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Neurobehavioral testing of 41 newborn infants was performed during the first 8 hours of life. All of the infants were normal by the usual clinical criteria. The 28 infants whose mothers had received continuous lumbar epidural blocks with either lidocaine or mepivacaine showed significant differences from the 13 infants in the non-epidural block group. In particular, the epidural-block infants had significantly lower scores on the tests of muscle strength and tone, but not on tests designed to evaluale habituation to repetitive stimulation.