Child Birth | Pregnancy, Labor, Parturition | Management At Home | Natural Products | Old Fashioned Information | The Vintage Woman.

Child Birth | Pregnancy, Labor, Parturition | Management At Home | Natural Products | Time Honored Tips

Child Birth | Pregnancy, Labor, Parturition | Management At Home | Natural Products | Time Honored Tips

Perhaps there is no more eventful period in the history of woman than that in which she first becomes conscious that the existence of another being is dependent upon her own and that she carries about with her the first tiny rudiments of an immortal soul.

The signs of pregnancy are various. Many females are troubled with colic pains, creeping of the skin, shuddering, and fainting fits immediately on conception taking place. Where such symptoms occur immediately after connection, they are a certain indication of impregnation.

A remarkable change takes place in the face in most cases, varying in time from three days to three months. The eyes are dull and heavy, and present a glassy appearance; the nose pinched up; the skin becomes pale and livid, and the whole countenance appears as if five or ten years’ advance in life had been taken at a single step.

Another important and remarkable sign, and one the most to be relied on, is an increase in the size of the neck. This often occurs at a very early period, and many females, by keeping a careful daily measurement of the neck, can always tell when they are pregnant.

A suppression of the menstrual flow is another strong presumptive sign. It is true a partial flow of the menses often occurs after pregnancy, from the lower part of the womb, but when the flow is suddenly stopped without any apparent cause, pregnancy is generally the predisposing cause.

Soon after conception the stomach often becomes affected with what is called morning sickness. On first awaking, the female feels as well as usual, but on rising from her bed qualmishness begins and perhaps while in the act of dressing retching and vomiting takes place.

This symptom may occur almost immediately after conception, but it most frequently commences for the first time between two and three weeks after. Now and then it is experienced only during the last six weeks or two months of pregnancy, and subsides about the time the movements of the child begin to be felt.

Changes in the breast are generally considered as strong signs of pregnancy. When two months of pregnancy have been completed, an uneasy sensation of throbbing and stretching fullness is experienced, accompanied by tingling about the middle of the breasts, centering in the nipples.

A sensible alteration in their appearance soon follows, they grow larger and more firm. The nipple becomes more prominent, and the circle around its base altered in color and structure, constituting what is called the areola, and as pregnancy advances milk is secreted.

The period of gestation, at which these changes may occur, varies much in different females. Sometimes, with the exception of the secretion of the milk, they are recognized very soon after conception; in other instances, particularly in females of a weakly and delicate constitution, they are hardly perceptible until pregnancy is far advanced or even drawing toward its termination.

The changes in the form and size of the breasts may be the result of causes unconnected with pregnancy. They may enlarge in consequence of marriage, from the individual becoming stout and fat or from accidental suppression of the monthly flow.

The changes which take place in the nipple, and around its base, are of the utmost value as an evidence of pregnancy.

About the sixth or seventh week after conception has taken place, if the nipple be examined it will be found becoming turgid and prominent, and a circle forming around its base, of a color deeper in its shade than rose or flesh color, slightly tinged with a yellowish or brownish hue, and here and there upon its surface will be seen little prominent points from about ten to twenty in number.

In the progress of the next six or seven weeks these changes are fully developed, the nipple becoming more prominent and turgid than ever, the circle around it of larger dimensions, the skin being soft, bedewed with a slight degree of moisture, frequently staining the linen in contact with it; the little prominences of larger size, and the color of the whole very much deepened.

Calculations of the duration of pregnancy, founded upon what has been observed to occur after casual intercourse, or perhaps a single act, in individuals who can have no motive to tell us what is false, are likely to be correct.

The conclusion drawn from these is, that labor usually, but not invariably, comes on about 280 days after conception, a mature child being sometimes born before the expiration of the forty weeks, and at other times not until that time has been exceeded by several days.

A case is on record where the pregnancy lasted 287 days. In this case the labor did not take place until that period had elapsed from the departure of the husband for the East Indies, consequently the period might have been longer than 287 days.

Childbirth is a natural process, and however complicated and painful habits or disease have made it, yet the work must be left to nature. Any efforts to assist or hurry matters will only end in harm. The only cases where interference is justifiable is where her powers are exhausted or some malformation exists or malpresentation occurs.

When labor is about to commence, the womb descends into the bottom of the belly and the motions and weight of the child will be felt much lower down than usual. If in a natural position the head will fall to the mouth of the womb and press upon it. This drives forward the membranes which retain the water at the orifice, and at the proper moment they break and labor then commences.

Labor is caused by involuntary contractions of the uterus and abdominal muscles. By their force the liquor amnii flows out, the head of the fetus is engaged in the pelvis, it goes through it, and soon passes out by the valve, the folds of which disappear.

These different phenomena take place in succession and continue a certain time. They are accompanied with pains more or less severe, with swelling and softening of the soft parts of the pelvis and external genital parts, and with an abundant mucous secretion in the cavity of the vagina.

All these circumstances, each in its own way, favor the passage of the fetus. It is proper here to remark that parturition is not necessarily either painful or dangerous. It is well known that women in an uncivilized state suffer very little pain or disablement in bringing forth children.

Generally neither pregnancy nor labor interrupt the ordinary avocation of the mother, except for an hour or two at the birth itself. The suffering and debilitating influences that often attend childbirth now are caused by our unnatural modes of living and non attention to the laws of health.

Numerous well-authenticated instances are known where women who had previously suffered with severe labor in childbirth have, by attention to health and diet as here shown, been delivered of fine healthy children with comparative ease.

From the beginning of pregnancy more than ordinary care should be used in taking regular exercise in the open air, being careful to avoid fatigue and overexertion. During the whole period of pregnancy every kind of agitating exercise, such as running, jumping, jolting in a carriage, and plunging in cold water, should be carefully avoided, as well as the passions being kept under perfect control.

The diet must chiefly consist of fruits and farinaceous food, as sago, tapioca, rice, etc. In proportion as a woman subsists upon aliment which is free from earthy and bony matter will she avoid pain and danger in delivery; hence, the more ripe fruit, acid fruit in particular, and the less of other kinds of food, but particularly of bread or pastry of any kind, is consumed, the less will be the danger and sufferings of childbirth.

Nearly all kinds of fruit possess two hundred times less ossifying principle than bread or anything else made of wheaten flour. Honey, molasses, sugar, butter, oil, vinegar, etc., when unadulterated, are entirely free from earthy matter.

Common salt, pepper, coffee, cocoa, spices, and many drugs are much worse than wheaten flour in their hardening and bone-forming tendency, and should therefore be avoided. The drink should be tea or lemonade made with water, soft and clear, and, when practicable, distilled.

No mother who has adopted this mode of living but has blessed the knowledge of it, and it has saved many a young mother from needless terror. In the third month of pregnancy, but not before, the belly begins to enlarge or swell, and gradually increases in size till the full term of pregnancy is completed. Between the sixteenth and twentieth week the womb rises up into the belly, and the motion of the child is felt, which is called

Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.