This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
This troublesome difficulty is a very frequent accompaniment of pregnancy. It is generally the result of constipation of the bowels. When this is the case, the bowels should be kept loose by means of enemas of linseed tea, or soap-suds. In case there is a tendency to hemorrhage from the rectum, an ointment containing a dram of tannin to an ounce of vaseline should be used after each movement of the bowels.
Severe continuous headache and various disturbances of vision, such as blurring, double sight, etc., are sometimes of quite serious import. These cases should be investigated by a competent physician. Whenever these symptoms occur, a careful examination of the urine should be made, to determine if albumen is present. The headache may generally be relieved by cool or hot compresses and derivative measures.
The neuralgia of pregnancy is sometimes one of the most disagreeable features. It may assume a great variety of forms. It most frequently affects the face. Very often the teeth are the seat of the pain.
Hot fomentations, hot poultices, electricity, and other measures elsewhere recommended for neuralgia, are equally useful in these cases.
The patient should at once go to bed. Cold compresses should be applied over the lower part of the bowels. She should be given an abundance of cold water to drink. Cold water may also be injected into the rectum with advantage. In case of a severe hemorrhage after miscarriage or premature labor, the best known remedy is the prolonged hot-water vaginal douche.
This term is applied to all cases of premature childbirth occurring after the beginning of the seventh month. The causes are essentially the same as those which produce abortion. The rules already laid down for the management of labor at full term, are equally applicable to premature labors. It should be remarked that extra preparations should be made, to give the feeble infant likely to be born in these cases, the best possible chances for life.
When many symptoms of pregnancy which have been distinctly present disappear, there are grounds for suspicion that death of the fetus has been occasioned by some cause. The causes which occasion death of the fetus are essentially the same as those which give rise to abortion and premature labor. The fetus is generally expelled a week or ten days after it dies.