The pupil of the eye then may be more dilated, but the brain assuredly is not so much affected; the breathing exhibits no difference exhibits no difference, and the skin is more healthy. In fact, the patient allows the delivery to take place without uttering those distressing cries, and without those contortions of the body, which have as frequently delayed as they have sometimes hastened the birth. The pulse, moreover, retains more of its natural character, and is not likely to exhibit that sudden fall which generally accompanies natural delivery.

The child being born, should immediately be taken into another room, and carefully cleansed by means of warm water and mild soap. The water should not be either too warm or too cold-a temperature of about 70 to 80 degrees will be found the most suitable.

The dress should be loose, and merely sufficient for the purposes of warmth.

While this is being done, the lady should be allowed to enjoy that sense of repose which her late struggles will render acceptable. Upon her awaking, or unclosing her eyes and looking around her, the child should be placed by her side.* *Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps, Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps; She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies, Smiles on her slumbering child with pensive eyes, And weaves a song of melancholy joy * If it is inclined to suck, though no milk may as yet have appeared in the breast, the instinct should be gratified. The efforts of the infant will frequently favour the development of the secretion, and the pains and tension which generally announce the appearance of the lactiferous fluid will be materially eased.

The practice which I have just recommended.

“Sleep, image of thy father, sleep, my boy;

No lingering hour of sorrow shall be thine;

No sigh that rends thy father’s heart and mine;

Bright as his manly sire the son shall be

In form and soul: but, ah! more blest than he!

Thy fame, thy worth, thy filial love at last,

Shall soothe his aching heart for all the past-

With many a smile my solitude repay,

And chase the world’s ungenerous scorn away.

“And say, when summon’d from the world and thee,

I lay my head beneath the willow tree,

Wilt thou, sweet mourner, at my stone appear,

And soothe my parted spirit lingering near? is contrary to that followed by most medical obstetricians in this kingdom; but it is accordance with the precepts of nature, which should take precedence and priority of all schools and colleges.

There is another foolish custom too frequently observed by practitioners and midwives in this country. I allude to the habit


Oh, wilt thou come at evening hour to shed

The tears of memory o’er my narrow bed;

With aching temples on thy hand reclined,

Muse on the last farewell I leave behind,

Breathe a deep sigh to winds that murmur low,

And think on all my love and all my woe?”

So speaks affection, are the infant eye

Can look, regard, or brighten in reply,

But when the cherub lip hath learnt to claim.

A mother’s ear by that endearing name;

Soon as the playful innocent can prove

A tear of pity, or a smile of love,

Or cons his murmuring task beneath her ear;

Or lisps with holy look his evening prayer,

Or gazing, mutely pensive, sits to hear

The mournful ballad warbled in his ear;

Now fondly looks admiring Hope the while,

At every artless tear and every smile;

Now glows the joyous parent to descry

A guileless bosom, true to sympathy! forbidding a lady to change her position for hours and even days subsequent to delivery. Not even the necessary offices of cleanliness are allowed to interfere with the strictness of this prohibition; but the poor sufferer is to remain motionless, till the limbs become cramped, the secretions putrid, the body sickly from a sense of filth, and all desire for movement has disappeared.

The above custom, to which I have briefly alluded, is attended with yet greater evil, both to mother and child. The nourishment for the infant becomes depraved; the appetite of the mother is destroyed; and that terrible and too frequent a visitor of the lying-in chamber, “puerperal fever”, steps in, and changes the cheerful and happy home into one of grief and mourning.

To avoid these consequences the room should be kept well- aired and sweet; avoid draughts of air if possible, but rather hazarding them than provoking the certainty which follows closeness of atmosphere. The room should never have any peculiarity of smell; it should never feel warmer than the passage which leads to it, unless the weather be very cold indeed. I know from experience that nurses are too fond of fires, and will kindle them under pretence of benefiting the baby; such excuse is, however, nonsense. When a mother has perished of cold on the Alpine ranges, the infant at her breast has survived, and exhibited but little suffering.

