A Surgeon's Advice to Mothers: On the Rearing, Management, and Diseases of Children [1/9]
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Gender, Health, Physiology, Vitalism, Natural Theology, Natural Economy, Nutrition, Disease
Opens by comparing the 'human body, materially considered' to a 'beautiful piece of mechanism, consisting of many parts, each one being the centre of a system, and performing its own vital function irrespectively of the others, and yet dependent for its vitality upon the harmony and health of the whole' (89). Compares the balanced mechanism of the human body to that of a watch. Notes some of the 'vital actions' of the body that follow inhalation of air, and the effect of air on a new-born child—the 'matchless "piece of work" that God has entrusted' to a mother (90). Gives detailed physiological descriptions of three interrelated 'vital' functions—respiration, circulation, and digestion—and their importance in the economy of life. Description of respiration includes physiological reasons why hot-baths remedy lung disorders. Description of digestion stresses that the stomach can only digest solids and explains how babies can survive on milk.
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