Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine,  7 (1858–59), 148–52.

A Surgeon's Advice to Mothers: On the Rearing, Management, and Diseases of Children  [3/9]



Essay, Serial


Medical Treatment, Human Development, Gender, Health, Nutrition, Physiology, Pharmaceuticals

    Outlines other 'sources of harm' that result from too close a contact between a baby and its mother or nurse. These include the dangers to the baby of suffocation and of sucking the breast after the mother has fallen asleep—a danger which it claims is equally injurious to the mother's health. Emphasises that it does not intend to dissuade mothers from 'adopting a course that is based on physical principles'—i.e. breast-feeding. (148) Proceeds to a detailed discussion of milk and the best diet and exercise for a suckling mother, with special reference to the dangers of consuming wines and spirits, and the benefits of malt liquor and stout. Describes the powerful effect of porter in increasing the secretion of milk and urges the use of a breast pump for drawing off superabundance of milk. Upholds the cleansing and nutritive function of the 'first' secreted milk and condemns its artificial and 'unctuous' replacements—the castor oil of the physician or the 'objectionable [...] nostrum' of the matron—as injurious to the baby's health (150–51). Strongly objects to 'physicking new-born children' and advocates administering medicine through the mother (151). Explains, with reference to physiological processes, how to deal with the problem of over-feeding babies with milk and of babies' pains in the stomach, bowel, and bladder. Notes the time period after which 'Nature has ordained the child shall live by other means' and explains why accustoming the child to the 'bottle' can strengthen the health of mother and child (152).

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