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MEDICAL INTELLIGENCER.

JOHN G, COFFIN, M.D., EDITOR.

THE BEST PART OF THE MEDICAL ART, IS THE ART OF AVOIDING PAIN.

VOL. 5.

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 1827.

NO. 1.

!

From the London Literary Gazette. the orifice of the bottle should be
MEDICAL ESSAYS.NO. III.

guarded by a sponge enclosed in a “ First the infant,

piece of perforated washleather ; Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms." so that the child shall obtain the

Shakspeare.
In the conclusion of the former tion of it which is fluid enough to

food by suction, and only that por-
Essay, I endeavored to demon-
strate the darger which attends pass through the sponge shall be

taken into the stomach. The by any other means than the breast quantity of the food should be reby any other means than the breast gulated by the size and the milk. But, nevertheless, it must strength of the child; but few inbe admitted, that narrow means fants require more than a quarter and many other causes concur, of a pint at a meal; and as the and always will occur, to render best kind of artificial food is less it necessary to hazard the expe- nutritive, from being less easily riment of dry nursing; and, when digested, than that which Nature such is unfortunately the case, it has prepared, the stated periods is of importance to know what de- of feeding should be at shorter inscription of food is best adapted tervals than when the infant is for early infancy. In selecting suckled. Asses’ milk is regarded food for a young infant we should

as an excellent substitute for the choose those substances which breast milk; but I am of opinion readily unite with water, so as to that it is more likely to disagree form á fuid diet, light, nutritious, with many children than the barand tñfermentable. Perhaps no- leygruel and milk, which, on the thing is so suitable as barleygruel, whole, afford the best alternamixed with a small portion of

tive. cow's milk; or thin - arrowroot mucilage, or grit gruel, thinned

2. Food of Children after with milk, and slightly sweetened. Weaning. In entering on this Every description of bread food part of our subject, we should is injurious to very young children: first inquire what is the proper it is too thick, even in the most time for weaning an infant ? Mapultaceous state to which it can ny circumstances concur to prebe reduced, and being very sus- vent any specific period in the ceptible of fermentation, it readi- age of the child from being fixed ly becomes sour in the stomach, and disorders the bowels of the It is a curious fact, that the asses'child. Whatever kind of food is milk sold in London, where the asses are preferred, it should be given while that of asses fed on a common, as

fed on tay, seldom agrees with infants ; through the feeding bottle, and seldom disagrees.

on for this process.* Nature, form a part of the child's midday however, affords us something meal. The animal food should like a guide in the protrusion of be confined to poultry or mutton; the teeth; for it is reasonable to all other kinds of animal food are suppose that the stomach must be improper ; and nothing is so injuprepared to digest solid food, rious to children as fat, or highly when the instruments for masti- seasoned, or salted meats. Concating it are furnished to the vulsions frequently occur among mouth. When an infant is in the children of the lower classes, health, therefore, it may be wean- from eating bacon and other strong ed as soon as the cutting teeth and oily animal food; and in Iceare protruded in both jaws ; but land, more than twothirds of the still the food should be of a solu- children which are born are deble quality, and continue to be so stroyed by ginkloffe, lockjaw, owtill the grinders are present. The ing to their food consisting chiefly food best adapted for a child, for of Puffins and Fulmurs without some time after it is weaned, is any vegetable matter.* But, bethat of a pultaceous kind, com- sides the quality of the food, great bined with cow's milk, and, once caution is requisite in regulating a day, with other light animal the quantity. Mothers are too juices, such as beef tea or chick- fond of seeing their children fat. en tea, perfectly freed from fat."0! what a fine fat fellow !” is The common practice of giving a compliment which wins every puddings to children is, in some mother's heart; and, consequentrespects, objectionable, on ac- ly, every effort is made to decount of the probability that the serve it. I cannot,

