|Morning Sickness and Lancinating Pain|
|Pregnancy and Childbirth|
|Page 1 2 3|
|For the first Canadians, when a woman was in labour and felt that her time was at hand, she would leave her dwelling and go into the forest with another woman chosen beforehand to act as her birthing coach. The mother would give the woman, the knife with which the cord had been cut, as payment for her services.
The baby would then be washed in a nearby stream, even in winter, 'to fortify his skin against the rigour of the bitter cold', and then wrapped in animal skins, with a bundle of moss placed underneath him like a diaper, so as not to soil his clothing. The first nourishment given was fish oil or melted animal fat, which he would be forced to swallow, and after that, only his mother's milk until he was strong enough 'to live as the others do'.
|By the Victorian Era, pregnancy and childbirth; at least for the immigrants and their descendants; had a much more scientific approach, and from the moment that a young woman learned that she was 'in the family way', her life stood still. Fortunately, Light on Dark Corners was there to guide her through the entire process.|
|Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy|
|1. THE FIRST SIGN - The first sign that leads a lady to suspect that she is pregnant is her ceasing to be well. This provided she has before been in good health, is a strong symptom of pregnancy, but still there must be others to corroberate it.
2. ABNORMAL CONDITION - Occassionally, women menstruate during the entire time of gestation. This, without doubt, is an abnormal condition, and should be remedied, as disastrous consequences could result.
3. MAY PROCEED FROM OTHER CAUSES - But a ceasing to be well may proecced from other causes than that of pregnancy, such as disease or disorder of the womb or other organs of the body - especially the lungs - it is not by itself alone entirely to be depended upon, although, as a single sign, it is, especially if the patient be healthy; one of the most reliable signs of pregnancy.
4. MORNING SICKNESS - If this does not arise from a disordered stomach, it is a trustworthy sign of pregnancy. A lady who has once had morning-sickness can always for future distinguish it from each and from any other sickness; it is a peculiar sickness which no other sickness can simulte.
5. A THIRD SYMPTOM - A third symptom is shooting, throbbing and lancinating pains in, and enlargement of the breasts, with soreness of the nipples, occurring about the second month. In some instances, after the first few months, a small quantity of watery fluid or a little milk, may be squeezed out of them.
6. A DARK BROWN AREOLA OR MARK - around the nipple is another one of the distinguishing signs of pregnancy - more especially of a first pregnancy.
7. QUICKENING - Quickening (refers to a precipitous or confused motion, or more simply put that the baby is kicking) is one of the most important signs of pregnancy, and one of the most valuable, as at the moment it occurs, as a rule, the motion of the child is first felt, whilst, at the same time, there is a sudden increase in the size of the abdomen.
8. INCREASED SIZE AND HARDNESS OF THE ABDOMEN - This is very characteristic of pregnancy. When a lady is not pregnant, the abdomen is soft and flaccid; when she is pregnant, and after she has quickened, the abdomen over the area of the womb, is hard and resisiting.
9. EXCITABILITY OF MIND - Excitability of mind is very common in pregnancy, more especially if the patient be delicate; indeed; especially is a sign of debility, and requires plenty of good nourishment, but few stimulants.
10. ERUPTIONS OF THE SKIN - Principally on the face, neck or throat, are tell-tales of pregnancy, and to an experienced matron, publish the fact that an acquaintance thus marked is pregnant.
11. THE FETAL HEART - In the fifth month there is a sign which, if detected, furnishes indisputable evidence of conception, and that is the sound of the child's heart. If the ear be placed on the abdomen, over the womb, the beating of the fetal heart can sometimes be heard quite plainly, and by the use of an instrument called the 'stethoscope', the sounds can be still more plainly heard.
|Diseases of Pregnancy|
|1. COSTIVE STATE OF THE BOWELS - A costive state of the bowels is common in pregnancy; a mild laxative is therefore occasionally necessary. The mildest must be selected, as a strong purgative is highly improper, and even dangerous.
2. LAXATIVES - The best laxatives are castor oil, salad oil, compound rhubarb pills, honey, stewed prunes, stewed rhubarb, Muscatel raisins, figs, grapes, roasted apples, baked pears, stewed Normandy pippins, coffee, brown bread and treacle, Scotch oatmeal made with new milk or water, or with equal parts milk and water.
3. PILLS - When the motions be hard, and when the bowels are easily acted upon, two, or three, or four pill made from Castile soap will frequently answer the purpose; and if they will, are far better than any ordinary laxative. The following is a good form:
Castile soap, five scruples;
Oil of Caraway, six drops;
To make-twenty four pills. Two, or three, or four, to be taken at bedtime, occasionally.
|4. HONEY - A teaspoon full of honey, either taken at breakfast or dissolved in a cup of tea, will frequently, comfortably and effectually, open the bowels, and will supercede the necessity of taking laxative medicine.
5. NATURE'S MEDICINES - Exercise in the open air, occupation and household duties - on the contrary, not only at the time open the bowels, but keep up a proper action for the future; hence their inestimable superiority.
6. WARM WATER INJECTIONS - An excellent remedy for costiveness of pregnancy is an enema, of warm water, which the patient, by means of a self-injecting enema apparatus, may administer to herself.
|7. MUSCULAR PAINS OF THE ABDOMEN - The best remedy is an abdomenal belt contrived for pregnancy, and adjusted with proper straps and buckles to accomodate the gradually increasing size of the womb.
