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Influences Affecting the Child During Gestation

After a time, when this young mother found the responsibilities of motherhood again coming upon her, she consulted her mother-in-law, who at once counselled destruction of the child. By the use of a most dangerous domestic remedy, which often causes convulsions, as it did in this instance, abortion was induced, at the peril of the patient's life. Her health, which had not been good since the birth of her little girl, was so much impaired by this later experience, that she was confined for a long time to her room, and recovered slowly. Recently I have heard that her health was delicate, and that she has a son par taking of all the mother's cultivated feebleness. Women accustomed to corsets and numerous bands fastened about the waist do not realize the pressure they exert downward upon the abdomen. I have known prospective mothers, beside their corsets with their bones and steel, to have from three to seven bands of garments weighing down, *holly unsup ported, about the waist, with a force equal to eight or ten pounds avoirdupois. Many ladies urge that corsets prevent the pressure of the clothing down ward, but this is not true. All the clothing, even to the lightest garment, should be suspended from the shoulders, and the dress distributed with equal warmth all over the body. The lower extremities, particularly, should be warmly clothed in cold weather; the style of dress known as the combination undergarments being most sensible and worthy of adoption by all.

Diet has much to do with the health of men, women, and children, at all periods of life. In pregnancy, the necessity of keeping the stomach and digestive organs in good condition, and choosing those foods which supply the best nutrition, cannot be estimated too highly. Perfect nutrition, the health ful repair of the waste, and building up of the new tissues of the child, depend upon these two essential points, which may be more simply stated as good digestion and good food.

There is no greater error than the one, that at this period a woman must eat unreasonably or exces sively, because she is eating for two — unless it is the mistake that every caprice of appetite, whether reasonable or not, should be indulged. It is the choice of right food, and its use, not excessive eating, that gives strength. To eat habitually and freely of bon-bons, confectionery, sweetmeats, food steeped in fat, cloves, cinnamon, heavily spiced dishes, pickles, and the piquant sauces, is no better than subsisting upon the poorly cooked foods of the wretchedly poor; nor could the blood made from the first-named list of substances used as food be any better than the last. A few well-cooked dishes at each meal is better than a large number. The laxative foods, as all the ripe fruits in their varieties, fresh, dried, or canned, and the edible plants in their seasons, are cooling and opening to the system, and most useful in the constipation so common in the earlier months of pregnancy. Among these are spinach, asparagus, celery, onions, cauliflower, cab bage, dandelions, cowslips, and lettuce. The whole

list of nerve foods are especially good at this time, with the exceptions hereafter stated, where it is essential to avoid too great density of the bones of the child. The list of nerve foods would include eggs, fish, all the sea foods, pease, oatmeal, wheat, milk, and beans. All the varieties of lean meats, save pork, are useful as food. A nutritious breakfast should be taken if possible. A bit of warm fresh roll, and a ginger-snap with a cup of coffee, may give the sense of stimulation, but it certainly cannot be called a nutritious breakfast. The appetite should be gratified by the most wholesome food three times a day, the meals should be five hours apart, giving four hours for digestion, and at least one for rest of the stomach before the next meal is taken.

To one who is to seek early and abundant rest, a full dinner at night-fall is objectionable. A mixture of acid foods and milk, or vinegar and sugar, are not best in the arrangement of meals, as they favor fermentation in weak stomachs. The sense of faintness often felt about the stomach between • meals, and after sufficient food has been taken, is caused by congestion, and not by the want of food, as • is generally supposed. It is quite common to take a small quantity of food when it is felt, because it gives relief, but a sip of water, or some mucilaginous drink, will relieve it just as certainly, and without taxing farther the already complaining stomach. If a lax condition of the bowels should occur at this time, foods containing indigestible and innutritious substances should be avoided, and those chosen that have the least waste. Rice, boiled quickly, and strained through a sieve, making a rich gruel, is one of the best foods in severe diarrhoea; the next, new milk, to one pint of which has been added two pieces of fresh hardwood charcoal, as large as an egg, boiled quickly fifteen minutes, and then strained. The milk thus prepared may be thickened or used clear, drinking two or three ounces every hour; rice may be baked in it, or it may be eaten with rice or toasted bread. The charcoal corrects the foul gaseous ex halations. Broths, with rice, farina, and toast, follow next in order, then the lean fresh meats, and eggs lightly cooked; these last may be taken when the first serious symptoms have abated. Vegetables—and the worst among these are potatoes — must not be used until the lax condition of the bowels is quite over come. Rapid increase of flesh should not occur during pregnancy, The great waste gates, the bowels, liver, kidneys, and skin, must be kept care fully open; for free perspiration and urination are great safeguards, but not sufficiently thought of. Drinking a glass of elm or flaxseed mucilage, one hour before the noon and evening meal, is a good habit during the later months of pregnancy; it soothes any irritation of the mucous linings and acts gently upon the kidneys.

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foods, food, time, pregnancy and stomach