I cannot, however, eggs with which they are made avoid looking on all corpulent chilare not always newlaid ; and, in dren with anxiety ; as long as they general, also, the quantity of su- continue in health, their plump gar which such combinations con- and rounded figures are agreeable tain, disposes them to ferment and flattering to the pride of a and become acescent in the sto- mother's eye ; but when disease mach; particularly if they be makes its attack, the gross and made with flour, or, as the term highly excitable state of the inis, are batter puddings, the least fant body affords fuel to the flame wholesome which can be given to of disease, and, consequently, an infant. When the grinders are leads to a fatal issue ; while, on protruded, a portion of solid ani- the contrary, the more slender mal food should be given every child, if moderately strong, strugother day for some time, and af- gles through disease, because the terwards once a day; and well malady itself wants the aliment boiled vegetables may, now, also which furnishes its powers of de

struction. * “ The Syrian women suckle their As children advance in age, and children two years; and some instances are recorded by Russell, in which the acquire all their teeth, and beformer child was suckled at the same come capable of taking active exbreast with the newborn infant.-- Nat. ercise, less caution in diet is reHist. of Aleppo, vol. 1, p. 304. " In Africa, children are often suckled for three years.”—Park's Travels, 4to. Appendix, See J. Mackenzie's Travels, 4to. Ap

pendix, p. 413.

P. 265.

In

quisite ; and the stomach should strated, that muscular motion aids be accustomed to the stimulus of greatly the circulation, conseevery description of plain food. quently promotes secretion and Too much care in diet is as detri- assimilation, and is, in fact, essenmental to health as improper food; tial for maintaining health. for the stomach may be brought very young animals, however, and by custom to secrete a juice ca. especially in those of the human pable of dissolving one kind of ali- race, the motion communicated ment only, so that nutriment of to the body must be of the genevery other nature necessarily tlest kind, continued for a few becomes indigestible. Thus Spal- minutes only, and repeated at lanzani, an Italian philosopher, proper intervals. During the gradually brought the stomach of first month, indeed, of the life of a sheep to accommodate itself to an infant, nature requires that the animal food, and that of a raven greater part of every twentyfour to receive and retain vegetable hours be spent in sleep, and in rematter.

plenishing the stomach ; and conSuch are the rules which, in sequently any movement which is my opinion, ought to regulate the given to the child should be effeeding of children. Though ap- fected when it awakes, a short parently trivial, they are of great time before it is suckled; for at importance, since much of every this time the stomach is empty, man's comfort, whatever be his and its function is at rest. Nurses, station, must depend on the healthy however, generally adopt the opstate of his family. For, true it posite plan. After taking the inis, that “to be happy at home is fant from the breast, instead of the ultimate result of all ambi- laying it softly down, and leaving tion, the end to which every en- it at rest till the stomach perterprise and labor tends, and of forms its office on the nutriment which every desire prompts the with which it has just been repleprosecution."*

nished, they set it up nearly erect, Exercise proper for young Chil- pat it on the back to expel the dren.-Exercise is almost as ne- wind, and jog it on the knee, till cessary for the preservation of the poor little creature becomes the infant as food ; but great judg. sick, and ejects nearly the whole ment is required in apportioning of the meal which has been imthe quantity, in determining the parted to it. In consequence of kind of exercise, and in fixing the this mismanagement, the infant periods at which it should be again craves for the breast ; but taken.

as there is yet no fresh supply, it Though the circulation of the whines and cries, and continues to blood in every animal is carried do so, either till it be satisfied on by the vital principle, and it with some artificial food, or be would be continued while the ani- lulled asleep by the influence of mal lives, independent of any the cradle or of the swingcot, or movement of the parts of the by rolling it on the knee of the body, or locomotion of the whole nurse. Nothing is so adverse to body ; yet, experience has demon- the nature of digestion as this

plan. The digestive process ne* Rambler.

ver proceeds regularly unless the

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animal bę at rest ; and this state period, than if he has been rock-
should be preserved, if possible, ed ; therefore, even on the score
till the whole of the food be con- of saving trouble to the nurse,
verted into chyme, and be pushed cradles, swing cots, and similar
forward into the intestines. It has contrivances, ought to be reject-
been proved by experiment, that, ed from every nursery."
if two dogs be fed in the same As the infant advances in age,
manner, on the same kind of food, it reposes less, and needs more
and one of them has been permit- exercise ; but still, if it be in
ted to sleep, whilst the other has good health, it generally sleeps
been hunted ; on dissection, the immediately after taking the
food in the stomach of the dog breast. While it is awake, how-
which has been asleep, is found ever, it requires to be in constant
to have been completely, or near- motion ; and declares, by the
ly wholly digested; while that in springs which it takes when the
the stomach of the dog which was nurse ceases to dandle it, and the
bunted, is scarcely changed from sounds of mirthful satisfaction
the state in which it was swal, which it utters whilst it is dan-
lowed. But could no other cir- dled, the gratification which move-
qumstance be adduced to prove ment affords to it; hence it is of
that this is an improper period of great importance that a nurse be
exercising the infant in the month, strong, 'active, and
the necessity of using a cradle or When the mother cannot afford
a swing cot, or of rolling the in- the means to procure the assist-
fant on the knee of the nurse to, ance of a hired nurse,

