Prenatal care.



One of the most trying conditions a woman faces is during the period of gestation, especially when pathological conditions are present, and these cases are becoming more numerous, brought on probably by changed conditions or mode of living.

While the condition is a physiological one, the woman who experiences little or no distress is the exception, for the gravid uterus is subject to displacements during the early months, and as it increases in size, through pressure and decrease of normal blood supply to the various organs and nerve centers, what was at first a physiological condition may become a pathological one.

Nevertheless, the subject is one of universal interest, and is attracting more attention now than in years gone by, when pregnancy was mostly considered a sickness that would pass away in nine months, and any suffering experienced was believed by many to be perfectly normal at that time, or had to be, seldom seeking relief, as little or no attention was bestowed on the prospective mother. This neglect led many to have recourse to the advertiser for a painless birth, as the agonizing pains of a normal birth are such when nature is left to itself, that many seek to eliminate some of the sufferings, and facilitate the final expulsion of the child, as is demonstrated by the agitation "Twilight Sleep" has aroused.

Yet it would surprise many how a feeling of buoyancy and well being can be established, relieving the worry and anxiety experienced by most women during that period, preparing them for a safe and easy delivery. I will not take up your valuable time entering into the details of hygiene, diet or treatment for the various disorders that may arise, but will just touch on the general treatment, which consists of free elimination, especially with "diuretics" and uterine tonics.

From the observations on a few cases where labor had always been difficult I have found that where free elimination had been maintained with diuretics and uterine tonics, labor was shorter and easier than where uterine tonics alone were prescribed. Also when uterine tonics with digestives were prescribed, the labor was more tedious, as patients on that treatment gain in flesh, and the muscles become firmer. Whilst where free elimination is maintained with diuretics patients are apt to lose a little in flesh, the child, while well nourished, is not apt to be over-developed and the muscles are more elastic, labor terminating in less time, owing to the softened and relaxed condition of surrounding tissues. As the system is thoroughly flushed and waste products carried away, pathological conditions yield, finally doing away with much of the useless sufferings some women must contend with during this trying period of their lives.

National Eclectic Medical Association Quarterly, Vol. 7, 1915-16, was edited by William Nelson Mundy, M.D.