Common sense obstetrics.
G. W. HARVEY, M.D., BIGPINE, CAL.
Accouchement is the natural process by which the human race is multiplied, and, ordinarily, the less it is interfered with by midwives and doctors the better it will be for all concerned. The doctor should know how to lend aid, and to assist nature in her efforts, and be able in any emergency to advise as to the best course to pursue, but always to let well enough alone.
The greatest benefit is in preparing your patient for confinement. This should be done as required all through the period of gestation, but the last three months it is imperative that you keep a close watch on the patient, and if you will give helonias and mitchella, a dram of each one to four ounces of menstruum, and one teaspoonful of that four times a day until the end, your patient will come through the ordeal and get up better than you ever dreamed of. If varicose veins are present or develop, give calcium flour 3 x, two grains, three times a day. If she is nervous and despondent, give kali phosphate 3 x, in the same dose and frequency. If the teeth ache give calcium phosphate 3 x, in same dose and frequency, and provide the lime that the system is taking from the teeth to supply lime for the developing bones of the coming infant.
When called to wait upon the confinement, wash your hands and anoint them with pure olive oil into which a few drops of Lloyd's cinnamon has been dropped. This makes the most fragrant and positive antiseptic that I have ever used. The smell is far more pleasing to your patient than some of the stinking antiseptics that are not half as efficient. Make sure of your position and, if all is right, mix in half a glass of water thirty drops of Lloyd's macrotys and ten drops of gelsemium (red), and give one teaspoonful every half hour. In a normal case the trouble will very soon be over, and when it is give fifteen drops of your erigeron and cinnamon compound on a little sugar, then you are ready to change the linen and bandage the abdomen with a suitable binder, tight and snug, after which she may go to sleep. In the meantime you have had the infant in mind and as soon as opportunity permits it should be oiled freely all over, head and ears, and eyes, with pure olive oil. Not a speck of the vernix caseosa should remain and not a drop of water should touch the infant. As soon as this process has been completed, dress the cord with a small square of oxolint with a slit cut in one side, about an inch deep. Before it is applied saturate it thoroughly with a mixture of equal parts of pure olive oil and glycerine, to which a few drops of Specific Medicine cinnamon has been added. Once applied the cord will need no further attention until it drops off, when a big fat raisin split open endwise and the seeds removed, will do the trick better than anything else in the world. Apply the meaty side to the navel and my word for it you will never use anything else. Don't order any douches if you have the welfare of your patient at heart. If the Almighty had wanted the woman douched after confinement, there would be a fountain syringe with every afterbirth. Let the parturient canal alone. Nature will cleanse and heal without your help, just as she does in all the animals, who never have any trouble if let alone.
Before you leave the house mix two drams of Specific Medicine black haw and one dram of macrotys in half a glass of water and order one teaspoonful of the mixture every three or four hours, unless there should be after-pains, in which event it is to be given every twenty minutes until they stop. If there is any trouble with the breasts give in half a glass of water two drops of Specific Medicine aconite, and twenty drops of phytolacca, and then of the mixture, one teaspoonful every hour or two, and order them well-rubbed with hot oil of pennyroyal every two or three hours.
If by any chance a septic condition arises echafolta and aconite, or veratrum as indicated, in one glass and kali chlor., ten grains in another, and one teaspoonful of each alternately every one-half to one hour, will very soon set things right. It has never failed me. Keep the patient on a light or liquid diet for at least four days, and when time for a bowel movement, do not give any of the licorice compounds, or other pesky griping laxative, but a dose of the effervercent phosphate of soda, a bottle of citrate of magnesia or sedlitz powders. Make it as easy as possible and as pleasant.
In over twenty years of practice I have seldom needed anything other than the above, except in placenta previa, where the natural oil of rhodium in ten to fifteen drops doses on a little sugar every half to one, two, or three hours as needed, controlled things, and all came out well.
National Eclectic Medical Association Quarterly, Vol. 7, 1915-16, was edited by William Nelson Mundy, M.D.