The Hospitalism and Rene Spitz

beloved mother

beloved mother

The american psychoanalyst Rene Spitz (1887-1974) described the Hospitalism Syndrome in 1945. This syndrome occurs in babies when they are separated from a loving mother for a period of more than three months.
Hospitalism is caused by not being attended children in their
emotional needs (hugs, caresses, talking to them, smiling, etc.), even if they had been given exquisite care in their physical needs (food, medical care, proper clothing, etc.).

This Rene Spitz discovery, hospitalism, made it necessary to take into account the emotional and affective needs of babies admitted to institutions. And so, mothers were allowed to stay with their children when they were admitted to a hospital. The presence of the mother with the child reduces anxiety and helps a faster recovery; that is why currently in children’s hospitals, mothers are allowed to stay with their sick children.

But a sick child should not be overprotected, and it will be treated, as far as possible, not too different from the rest of the children of their age. Most children’s hospitals have teachers and a “school” where children can go every day to perform different tasks. This is especially important for children who have to be hospitalized for a long time.

The family will give the sick children affection and attention. Family must help and facilitate proper activities for his sick childrem. But family will take special care that the child does not obtain certain “secondary earnings” on account of his sick status.

In summary, the Hospitalism Syndrome will be avoided with the presence with of their beloved mother.

(Edited by Dr. María Moya Guirao, MD)

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