topmdi

Archive for the ‘Women’s Problems’ Category

Inflammation of the Uterus

In Women's Problems on December 5, 2007 at 2:49 pm

The uterus, often called the womb, is the most delicate organ of woman. It is liable to disorders of various kinds. Inflammation of this organ is common occurrence in women. It may be acute or chronic.

The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ, situated in a bonny frame called the pelvis.

It is seven centimeter long, five cm. in breadth and about 2.5 cm. thick. Its capacity is roughly three cubic centimeters. The lower narrow end of the uterus which opens into the vagina is called the cervix. The upper broad part is called the body of the uterus or the corpus.

The inflammation which may affect the lining membrane of the uterus is called endometritis.

When it affects the muscular coat and substance of the uterus, it is termed metritis. Endometritis may be confined to the lining membrane of the cervix or neck of the uterus or it may attack the lining membrane of the entire organ. Commonly it is called catarrh of uterus.

Symptoms

The symptoms of acute endometriosis are slight fever, headache, general debility, loss of appetite, pain in the back and lower part of the abdomen and pelvis, and itching tendency in the vagina. IN chronic endometriosis, symptoms are the same, but not so severe as in the acute form. The only troublesome symptom is the discharge which may be either clear or opaque and yellow. This disease may produce sterility.

Chill, fever, rapid pulse and breathing, nausea, local pain and discharge are the symptoms of acute metritis. This is a very rare case, but it may occur after confinement on account of infection. Chronic metritis may occur for many reasons and is probably the most common

diseases among women. The symptoms are disorders of menstruation, more or less profuse leucorrhoea, constipation, lack of vitality, weakness in the back and the limbs, pain in the lower portion of the back and a tendency to abortion.

Causes

Inflammation of the uterus may be caused by sudden chill, or by exposure to cold during menstruation. The disease sometimes occurs because of the medicines applied for the purpose of stimulating the menstrual flow. Other causes are the use of irritants to produce abortion, the use of strong purgatives, the insertion of instruments and preventives, and excessive sexual indulgence. Sometimes bicycle riding, hose back riding and dancing may also cause inflammation of the uterus among weak and underweight women. The displacement of the uterus in any form may also lead to this condition.

Treatment

If the inflammation is caused by a chill or exposure to cold during menstruation, the patient should start the treatment with a hot leg bath. This may be replaced by hot hip bath after two or three days. In case of pain, hot and cold hip baths will be beneficial. The water should be changed from hot to cold, every two minutes and this should be repeated thrice.

As this disease produces the tendency towards constipation, the patient should take an enema once daily with warm water as can be comfortably borne by the patient. It is also advisable to apply alternate compress on the abdomen just before employing enema.

In the chronic form the treatment should aim at increasing the general vitality. To begin with, the patient should resort to fasting on orange juice and water for two or three days. The procedure is to take every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the juice of an orange diluted with warm water on 50 : 50 basis. If the orange juice does not agree, juices of vegetable such as carrots and cucumber may be taken. A warm water enema may be taken each day while fasting to cleanse the bowels.

After the short juice fast, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for about two days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, orange, pineapple peaches and melon.

After the juice fast the patient should follow a well- balanced diet of seeds, nuts, and grains, vegetables and fruits. This diet should be supplemented with milk, yogurt, butter-milk, vegetable oil and honey. A further short juice fast or periods on the all-fruit diet may be necessary at intervals of a month or two, according to the needs of the case. If constipation is habitual, all steps should be taken for its eradication.

The foods which should be avoided are : white flour products, sugar, confectionery, rich cakes, pastries, sweets, refined cereals, flesh foods, rich, heavy and greasy foods, tinned or preserved foods, pickles, condiments, and sauces.

The patient should also undertake moderate exercise and walking in fresh air as it will help increase general health and vitality. Yogic asanas such as sarvangasana, bhujangasana, uttanasana, and shavasana are also beneficial in the treatment of inflammation of the uterus.

No real cure is possible unless the system as a whole is treated. The blood has to be purified, the nerves strengthened and the waste deposits accumulated in the system eliminated before the trouble can be completely overcome.

Leucorrhoea

In Women's Problems on December 5, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Leucorrhoea, commonly known as whites, refers to a whitish discharge from the female genitals. It is an abnormal condition of the reproductive organs of women. If not treated properly in the initial stages, it may become chronic.

