LXIII. Swelling of the Breasts.
The breasts of newly-born infants, particularly girls, are sometimes found to be swollen. This condition, not being one of disease, will generally pass off of itself. There is, however, no objection, should they become very large, to a little gentle friction with a mixture of Olive-oil and Tincture of Camphor, which will hasten the dispersion of the swelling.
Should an ignorant nurse produce inflammation, as has too often been done, by the cruel practice of squeezing the breasts, active treatment becomes necessary.
REMEDIES. Chamomilla. Redness, tenderness and swelling of the breasts.
Belladonna. Breast hard and much discoloured.
Hepar Sulph. Sings of a gathering.
ACCESSORY MEANS. A bread-and-milk poultice should be applied till the painfulness diminish. Should a gathering form, a poultice should be applied frequently till suppuration has taken place, and the matter discharged. Hot fomentations are also useful.
LXIV. Infantile Whites (Leucorrhoea).
Little girls, particularly those of a scrofulous constitution, or who are not kept scrupulously clean, are liable to a discharge from the passage to the womb. This is sometimes the cause of much misery, the parents often supposing that the child has been abused. An examination soon reveals the true nature of the disease, the discharge proceeding from the external parts only, the passage itself being undisturbed. In some cases the discharge acquired infectious properties, and runs a violent course.
REMEDIES. Calcarea Carb. Yellowish, bland discharge.
Pulsatilla. Profuse milky discharge.
Mercurius-Corr. Thin, harsh discharge; soreness of the parts.
ACCESSORY MEANS. Washing frequently with tepid milk-and-water; fresh air, Cod-liver-oil, and salt-water baths are also beneficial.
LXV. Ruptured Navel (Umbilical Hernia).
When the navel-string is separated, there is a liability, more especially in male children, of the navel to swell out, forming a roundish tumour. A natural weakness of the part, and violent crying or straining, are common causes.
TREATMENT. A piece of cork, or ivory, a trifle larger than the swelling, rounded a little on one side, or a piece of sheet-lead covered with soft leather or linen, and held in place by a moderately tight-fitting bandage for one or two months, or until the parts have grown strong, may effect a complete cure.
REMEDIES. A dose of Nux Vomica at bedtime, and of Sulphur in the morning, for two or three weeks, will hasten the cure.
LXVI Wetting the Bed (Incontinence of Urine).
This is a frequent and troublesome affection of children, dependent upon causes often difficult to find out; it may consist of partial or complete loss of power to hold the urine. In rare cases, the child has an almost incessant urging to pass water, which, if not responded to, results in painless, involuntary discharge.
CAUSES. 1. Worms; scrofulous or syphilitic constitution; too large a quantity of warm fluids in the evening; food or drink causing an acid state of the urine; stone in the bladder; tumours; etc.
REMEDIES. Phosphorus-Acid. Excessive, pale, or watery urine.
Benzoic Acid. High-coloured and strong-smelling urine.
Cantharis. Reddish urine, passed with heat and pain; feverishness.
Chamomilla. Uneasiness in urinating, indigestion, and sourness of breath.
Gelsem. m. Inability to retain the urine, night or day.
Ferrum. Inability to hold the urine during the day.
Cina., Spigelia, or Calcarea carb., from Thread worms.
ACCESSORY MEANS. Only when it is the result of indolent habits should punishment be resorted to. All salt. sharp, and sour food, malt-liquors spirits, tea, and coffee should be avoided. Meat may be eaten in moderate quantities, but only a small quantity of fruit, and no windy food. Nothing hot should be taken in the after-part of the day. Simple water, milk-and-water, and cocoa in moderation tend to diminish the harsh properties of the urine. The mother or nurse should be quite certain that the child fully empties his bladder before getting into bed. Sponging the lower part of the back, at bed-time, with good friction after it, is sometimes alone curative. Patients should have cold baths every morning, and take much open-air exercise.