These do not always exist, and when they do, they usually precede labor but a few hours; sometimes however they come on days and even weeks before delivery. They differ from labor-pains in being unconnected with uterine contractions, not increasing in intensity as they return, and are principally confined to the abdomen. If medicines are required, a few doses of Bryonia, Nux-v., Pulsatilla, or Dulcamara, will generally be sufficient.
Bryonia may be given if the pains in the abdomen are followed by dragging pain in the back and loins, with constipation and irritable temper. Nux-v. where there are similar symptoms to those indicated by Bryonia, also a bruised sensation in the region of the pubis. Pulsatilla where there are pains in the abdomen or loins, with stiffness and painful dragging and aching in the thighs. Dulcamara where the pains are seated in the small of the back, and are the result of a cold or dampness; and Belladonna where the pains are of a spasmodic character.
* The reason for calculating 280 days from the last menstrual period is, that conception usually takes place within ton days after the monthly period. About the time of the monthly period the ovaries throw off the ripened and perfected ovum which is seized by the fimbriated extremity of the fallopian tubes and pass ed into the womb. If the healthy semen of the male comes in contact with the ovum before it is discharged from the womb, which usually takes place in eight or ten days after the monthly period, impregnation takes place. This is the ge-noral rule, although sometimes impregnation may take place at any time.
Two drops, or six globules, of the selected remedy may be mixed in a tumbler of water, and a tablespoonsful taken once in three or four hours.