Recent investigations have shown that secretions from the uterus and upper part of the vagina flow down and are reabsorbed in the lower parts of the vagina. This is the normal constant flow within the female organs. The whitish discharge is, however, caused by the presence of infection in any of these tissues and a variety of other factors . The condition may continue for weeks or months at a time.

Symptoms

In addition to the whitish discharge from the vagina, the patient feels weak and tired. She also suffers from pain in the lumbar region and the calves and a dragging sensation in the abdomen.

Other symptoms are constipation, frequent headaches and intense itching. In the chronic form, the patient feels irritable and develops black patches under the eyes.

Causes

Leucorrhoea does not develop suddenly in an acute form. It denotes a devitalised and toxic condition of the system generally. The condition also involves one or many parts of the reproductive organs. Whenever the body is loaded with toxins due to wrong dietary habits and the eliminative organs such as skin, bowels, lungs, and kidneys are unable to eliminate the toxins, the body produces a profuse discharge or elimination through the mucous membrane of the uterus and vagina in the form of leucorrhoea. In the case of advanced, chronic inflammatory conditions of these organs, it leads to discharge with pus, offensive in odour and colour varying from cream to yellow or light green.

In young girls, leucorrhoea may occur during the few years before and after the start of the menstrual flow . It may be due to an irritation of the genital organs caused by various factors such as dirt, soiled under garments, intestinal worms and excessive mental stimulation of sex or masturbation. Some excess secretion is normal when the girl reaches puberty, due to overactivity in her sex glands and organs. This usually disappears within a short time.

In your women, leucorrhoea may occur during intermenstrual periods, due to thickening of the mucous membrane in the reproductive organs. Such a discharge is associated with painful menstruation and other menstrual disorders.

In mature women, a profuse yellowish discharge, associated with burning on urination, may be caused by gonorrhoea. This is a serious infection which should be treated promptly. During the child-bearing years, from adolescence to the mid-forties, the infection may sometimes follow the birth of a child due to damage of the cervix during delivery. This is increased by prolonged ill-health, anxiety, neurosis, sedentary occupation and standing for long periods. If not treated properly, this infection may continue for months or even years and may spread to other areas of the genital tract.

Leucorrhoea may also result from a chill. A chill causes inflammation of the womb and vaginal membranes. Other common causes are the displacement of the womb and unhygienic conditions which attract bacteria to the geniral organs.

The Cure

A total health-building scheme is essential for the removal of the systemic toxicity which is primarily responsible for the disease. Such a scheme should consist of correct dietary habits, proper sleep, exercise, fresh air and sunshine.

To begin with, the patient should fast for three or four days on lemon water or fruit juices for the elimination of the morbid matte from the body. During this period the bowel should be cleansed   daily with a warm water enema. In case of habitual constipation, steps should be taken for its eradication.

After a short fast, the patient may adopt an all fruit-diet for about a week. In this regimen , she should have three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple and peaches. If the patient is suffering from anaemia, or is very much underweight, the diet may consist of fruits and milk. The patient may then gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet consisting of three basic food groups namely (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) fruits and (iii) vegetables.

Fresh fruits or fruit juices only should be taken between meals. All forms of white four, white sugar, fried and greasy foods, condiments, preserves, tea and coffee should be avoided. An effective home remedy for leucorrhoea is lady’s finger. A decoction of this vegetable is prepared by boiling of 100 grams of the fresh capsules, cut transversely, in half a litre of water for 20 minutes and then strained sweetened. This decoction, given in doses of two or three ounces frequently, is highly beneficial in all irritable conditions of genito-urinary organs including leucorrhoea.

Fenugreek seeds are another excellent home remedy for leucorrhoea. They should be taken internally in the form of tea and also used as a douche. For a douche, the solution should be much stronger than tea. Two tablespoonful of fenugreek seeds should be put in a litre of cold water and allowed to simmer for half an hour over a low flame. It should then be strained and used as a douche.

Treatment through water is extremely beneficial in curing leucorrhoea. A cold hip bath twice a day for 10 minutes will help relieve congestion in the pelvic region and facilitate quick elimination of morbid matter. A warm vaginal douche at 30 o to 40 o C is beneficial to general cleansing and elimination of the purulent discharge. The procedure is to fill the douche can with 1 1/2 litre of warm water and hang it at a level of three feet above the body. The patient should lie with the hips slightly raised above the body and a special nozzle applied for this purpose should be oiled and inserted slowly into the vagina. The flow can be regulated by the small value at the nozzle.