and is too lull it asleep, would be reason weak to do justice to her infant in sufficient, The sleep procured this respect, friction with the by these methods is unnatural, hand along the spine, and over the and necessarily unwholesome. limbs, three or four times a day, Whether it be the result of a par- is the best substitute for exercise. tial pressure on the brain, from Many nurses, both in carrying and the blood being determined to this in dandling infants, hold them on organ; or whether, as when the the bend of the arm, instead of head of a chicken is placed under placing them, as they should alits wing, and the animal subjected ways do, on the palm of the hand. to a rotatory movement, it emp. This method of carrying and danties the vessels of the head, by dling an infant on the bend of the communicating a centrifugal mo. arm, is less irksome to the nurse; tion to the Auids, and thereby but nothing can be more injurious causing a deficiency of the ex- to female infants ; for, as their citement which the brain requires, bones are in a soft and yielding I shall not stop to inquire ; it is state, it compresses the hips, consufficient to know, that a child tracting, and often occasioning dealways sleeps more soundly when formity of that part of the trunk it is not accustomed to be rocked. of the body, which, from its beAn infant in good health, properly ing a bony basin, is named the pelfed and managed well, will fall vis, and entailing much suffering asleep the moment he is laid in and misery on the future woman, bed, and will continue to sleep in the event of her becoming a more serenely, and for a longer mother. Poverty, as I have al.

adult age.

teady remarked, often forcés mo- of permitting infants to crawl, thers to do many things connected and rather seek to place them with the rearing of their offspring early on their feet.

Great cauwhich are injurious to health. A tion, however, is necessary in athother who is much engaged, and tempting to anticipate nature in forced to work, ties her infant in- this operation ; either the limbs to a chair, where it is forced to become crooked, from bearing sit for hours ; and being thus de- too early the weight of the body, prived of the exercise requisite or, what is worse, by premature in infancy, it grows up rickety and exertion, and exhaustion of diseased, if it lives to attain to strength, in maintaining the erect

This is to be lament- position, diseases are contracted ed, rather than blamed; but which adhere to the individual among the higher ranks also, chile throughout life. An infant, even dren are made to suffer the irk- when only a few months old, should someness of sitting still-either to frequently be laid on a soft carsatisfy the indolence of the nurse- pet, or a mattress ; at first, the ry maid, or in conformity with the freedom of stretching and exerwishes of some mothers, who ima. cising the limbs and arms, in kickgine that they ought to instil ha- ing and sprawling, delights the bits of what they term propriety child ; then, by degrees, the and gentility, even in the infancy power of rolling over and changof the future woman of fashion. ing position is acquired ; essays But I shall have occasion to notice in crawling are next made ; and this folly at length, in my next es- gradually, as he acquires strength say, on the physical education of of limb, the infant raises himself infants.

by the foot of a chair, or some It is also of importance to pre other upright body, and becomes vent nurses from tossing children conscious of the power of maintoo high whilst exercising them. taining a perpendicular position. The uneasy sensation which it in- Still, however, the child does not duces is rendered obvious by the walk; but pauses, and first, by action of the infant, who clings to repeated trials, ensures the power the arms of the nurse, and ex- of balancing himself ; takes a step, presses terror both in its counte- and timidly retracts it ; till, day nance and by its cries. Fits have by day, gaining confidence, and been sometimes produced by tóss- feeling at length sufficiently ing infants too high; and the ra- strong, he makes the effort ; and pidity, also, in descending through at once acquires the power of the air, when a child is thrown walking, which he ever aftervery high, excites a tendency of wards retains. An infant, on the blood to the head, which may be contrary, who is early made to productive of very serious conse- step, whilst supported by the quences.

nurse under the arms, or upheld When a child has attained to by backstrings, or by a gocart, is the age of eight or nine months, actually much longer in acquiring he has generally acquired such the power of walking alone : for, vigor of limb as enables him to as he leans forwards on the prop, move himself in the recumbent whatever it may be, the muscles posture ; but few nurses are fond of the back and of the loins, which

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