Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 177



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 177

judgment, but the idea of raising babies by mail floored him. He reasoned, however, that a woman, and more particularly one who had been in a babies’ hospital for years, knew more about babies than he could possibly know. He consulted baby-specialists in New York and Philadelphia, and, with one accord, they declared the plan not only absolutely impracticable but positively dangerous. Bok’s confidence in woman’s instinct, however, persisted, and he asked Doctor Coolidge to map out a plan.

This called for the services of two physicians: Miss Marianna Wheeler, for many years superintendent of the Babies’ Hospital, was to look after the prospective mother before the baby’s birth; and Doctor Coolidge, when the baby was born, would immediately send to the young mother a printed list of comprehensive questions, which, when answered, would be immediately followed by a full set of directions as to the care of the child, including carefully prepared food formulæ. At the end of the first month, another set of questions was to be forwarded for answer by the mother, and this monthly service was to be continued until the child reached the age of two years. The contact with the mother would then become intermittent, dependent upon the condition of mother and child. All the directions and formulæ were to be used only under the direction of the mother’s attendant physician, so that the fullest cooperation might be established between the physician on the case and the advisory department of the magazine.

Despite advice to the contrary, Bok decided, after


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