8. DIARRHOEA - Though the bowels in pregnancy are generally costive, they are sometimes in an opposite state, and are relaxed. Now, this relaxation is frequently owing to there having been prolonged constipation, and nature is trying to relieve herself by purging. Do not check it but allow it to have it's course, and take a little rhubarb or magnesia.
|9. FIDGETS - A pregnant lady sometimes suffers severely from "fidgets"; it generally affects her feet and legs, especially at night, so as to entirely destroy her sleep; she cannot lie still, she every few minutes moves, tosses and tumbles about. The treatment of "fidgets" consists of sleeping in a well-ventilated room, with either window or door open; a thorough ablution (washing or cleansing) of the entire body every morning with tepid water; avoiding stuffy or close rooms.
10. EXERCISE - If a lady, during the night, have the "fidgets", she should get out of bed; take a short walk up and down the room, being well protected by a dressing gown; empty her bladder; then turn her pillow, so as not to have the cold side next the head; and then lie down again; and the chances are that she will now fall asleep.
11. HEARTBURN - Heartburn is a common, and often a distressing symptom of pregnancy. The acid producing the heartburn is frequently much increased by an overloaded stomach. Great attention should be paid to the quantity of food, greens, pastry, hot buttered toast, melted butter, and everything that is rich and gross. The following mixture can also be tried:
Carbonate of Ammonia, half a drachm;
Bicarbonate of Soda, a drachm and a half;
Water, eight ounces
To make a mixture; Two tablespoons to be taken two or three times a day, until relief is obtained.
|12. WIND IN THE STOMACH AND BOWELS - This is a frequent reason why a pregnant lady cannot sleep at night. The two most frequent causes of flatulence are, first, the want of walking exercise during the day, and second, the eating of a hearty meal just before going to bed.
13. SWOLLEN LEGS FROM ENLARGED VEINS - The veins are frequently march enlarged and distended, causing the legs to be greatly swollen and very painful, preventing the patient from taking walking exercise. Swollen legs are owing to the pressure of the womb upon the blood-vessels above. The best plan would be for her to wear an elastic stocking, which ought to be made on purpose for her, in order that it may properly fit the leg and foot.
14. STRETCHING OF THE SKIN OF THE ABDOMEN - This is frequently, in a first pregnancy, distressing, from the soreness it causes. The best remedy is to rub the abdomen every night and morning with warm camphorated oil, and to wear a belt during the day and a broad flannel bandage at night, both of which should be put on moderately but comfortably tight.
15. BEFORE THE APPROACH OF LABOUR - The patient, before the approach of labour, ought to take particular care to have the bowels gently opened, as during that state, a costive state, greatly increases her sufferings and lengthens the period of her labour.
16. SWOLLEN AND PAINFUL BREASTS - The breasts are, at times, during pregnancy, much swollen and very painful. For treatment she cannot do better than to rub them well, every night with equal parts of Eau de Cologne and olive oil, and wear a piece of flannel over them; taking care to cover the nipples with soft linen; as the friction of the flannel might irritate them.
17. CRAMPS - Cramps of the legs and of the thighs during the latter period, and especially at night, are apt to attend pregnancy, and are caused by the womb pressing upon the nerves, which extend to the lower extremities. Treatment - tightly tie a handkerchief, folded like a neckerchief, round the limb a little above the part affected, and let it remain on for a few minutes. Friction by means of the hand either with opodeldoc (a camphorated soap liniment) or with laudanum, taking care not to drink the lotion by mistake (oh, dear), will also give relief.
18. THE WHITES - The whites during pregnancy, especially during the latter months, and particularly if the lady have had many children; are frequently troublesome, and are, in measure, occasioned by the pressure of the womb on the parts below, causing irritation. The best way, therefore, to obviate such pressure is for the patient to lie down a great part of the day on a sofa or bed
19. IRRITATION AND ITCHING OF THE EXTERNAL PARTS - This is a most troublesome affection, and may occur at any time, but more especially during the latter period of the pregnancy. Let her take a sitz-bath of warm water, considerably salted. Let her sit in the bath with the body thoroughly covered.
20. BILIOUSNESS - is defined by some as piggisness. Generally, it may be regarded as overfed. A light diet with plenty of acid fruit will end this trouble.
21. DERANGED APPETITE - Where the appetite fails, let the patient go without eating for awhile, say for two or three meals. If however, the strength begins to go, try the offering of some unexpected delicacy; or give small quantities of nourishing food.
22. PILES - For cases of significance, consult a physician. According to Dr Shaw: "There is nothing in the world that will give so great a relief in piles as fasting. If the fit is severe, live a whole day, or even two, if necessary, upon pure soft cold water alone. Give then very lightly of vegetable food."
23. TOOTHACHE - There is a certain proveb that a woman loses one tooth every time she has a child. Neuralgic toothache during pregnancy is, at any rate, extremely common and often has to be endured. If the teeth are decayed, consult a good dentist early in the pregnancy, and have the offending teeth properly dressed.
24. SALIVATION - Excessive secretion of the saliva has usually been reckoned substantially incurable. Fasting, cold water treatment, exercise and fruit diet may be relied on to prevent, cure or alleviate it, where this is possible, as it frequently is.
25. HEADACHE - This is perhaps, in pregnancy, almost as common as morning sickness. Correct living will prevent much headache trouble, and where this does not answer the purpose, rubbing and making magnetic passes over the head by the hand of some healthy person will often prove of great service.
26. LIVER-SPOTS - These, on the face, must proably be endured, as no trustworthy way of driving them off is known.
27. JAUNDICE - See the doctor.
28. FAINTING - Most likely to be caused by "quickening". Lay the patient in an easy posture, the head rather low than high, and where cool air may blow across the face; loosen the dress if tight; sprinkle cold water on the face and hands
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