So important is this essential to the welfare of pregnancy, that ladies are entreated to combat their own inclinations, and even to do violence to their feelings, rather than forego the benefits which result from frequent exercise.
In order that the slightest promptings for such an amusement may not be thwarted, the patient should be careful how far she gratifies herself by indulgence at the table. A full meal is always followed by disinclination for motion. I know that frequently, during pregnancy, the appetite is apt to become both unnatural and voracious: for such a condition Homoeopathy is prepared to render the best possible assistance.
The sister science pretends not to deal with sensations, the greater portion of the misery of this world; she esteems it not her province to alleviate. She grossly administers only to the body, and regards all that which is essentially existence, and makes the very essence of life, as beyond her duty or her power.
Homoeopathy, on the other hand, looks with a sympathetic and pitying eye upon the mental affliction of her patients: these she studies, and feels convinced she can alleviate.
It is her pride, that where the Allopathist leaves the patient to the tender mercies of CHANCE, declaring himself to be incapable of rendering further assistance, Homoeopathy steps in, takes the sufferer by the hand, and by her discoveries is happy to say she can soothe the anguish of the complaint.
Modern science may at length boast that the well-known appeal of the immortal bard is not made to her in vain:-
“Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased:
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow;
Rake out the written troubles of the brain;
And with some sweet oblivious antidote,
Cleanse the stuft bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?”
SELECTION OF RESIDENCE
Connected with this subject is that of residence. A valetudinarian evidently cannot walk much on a thick clay, saturated by repeated rains; a dry soil is, where circumstances permit, a choice to be exercised of the highest importance. Nor is it alone sufficient that a lady, at such a period, be taken miles from London. She may be free from the smoke of the metropolis; but if she become the inhabitant of a waste and a solitude, her situation is rather rendered worse than better.
A woman, at such times, requires to live in a cheerful spot, and is benefited by having too many than too few companions; because a person doomed to solitary confinement is always oppressed by DESPONDENCY. The noise of frequent visitors is certainly not to be commended; but there is a happy medium equally removed from racket and from dullness, which the good sense of my readers will readily realise.
SELECTION OF DIET
I have mentioned diet; and it is well in this place to say, that the lightest and most nutritious substances, taken in small but frequent quantities, should at this season be selected as articles of food. All meats, hardened or dried by the methods common in England, of ROASTING or BOILING, should be avoided. Cookery, to preserve the nutriment in the “viand,” should occupy at least DOUBLE the time generally allowed in this country. By such means-that is, by SLOW ROASTING or BOILING-the fibres are softened, and the juices preserved; whereas excessive heat may hasten, but will render HARD and INDIGESTIBLE, the food submitted to such process.
Servants may not like to see cooking long about; few articles can be properly prepared for the table under THREE or FOUR hours. Mutton roasted at a distance from the fire, or exposed to heat for the time mentioned, is altogether different from the burnt and dried-up joints served at the majority of English tables. Nor can I do better, while on this subject, than refer the reader to the excellent article on slow roasting and slow boiling, in Miss Acton’s Modern Cookery Book.
Every person who has been upon the continent can appreciate the difference between the English and the French method of stewing meat. There is not, for a lady out of health, a more wholesome and digestible little dish than a mutton-chop, deprived of all its fat, and placed in a small saucepan with a table- spoonful of water. No more seasoning should be allowed than a little pepper and salt; and in this condition, the lid being on the saucepan, it should simmer for at least TWO HOURS AND A HALF. At the end of that time it will be tender and surrounded with its own gravy. Or-
A lamb cutlet dressed in the same way, merely adding an additional spoonful of water, and fifteen or twenty minutes less time in stewing.
Another good and nourishing little dish, rendered by its mode of preparation suitable to the most delicate stomach, and well adapted for invalids, is to boil a nice young pullet till three-parts done, take off the skin, and cut off the meat when cold; then pound it to a paste in a marble mortar, adding to it a little of the liquor, if required; season with salt; a slice of lemon-peel, and one grate of nutmeg. Boil it gently till it gains the consistency of thick gruel; and drink it while warm.
Another important point connected with this part of the subject is the period of rest required after meal.
Raw, ripe fruits, such as grapes and strawberries, require little absolute rest.
Cooked fruits require a period of from half an hour to one hour.
Milk, and dishes prepared with milk, boiled or baked, require a period of one and a half to two hours.
Eggs, if plainly boiled-namely, about two minutes and a half-require a period of about an hour.
Dishes prepared with eggs, such as rice, vermicelli pudding or custard, require a period of about an hour and a half’s rest.
Animal Food.-Broiled meat requires a period of about two hours.
Roast meat, about two hours and a half.
Boiled meat, about three hours.
Fried fish, about an hour and a half.
Boiled fish, about two hours.
Roasted fowl, about three hours.
Boiled fowl, about three hours.
Game, about two hours, or less.
Meat broths, about the same period.
Farinaceous articles, about an hour.
Vegetables, about an hour and a half.
Next to the nature and quantity of the food, is the manner in which the patient partakes of her meals.
1. The appetite should be trained to return at stated periods by exact punctuality of meal hours.
2. The lady should come to meals calmly, and without being hurried or excited. She should eat slowly, without interruption, and without being irritated or excited by conversation, or the occurrence of any very pleasant or disagreeable news.
3. The food should be eaten, and the meal quite finished, before the patient partakes of any liquid. This should at all times be moderate in quantity.
PAINS, OR CRAMP OF THE STOMACH
Other distressing symptoms are acute pains, described either as a dragging at the back, a falling through, or giving way. These doubtless are occasioned by the sudden diversion of all the powers of vitality of one organ during gestation. That organ not only increases in size, but also enlarges its substance. Arteries, veins, absorbents, and nerves-structures which for the most part are of fixed formation, being appended to this viscus- suddenly become of much larger development. Other parts must therefore suffer, not only by the deprivation of their natural nutriment, but by the sudden growth of so large a body in the small cavity of a lady’s abdomen.
For dragging pains, however, Homoeopathy is prepared; and while the Allopathist stands confounded, she is fully armed for her relief.
The general practitioner listens to the tales told him about cramps in the stomach, smiles, and assures the lady she must bear, as well as she can, the pangs which are inseparable from her condition. He modestly accepts the fee for talking nonsense, and retires inflamed by the consciousness of having done his duty. He believes no earthly science can do more; but would he only fall back on “Nature’s grand law,” he would find that such agonies are to be successfully encountered by such remedies as Aconite, Belladonna, Nux Vomica, or Pulsatilla, in unappreciable doses.
By ACONITE, when there is a feeling of congestion experienced in the womb and other abdominal organs, with a full and frequent pulse.
By BELLADONNA, when there is a gnawing pressure or spasmodic tension in the abdomen, obliging the patient to bend backwards to seek relief.
By NUX VOMICA, when the pains were aching or crampy, and worse after food, or attended with nausea, flatulency, and constipation.
And by PULSATILLA, when the pains are of a stitching or crampy nature, attended with nausea, and even vomiting of food.
CARDIALGIA – PYROSIS – HEARTBURN
Another distressing sign of pregnancy is intense heartburn. occasionally, the secretion is of comparatively a bland nature; but in other instances it is peculiarly acrid. The stomach being loaded with this fluid, finds relief by vomition; but so pungent has been the fluid, that its passage has deprived the fauces of their protecting membrane; or not being thrown off, has even eaten through the very walls of the stomach.
For such a condition, Homoeopathy will administer Calcarea Carb., Arsenicum, Carbo Veg., Nux Vom., or Pulsatilla