Sources: Papers On Health
An expectant mother should lead a quiet, orderly and
healthful life (see Child-birth). By this we do not mean laziness nor
idleness, nor treating herself as an invalid. On the contrary, plenty
of work, both physical and mental, and regular exercise are most
beneficial, but care should be taken that work should not go the length
of over-fatigue, and excitement, worry and anxiety should be carefully
guarded against. The round of parties and other social functions into
which many brides are drawn, frequently becomes the cause of
miscarriage and other troubles. Any excitement, mental or physical, is
most injurious, and the husband and wife who sacrifice present
enjoyment will be richly repaid afterwards in the greater vigor and
healthiness of the child; while those who live for the present will
often have bitter regrets of what might have been.
If any weariness, heaviness, or pain are felt in the region of the
abdomen, groin, or back, half-a-day, a day, or a few days in bed
should, if possible, be taken. If any appearance of bloody discharge be
noticed, there is decided danger of miscarriage, and the patient should
immediately go to bed, remaining, as far as possible, perfectly flat on
the back until the discharge ceases. It is even useful to raise the
feet higher than the head, by placing bricks or blocks under the feet
of the bed. The covering on the bed should be light, only just what is
necessary to keep one comfortable, and the windows should be kept open.
Light food should be sparingly taken for a day or two; not much liquid,
and nothing hot should be drunk. A towel, wrung out of cold water,
placed over the abdomen or wherever pain is felt, and changed when warm
for a fresh cold towel (see Bleeding), will help to soothe the pain,
allay the hemorrhage, and induce sleep. The mind should be kept at
ease, for such precautions, taken in time, will probably put all right.
After the hemorrhage has entirely ceased, and all pain disappeared,
some days should be spent in bed, and active life be only gradually and
cautiously returned to. When there is danger of miscarriage, purgatives
should be avoided; a mild enema is a safer remedy, if needful, but for
two or three days perfect rest is best, and if the food be restricted,
the absence of a motion of the bowels will not do any harm. The patient
should, of course, have the bed to herself.
Miscarriages most frequently occur from the 8th to the 12th week of
pregnancy. The time at which the menses would appear if there were no
pregnancy, is a more likely time for a miscarriage than any other.
It should be remembered that miscarriages are very weakening and
lowering to the general health, and to be dreaded much more than a
confinement. The latter is a natural process, and, under healthy
conditions, recovery of strength after it is rapid, while a miscarriage
is unnatural, and is frequently followed by months of ill-health.
Another thing to be remembered is that a habit of miscarriage may be
established; after one, or more especially after two or three, there is
likelihood of a further repetition of such accidents, resulting in
total break-up of health.