What doesn’t kill the baby

By Nick Fonda with notes from Barry Husk
What doesn’t kill the baby
The former Saint Croix Hospital, 1940s

William Gough was a medical doctor who practiced in Drummondville and a paper he wrote for the Canadian Medical Association Journal bears unintentional witness to the remarkable resilience of the human body from earliest infancy.

Gough was born in 1900 and started his practice in Drummondville in 1934. His office was on Lindsay Street, on the ground floor of a three-storey building, right below the apartment where he and his wife, Eileen Donohue, resided.

William Gough and Eileen Donohue did not have children and the collections of photos, letters, and other memorabilia which sometimes endure with the family for a generation or two do not exist.
What has survived is an article in the June 1953 issue of the CMAJ entitled, A New Approach to Infant Feeding penned by Dr. William Gough. In the light of today’s understanding of the nutritional needs of newborns, the article reflects curiously on the Drummondville doctor whose career otherwise left little notoriety in its wake. There are good reasons that no one today follows his practices.

Gough begins the two-page article by pointing out that the CMAJ had recently published an article advocating the introduction of soft foods at the age of three months when the infant can digest them, and another listing different foods and the age at which they were to be introduced, from cereal at three months to vegetables at six months and meat from ten to 12 months.
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