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.