With regard to children generally, they suffer more from coddling than neglect; or, at all events, should the patient deem a fire imperative for the welfare of her offspring, this may be lighted in another room. For the first day or two after delivery, all forms of nourishment should be taken as cool as possible; there is danger always of flooding, and this constitutes one of the first perils which attend the consummation of labour. But if the foregoing instructions be attended to, the position of the body is of comparatively slight importance; but it obviously must be wrong to enforce a recumbent posture to stay haemorrhage, and then also to quicken and strengthen the pulse by the administration of hot fluids.

The diet of a lady just confined should, for the first two days, consist of well-made gruel, panada, arrowroot, and boiled milk, with a biscuit or thinly toasted bread; care being taken, in every instance, that the warmth has disappeared before the sustenance is offered to the patient: from the third to the fifth day, of chicken-broth, mutton-broth, beef-tea, cocoa, boiled sole or whiting, a mutton chop, or boiled mutton: after this, the more solid of the animal foods may be selected, such as roast or boiled chicken, a chop boiled or stewed, boiled mutton, or a slice of meat off a roast leg or shoulder of mutton: and a proper amount of vegetables may likewise be taken.

What are termed “after-pains”, ensuing upon child-birth, are subject to variation in every respect. They generally appear about thirty or forty minutes after delivery, and seldom continue beyond the second or third day. They are caused by the contractions of the uterus, and are accompanied by a slight involuntary convulsion. These efforts, however, are natural and healthful, for they serve to contract the walls of the distended womb, to check haemorrhage, and expel the coagulums which may accumulate within the cavity of that organ.

This expulsion is much favoured by the body being propped up in bed, in a kind of half-sitting position, for a quarter of an hour, or a little longer, two or three times a day during the first week of convalescence. It, however, very often happens that after-pains occur with more than ordinary severity, and assuming in many respects a continuation of regular labour pains. In such cases, there is generally tenderness on pressure over the uterine region; the pulse is quickened, the patient feels exhausted, and sleep is interfered with or totally prevented by the continued recurrence of the paroxysms: and to these the brain will frequently sympathise, particularly in nervous and excitable persons, when the lady will complain of a deadly want of sleep; the countenance becomes flushed; the eyes become red; the temples throb; a constrictive pain invades the head, accompanied with a morbid sensitiveness to the slightest noise.

For this condition the Allopathic doctor administers his cordials, his purgatives, his morphia, and his ponderous doses of laudanum; and by lulling the brain into a state of stupor by means of the latter, believes in the eradication of the cause at the same time.

The Homoeopathic physician, on the contrary, takes a more expansive and philosophic view of the nature and cause of disease; and with the aid of that beautiful law, let “like be cured by like”, as revealed to the great master of that doctrine, is able to select th e specific that shall cut short those terrible paroxysms of pain that robbed the harassed and exhausted mother of her hard-earned slumbers. Turn we to nature. On the high mountains of the south of Europe, on the plains of the north of France, and on the gentle slopes of beautiful Bohemia, grows an aromatic plant, decorated with a beautiful yellow flower, the “Arnica Montana”, Leopard’s bane. Administer one drop of its tincture, at the third dilution, in a dessert-spoonful of water; apply a flannel or linen compress over the lower half of the abdomen, including the region more immediately concerned in the last stage of the process of parturition-first saturated in a tepid solution of the same medicament-namely, one tea-spoonful of the tincture, in its undiluted form, to one pint of water; and ere the minute hand shall have made the circuit of the dial, the racking pains and contused sensations will, in a great measure, have subsided.

William Morgan
William Morgan (1826 – 1894) was a British orthodox physician, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, who converted to homeopathy to become a Member of the British Homeopathic Society, Member of the British Institute of Homeopathy, Physician to the Brighton Homeopathic Dispensary, Physician to the North London Homeopathic Dispensary, Medical Officer at the Cambridge Homeopathic Dispensary, Member of the Homeopathic Publishing Company, Medical Officer at the London Homeopathic Hospital.
William Morgan wrote The homeopathic treatment of indigestion, constipation, and haemorrhoids, The philosophy of homeopathy, The Text Book for Domestic Practice, The Liver and Its Diseases, Both Functional and Organic, Diabetes Mellitus, Syphilis and Syphiloidal Diseases, Cholera, Diphtheria, The signs and concomitant derangements of pregnancy, Contagious diseases; their history, anatomy, pathology, and treatment, Diseases of the Liver, and their homeopathic treatment.