In severe cases of leucorrhoea, the douche should be done daily.

The passive inflammation of the affected organs can be cured by regular hot hip baths at 40 o C for 10 minutes and regular use of wet girdle pack for 90 minutes every night. For a hot hip bath an ordinary bath tub may be used. It should be filled with water at 40 o C. The patient should sit in the tub, keeping the legs outside, after taking a glass of cold water. The head should be covered with a wet cloth. A cold water bath should be taken after this treatment. For the wet girdle pack, a thin cotton underwear and another thick or woolen underwear are required. The thin underwear should be wrung in cold water and worn by the patient. The thick dry underwear should be worn above the wet underwear. If the patient feels chill, she should be covered with a blanket.

Yogasanas, especially those which improve muscles of the abdomen and uterus are highly beneficial and should be practised regularly. These asanas are paschimottanasana, sarvagasana, halasana, padmasana, bhujansana, and shalabhasana. The patient should completely relax and should avoid mental tension and worry. Abdominal exercises and walking are also helpful.

Female Sterility

In Women's Problems on December 5, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Sterility in case of the female refers to the incapacity to conceive and give birth to a living baby. Sterility or failure to reproduce must be distinguished from frigidity which denotes failure to perform the sex act or performing it imperfectly.

It may be relevant to first examine the mechanism of conception. The sperms of the male are injected into the vagina during sexual intercourse. At the very same time an alkaline fluid is secreted from the vaginal walls. The sperms are able to move up the womb and through the fallopian tubes to fertilise the ova or the female egg only when this fluid is present.

Two factors are important in ensuring a normal secretion of this fluid. Firstly, there should be an adequate nerve supply to the vagina ducts. This is the reason why very nervous women fail to conceive. The nervous system in such cases must be strengthened by adequate rest, relaxation and a proper diet The second important factor is to ensure that the fluid flowing from the vaginal walls is alkaline. If this is not so, the sperms are destroyed by the acidic fluid, usually present in the vaginal canal and womb. To ensure the necessary alkalinity of the fluid, it is essential to take a predominantly alkaline diet, with a liberal intake of raw vegetables and fruits, and also to eliminate acid-forming foods.

Causes

Sterility in a female may be due to physical defects, physical debility and functional faults. Physical defects or structural abnormalities of the genitals and reproductive organs may be congenital or accidental and can result from malformation or sagging of the womb, collapse of the fallopian tubes and the rigidity of the hymen.

Sterility due to physical debility can result from poor health as a consequence of certain acute or chronic diseases. These diseases may affect not only the physical body but also the genital organs. Complaints like gonorrhea, syphilis and inflammation of the fallopian tubes also come under this category. Chronic anaemia, constipation and leucorrhoea aggravate these conditions.

Sterility may also be caused by loss of essential glands or organs of reproduction or a decrease in their functions, brought about by a variety of fators such as surgical injuries, tumour, excessive radiation and lack of normal menstrual cycle. Obesity or emaciation due either to dietetic errors or faulty metabolism are yet other factors which can contribute to female sterility. Psychological factors like emotional stress, tension, mental depression, anxiety and fear may also result in psychosomatic sterility. This conditions generally temporary and can be corrected by psychotherapy.

Treatment

Structural defects can be ascertained by a thorough physical examination and radiology and can be set right by surgery. Physical debility and the functional faults of organic nature can be cured by simple and effective methods of natural treatment. These methods include hygienic living, optimum nutrition and following all the laws of nature.

Fasting is the best remedy for the treatment of disorders resulting from toxins in the system. A short fast of two or three days should be undertaken at regular intervals by women who are unable to bear children. The bowels should be cleansed by a warm water enema during the period of fasting and afterwards when necessary. This will have a beneficial effect not only on the digestive system but also on the surrounding organs of the urinary and genital system. Diet is the most important factor in the treatment of sterility. It should consist of three basic health building food groups namely (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits.

