Still Born Infants

When the child does not show any signs of life, after being completely discharged, a little cool water should be dashed in the face, and along the spine, and upon the breast. If the sprinklings do not succeed, immerse in warm water, and rub the surface freely; also put a little Cayenne tea into the mouth from your own, or through a silver tube. There is no harm in persevering in the use of the means that have been found successful, for you can but fail; and instances have been known of success after an hour's apparently fruitless labor.


The first evacuation from the bowels is called the meconium. Much uneasiness is sometimes manifested among nurses lest it should not be discharged, and physic frequently resorted to. A little molasses and water is all that is required, and seldom any thing to promote its discharge, except the mother's milk.

Flatulency Or Colic

There is no custom more injurious than that of dosing children for every little appearance of uneasiness; it deranges the stomach and bowels, and leads to serious difficulty. A little weak composition will usually relieve flatulence or colic.


Sometimes there is a thin, white membrane, extending under the tongue almost to the tip, so as to hold the tongue from projecting beyond the teeth. This membrane should be slightly cut with a pair of sharp scissors. If it does not prevent the child from nursing, it need not be cut until the child is a year old, and perhaps not at all.


Sometimes, from crying or other causes, infants are afflicted with ruptures; when this happens, the earliest attention is required. The infant or child should be placed in a recumbent position or on its back, then press the tumor or protruded part back, make a compression of linen, which has been previously wet in a decoction of oak bark, apply it over the rupture, and secure it with a bandage. If this fails to keep it in its proper situation, apply a truss.

Testimony Of Regular Physicians In Favor Of. Female Midwives, And Against The Interference Of Doctors

Says Dr. Beach, President of the Reformed Medical College of New York, "Thanks and blessings have been poured upon me, under the idea that I had saved lives in labor, when I had merely looked on and admired the perfectly adequate powers of Nature, and superintended the efforts of her work; and it is Nature that accomplishes all, while the accoucheur gets the credit of it. There is not one case in a thousand in which you can do more than remain a silent spectator, except to calm the fears of the ignorant and timid attendants. The mischief and injury that is done by the untimely interference of art, is incalculable. In pregnancy, women are bled till they have not strength enough to accomplish delivery; and, when it takes place, the forceps or other instruments are used, which often prove fatal to the mother or child, or both.

"Were all women instructed in this branch, many lives would be saved. They ought to be instructed in midwifery, and those who are of a proper turn of mind should be well qualified to act in the capacity of midwives: No Man Should Ever Be Permitted To Enter The Apartment Of A Woman In Labor, Excepting In Consultations Or On Extraordinary Occasions. The Practice: Is Unnecessary, Unnatural, And Wrong."

Dr. Bard, in speaking of the abominable interference of doctors under the pretense of making room for the child to pass, says, "It is impossible to censure this dangerous practice too severely; it is always wrong, nor can there be any period in labor--the most easy and natural, the most tedious and difficult, the most regular or preternatural --in which it can be of the least use; in which it will not unavoidably do great mischief: it will render an easy labor painful; one which would be short, tedious; and which, if left to nature, would terminate happily, highly dangerous."

Says Dr. McNair, "All that is proper to be done in a case of natural labor, from its commencement to its termination, will suggest itself to any person of common understanding; and I have long labored under the conviction that the office of attending women in their confinement should be entrusted to prudent females. There is not, according to my experience and the reports of the most eminent surgeons, more than one case in ten thousand that requires the least assistance. I am aware, however, that there are crafty physicians who attempt and often succeed in causing the distressed and alarmed female to believe that it would be altogether impossible for her to get over her trouble without their assistance; and for the purpose of making it appear that their services are absolutely necessary, they will be continually interfering when there is not the least occasion for it. It is my confirmed opinion, after forty years' practice, that there would be much less danger in cases of confinement, if they were entrusted altogether to females. There is no doubt in my mind but that one half of the women attended by these men, are delivered before their proper period; and this is the reason why we see so many deformed children, and meet with so many females who have incurable complaints. If the business was entrusted to aged midwives, they would give more time, and nature would have an opportunity to do its work; and if necessary, advice might be had with more safety."

"It is a very common circumstance," says Dr. Beach, "for an inexperienced practitioner to rupture the bladder in the attempt to rupture the membrane, which would render the woman miserable during life. I am acquainted with twenty five or thirty females who have met with this sad misfortune, and many of them were attended by those who were termed our most successful or old experienced physicians."

Dr. Rush, speaking of child-bearing among the Indians, says that "Nature is their only midwife. Their labors are short, and accompanied with but little pain, and she returns in a few days to her usual employment; so that she knows nothing of those accidents which proceed from the carelessness or ill management of midwives or doctors, or the weakness that arises from a month's confinement in a warm room."

Says Dr. Whitney, "I pledge myself as a physician, that all honest doctors will tell you that labor is the work of nature; and she generally does it best when left to herself."

Says Dr. Curtis, Professor of the Medical Institute at Cincinnati, speaking of the use of instruments, the lancet, opium, and ergot in midwifery, "Strange to tell, these and similar are the means which men have introduced into the 'art of aiding women in child-birth,' on account of which they claim superiority of skill over the proper sex, whose highest ambition was to watch the indications of nature, to aid her timely and promptly. Sad change! when almost constant wretchedness takes the place of rare and partial inconvenience. I lay it down as a rational position, on the strength of historical testimony as well as sound logic, that women are as able as other animals to reproduce their species without extrinsic aid."

Says Dr. Dewees, a popular author on Midwifery, "It is a vulgar prejudice, that great and constant benefit can be derived from the agency of an accoucheur, especially during the active state of pain; and this feeling is but too often encouraged by the ignorant and designing, to the injury of the patient, and to the disgrace of the profession."

Dr. Blundell, in his Obstetrics, relates a case where he was called in consultation, after the scientific M. D. had labored two days to effect the delivery of a child. He says, "On entering the apartment, I saw the woman lying in state, with nurses, accoucheur, and all the formalities attending a delivery; one small point only was necessary to complete the labor, which was, that she should be pregnant; although the practitioner, one of the omnipotent class, had distinguished the child's head, there was in reality no child there. A few hours after, the patient died, and on examining the abdomen, we found the peritoneum full of water, but the womb was unimpregnated, and no bigger than a pear."

Dr. Ewell, in speaking of man midwifery, after thirty years' practice, says, "I view the present increasing practice of calling upon men in ordinary births, as a source of serious evils in child bearing, as an imposition upon the credulity of women, and upon the fears of their husbands; as a means of sacrificing delicacy, and consequently virtue--it is the secret history of adultery." In his remarks to the ladies on this subject, he says, "Away with your forebodings when pregnant; believe the truth, that in all human probability you will do perfectly well, that the most ordinary woman can render you every needful assistance without the interference of doctors. Their hurry, their spirit for acting, have done the sex more harm than all the injudicious management of midwives, of which they are so fond of talking. This Dr. Denman, Dr. Buchan, and many other really great physicians, have long since remarked."

In view of the facts here presented, coming from the highest authority, who that has candidly considered the subject, does not feel a spirit of indignation against a class of men who should thus dupe and deceive confiding and suffering females ? Let light on this subject be diffused among the fair sex, and an eternal veto will be put upon the practice of male midwives. "Even so let it be."