Searchlights on Health/Pains and Ills in Nursing

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PAINS AND ILLS IN NURSING.

1. SORE NIPPLES.—If a lady, during the latter few months of her pregnancy, where to adopt "means to harden the nipples," sore nipples during the period of suckling would not be so prevalent as they are.

2. CAUSE.—A sore nipple is frequently produced by the injudicious custom of allowing the child to have the nipple almost constantly in his mouth. Another frequent cause of a sore nipple is from the babe having the canker. Another cause of a sore nipple is from the mother, after the babe has been sucking, putting up the nipple wet. She, therefore, ought always to dry the nipple, not by rubbing, but by dabbing it with a soft cambric or lawn handkerchief, or with a piece of soft linen rag one or the other of which ought always to be at hand every time directly after the child has done sucking, and just before applying any of the following powders or lotions to the nipple.

3. REMEDIES.—One of the best remedies for a sore nipple is the following powder:

Take of Borax, one drachm;
Powdered Starch, seven drachms.

Mix. A pinch of the powder to be frequently applied to the nipple.

If the above does not cure, try Glycerine by applying it each time after nursing.

4. GATHERED BREAST.—A healthy woman with a well-developed breast and a good nipple, scarcely, if ever, has a gathered bosom; it is the delicate, the ill-developed breasted and worse-developed nippled lady who usually suffers from this painful complaint. And why? The evil can generally be traced to girlhood. If she be brought up luxuriously, her health and her breasts are sure to be weakened, and thus to suffer, more especially if the development of the bosoms and nipples has been arrested and interfered with by tight stays and corsets. Why, the nipple is by them drawn in, and retained on the level with the breast countersunk as though it were of no consequence to her future well-being, as though it were a thing of nought.

5. TIGHT LACERS.—Tight lacers will have to pay the penalties of which they little dream. Oh, the monstrous folly of such proceedings! When will mothers awake from their lethargy? It is high time that they did so! From the mother having "no nipple," the effects of tight lacing, many a home has been made childless, the babe not being able to procure its proper nourishment, and dying in consequence! It is a frightful state of things! But fashion, unfortunately, blinds the eyes and deafens the ears of its votaries!

6. BAD BREAST.—A gathered bosom, or "bad breast," as it is sometimes called, is more likely to occur after a first confinement and during the first month. Great care, therefore, ought to be taken to avoid such a misfortune. A gathered breast is frequently owing to the carelessness of a mother in not covering her bosoms during the time she is suckling. Too much attention cannot be paid to keeping the breasts comfortably warm. This, during the act of nursing, should be done by throwing either a shawl or a square of flannel over the neck, shoulders, and bosoms.

7. ANOTHER CAUSE.—Another cause of gathered breasts arises from a mother sitting up in bed to suckle her babe. He ought to be accustomed to take the bosom while she is lying down; if this habit is not at first instituted, it will be difficult to adopt it afterwards. Good habits may be taught a child from earliest babyhood.

8. FAINTNESS.—When a nursing mother feels faint, she ought immediately to lie down and take a little nourishment; a cup of tea with the yolk of an egg beaten up in it, or a cup of warm milk, or some beef-tea, any of which will answer the purpose extremely well. Brandy, or any other spirit we would not recommend, as it would only cause, as soon as the immediate effects of the stimulant had gone off, a greater depression to ensue; not only so, but the frequent taking of brandy might become a habit a necessity which would be a calamity deeply to be deplored!

9. STRONG PURGATIVES.—Strong purgatives during this period are highly improper, as they are apt to give pain to the infant, as well as to injure the mother. If it be absolutely necessary to give physic, the mildest, such as a dose of castor oil, should be chosen.

10. HABITUALLY COSTIVE.—When a lady who is nursing is habitually costive, she ought to eat brown instead of white bread. This will, in the majority of cases, enable her to do without an aperient. The brown bread may be made with flour finely ground all one way; or by mixing one part of bran and three parts of fine wheaten flour together, and then making it in the usual way into bread. Treacle instead of butter, on the brown bread increases its efficacy as an aperient; and raw should be substituted for lump sugar in her tea.

11. TO PREVENT CONSTIPATION.—Stewed prunes, or stewed French plums, or stewed Normandy pippins, are excellent remedies to prevent constipation. The patient ought to eat, every morning, a dozen or fifteen of them. The best way to stew either prunes or French plums, is the following: Put a pound of either prunes or French plums, and two tablespoonfuls of raw sugar, into a brown jar; cover them with water; put them into a slow oven, and stew them for three or four hours. Both stewed rhubarb and stewed pears often act as mild and gentle aperients. Muscatel raisins, eaten at dessert, will oftentimes without medicine relieve the bowels.

12. COLD WATER—A tumblerful of cold water, taken early every morning, sometimes effectually relieves the bowels; indeed, few people know the value of cold water as an aperient it is one of the best we possess, and, unlike drug aperients, can never by any possibility do any harm. An injection of warm water is one of the best ways to relieve the bowels.

13. WELL-COOKED VEGETABLES.—Although a nursing mother ought, more especially if she be costive, to take a variety of well-cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, French beans, spinach, stewed celery and turnips; she should avoid eating greens, cabbages, and pickles, as they would be likely to affect the babe, and might cause him to suffer from gripings, from pain, and "looseness" of the bowels.

14. SUPERSEDE THE NECESSITY OF TAKING PHYSIC.—Let me again—for it cannot be too urgently insisted upon—strongly advise a nursing mother to use every means in the way of diet, etc., to supersede the necessity of taking physic (opening medicine), as the repetition of aperients injures, and that severely, both herself and child. Moreover, the more opening medicine she swallows, the more she requires; so that if she once gets into the habit of regularly taking physic, the bowels will not act without them. What a miserable existence to be always swallowing physic!