Nursing Over

Sources: 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.