Under ordinary circumstances the child is to be kept at the breast for one year. But if within this time the menstrual period should recur and be profuse, or should the woman again become pregnant, the quality of the milk becomes poor, and necessitates the immediate weaning of the child; the character of the milk is also altered, and even its secretion may be checked. Nervous agitation may so alter the quality of the milk as to make it poisonous. A fretful temper, fits of anger, grief, and sudden terror not only lessen the quantity of the milk, but render it thin and unhealthful, inducing disturbances of the child’s bowels, diarrhea, and so forth.
Position of the Mother When Nursing.— When in bed in the recumbent position, the mother should lie on that side from which the infant is going to nurse; when up, the mother should sit erect.
Care of the Nipples.— Immediately after each nursing the nipples should be washed off in a saturated solution of boric acid in cold water, and dried with a soft cloth. If they are disposed to crack, anoint them with cocoa-butter immediately after each cleansing. If the skin of the nipple is very sensitive, a nipple-shield should be used for the first few days; or should the nipple become sore at any time, the shield can be resorted to. The nipple-shield must fit tightly; the best ones are made of glass with a rubber tip. In the intervals of nursing the nipple-shield should be kept in cold water after it has been thoroughly cleansed by being brushed on both sides.
The breasts are sometimes distended from an over-secretion of milk; this is relieved by saline cathartics, by abstinence from liquids, and by the use of a compression breast bandage. This is made of a straight piece of muslin, with a shallow notch cut in one edge for the neck, and, a deep one for each arm; the bandage is closely applied over the breasts, and the ends pinned in front; it is also pinned over the shoulders.
In debilitated women the supply of milk may be insufficient; the most reliable evidence of this is the fact that the infant ceases to gain in weight.
THE NEW-BORN INFANT.
The Infant’s Toilet; the Crib;
Feeding of Infants; Artificial Feeding;
the Wet-nurse; Characteristics of Healthy Infants; the Stools;
Constipation; Urination; Dentition.
“O thou child of many prayers,
Life hath quicksands; life hath snares.”
The Infant’s Toilet.— So soon as the mother has been made comfortable, the toilet of the infant is attended to. This should be made near the register or stove; and the lap of the nurse should be covered with a small flannel blanket. The baby’s body will be found to be covered over with a white, greasy, somewhat cheesy substance; some sort of grease is needed for its removal; rendered lard, sweet oil, and lanolin are the best; vaselin