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Source: Papers On Health
Few vital processes are more remarkable than that by
which food fitted for adults becomes in the mother's breast food fit
for the little infant. In nursing it is well to remember that all food
is not equally fit to be so changed. Well-boiled porridge, of either
oat or wheaten meal, is probably as good as can be got. Malt liquor,
though causing a large flow of milk, most seriously deteriorates its
quality, and should be entirely avoided. But in this article we think
chiefly of the mother, and of the necessary drain of blood and vital
force which she bears in nursing. In most cases this drain is easily
borne, in others the child is fed at the mother's expense. The supply
of power, in such cases, is not equal to the loss of it in feeding the
child, and the reserve in the mother's body is slowly used up. She
becomes thin and pale, and her nervous system begins to suffer. When
this is the case, either means must be used to increase her vital
power, or nursing must at once be given up. Of course, where she may
have had insufficient or unsuitable food, a change of diet may work a
cure; but, as a rule, the drain of nursing will have to be stopped. To
help her restoration, whether she ceases to nurse or not, use the
following mixture and treatment: Boil a stick of best liquorice for
half-an-hour in a quart of good soft water. Add one quarter of an ounce
of camomile flowers, and boil for another half-hour. Keep the water up
to the quantity by adding boiling water as required. Strain the
mixture, and give a dessertspoonful thrice a day before meals. If the
dessertspoonful be found too much, a teaspoonful may be taken. The
patient, if any heart trouble is felt, should go to bed early, and have
the feet and legs fomented, and cold cloths pressed over the heart.
This may be done for three or four nights. After this, each night for a
fortnight the back should be well washed with SOAP (see) and hot
water, and rubbed with vinegar and hot olive oil. Let each be dried off
before the other is applied.
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