Homeopathic remedies for the symptoms of Infants from A Dictionary of Domestic Medicine by John H.Clarke….

DISEASES OF INFANTS INFANTS, NEWLY-BORN.- As it often happens that the child is born before the arrival of the doctor, it is very necessary that nurses and others should be able to act in emergencies. The first thing to remember regarding the child is that it is often apparently dead when born, but not really so.

Apparent Death.- If the cord is round the child’s neck, unbind it. If the cord pulsates, leave it uncut. Gently insert the finger into the child’s mouth, and clear out any fluid or membrane that my be there. On withdrawing the finger, there will generally be an effort to breathe. If there is none, cut the cord, and allow it to bleed a little before tying; then place the child in a hot bath and pour a little cold water on the back of the neck. If there is still no effort to breathe, make slow and gentle pressure on the chest, taking it between the two hands and allowing it to expand again. These measures must be persevered with as patience has been rewarded with a living child after two or there hours.

Management of the Child.- As soon as the child has given evidence of vitality by its cry on the rosy flush of its skin, it may be separated from its mother. The cord should be tied about an inch and a half from the child’s body, and again about an inch nearer the mother. The best material is several stands of strong threat, twisted into a coil, or a piece of narrow tape. It should be put once around only, and then firmly tied. Between the two ligatures it should be cut. The child should be washed as soon as possible, and in the meantime wrapped in flannel.

Washing.- As soon as possible after it is born the child should be washed in warm water. It is covered with a sebaceous substance which is difficult to remove. This must be rubbed with a little lard, which will soften it and make it easy to wash off with soap and flannel. The child should be washed once a day in water not too warm; by degrees it may be accustomed to cool or cold water. After washing it should be wiped dry with a soft towel.

The Eyes.- The following directions are taken from the author’s Prescriber:- Immediately after birth the nurse must wash the infant’s eyes with greatest possible care, removing all traces of mucus. For this purpose a fine linen rag, dipped in clean water, may be used. Beginning at the outer corner, the eyelids are gently wiped from side to side, until all traces of mucus are removed, and the eyelids remain perfectly clean. Spongers must never be used. As soon as the child’s eyes are thus washed clean and dried the nurse is to wash her own hands most carefully in water with which carbolic acid, Condy’s fluid, or other disinfectant has been mixed.

If in the first few days after birth signs of inflammation appear-redness, swelling, and sticking together of the lids the greatest care must be taken. If from any reason the doctor cannot be attendance immediately, the nurse must herself cleanse the eyes in the following manner: A perfectly clean and very soft piece of linen is moistened with tepid water; any excess of water is then squeezed out. The muco-purulent discharge between the eyelids if is wiped off very gently-without scrubbing or scratching; special attention being paid to the inner corner of the eyelid, where the mucus particularly accumulates. After repeatedly rinsing the linen in clean water, the upper eyelid is gently raised by means of the thumb placed on the eyelid immediately above the lashes, but without making any undue pressure. The muco-purulent matter which escapes is removed with a rag as often as it appears. In the next place, the lower eyelid is drawn down with the forefinger, and also wiped with great care. If the eyelids stick together, they must be moistened with water until separation takes place without any effort. The water used in cleansing the eyes must be perfectly pure; no milk or soap is to be mixed with it. After each cleansing a drop of the solution of Argent. nit. indicated below is to be introduced into each eye.

Medical Treatment.- Argentum nit. 3, 2h. is to be administered. After well washing, a drop of a solution of Argentum nit. (two grains to the ounce) to be introduced into the eye.

The Navel.- When the child is washed and ready for dressing the navel must be attended to. Take four thicknesses of very fine soft linen, cut a hole in the centre by doubling them into four and snipping off the points.

Nurses insist on charring the edges of the hole thus made, and no objection needed be raised to the practice, though the object of it is not very apparent; place the cord through the hole and turn it up, laying it on one fold of the linen; then turn the sides of the doubled fold thus made over the cord again, so wrapping it up. The child’s clothes will then keep it in place. The navel generally shrivels up and drops off in about a week.

John Henry Clarke
John Henry Clarke MD (1853 – November 24, 1931 was a prominent English classical homeopath. Dr. Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes. For many years, he was the editor of The Homeopathic World. He wrote many books, his best known were Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica and Repertory of Materia Medica