from other authorities, especially from their mothers, their grandmothers, their friends, and from "baby" books and articles.

In other cases, however, there is no obvious reason, and they may not even be aware of not following advice. They seem simply to blot it out by forgetting it;

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