These foods should be supplemented with milk, vegetable oils and honey. The best way to take milk is in its soured form, that is curd and cottage cheese. Each food group should roughly form the bulk of one of three meals. About 70 to 80 per cent of the diet should consist of foods in their natural uncooked states, because cooking destroys much of the nutritional values of the most foods. Sprouting is an excellent way of consuming seeds, beans and grains in their raw form in the process of sprouting the nutritional value is multiplied, new vitamins are created and the protein quality is improved.

The daily menu of a health-building and vitalising diet may be on the following lines :

Upon rising : A glass of lukewarm water with a juice of half a lemon and a spoonful of honey.

Breakfast : Fresh fruits like apple, orange, banana, grapes and grapefruit and a glass of milk.

Lunch: A bowl of steamed vegetables seasoned with vegetable oil or butter and salt, two or three whole wheat chappatis and a glass of buttermilk.

Mid-afternoon : A glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice.

Dinner : A large bowl of salad made up of fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, beetroots and onion, and sprouted moong or bengal gram.

Bed-time : A glass of milk or an apple.

Excessive fat, spicy foods,strong tea, coffee, white sugar, white flour, refined cereals, flesh foods , greasy or fried foods should all be avoided. Smoking or drinking , where habitual must be completely given up.

Certain nutrients, especially vitamin C and E and zinc have been found helpful in some cases of sterility. The woman who is unable to conceive should take daily 1000 mg. of vitamin C, 100 I.U. of vitamin E and 30 mg. of zinc.

Certain remedies have also been found useful in the treatment of female sterility where there are no organic defects or congenital deformities. One such remedy is a tender roots of the banyan tree. These roots should be dried in the shade and finally powdered. This powder should be mixed five times their weight with milk and taken at night for three consecutive nights after the monthly periods are over. No other food should be taken with this. It shoud be repeated after the completion of menstrual cycle every month till conception takes place.

An infusion of the fresh tender leaves of jambul fruit (jamun) taken with honey or buttermilk, is an excellent remedy for stenility and miscarriage due to ovarian or endometrium functional disorders . The leaves presumably stimulate the secretion of progesterone hormone and help the absorption of vitamin E.

The eggplant is also useful in overcoming functional sterility. Cooked tender eggplants, should be eaten with butter-milk everyday for a month or two for this purpose. It increases the capacity to absorb vitamin E and stimulate the secretion of progesterone.

Other helpful measures in overcoming female sterility are mud packs and cold water treatment like a hip bath and a wet girdle-pack. These treatments will greatly improve internal circulation in the genital organs and will relieve them of all kinds of inflammation and other abnormalities. Mud packs may be applied to the abdomen and sexual organs.

For a hip bath, a common tub may be used. The tub may be filled with sufficient water to cover the hips, when a person sits inside it. The cold hip bath should be taken for 10 minutes at a water temperature of 50 O to 65 o F. For wet girdle pack, a thin underwear wrung in cold water should be worn. Over this, a thick dry cotton or woolen underwear should be worn . All cold treatments should be suspended during menstruation. Certain yogasanas which help tone up the gonads should be practised regularly for overcoming female sterility. These asanas are sarvagasana, matyasana, ardhamatsyendrasana, paschimottanasana, and shalabhasana.

All these practices together with clean habits, proper rest and relaxation will go a long way in overcoming female sterility.

Habitual Abortion

In Women's Problems on December 5, 2007 at 2:47 pm

The term abortion refers to the expulsion of the foetus from the uterus before the complete formation of the placenta. It is also commonly known as miscarriage. This may occur any time before 28 weeks of gestation but is most common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Once in five to ten pregnancies terminates in this way.

When miscarriage occurs repeatedly at a certain period of pregnancy, it is termed ” habitual abortion “. It is one of the most perplexing problems of gyanaecology and a major cause of maternal mortality. A woman who has suffered two or more terminations of this sort consecutively is said to be a case of habitual abortion.

Symptoms

Pains of the same character as labour pains and bleedings are the two main symptoms of possible abortion. Bleeding may lead to the detachment of the ovum from the uterus. It now acts as a foreign body in the uterus which stimulates uterine contraction. This generates a lot of pain and the foetus is thrown out of the body. In later weeks when the foetus is well developed, if it dies in the uterus, it leads to maceration of the body. The abdomen is filled with blood and the skin colour appears red. Sometime after a few more days, the foetus gets dehydrated and the fluid surrounding the foetus gets dried away.

Causes

One of the most important cause of habitual abortion is a congenital malformation of the uterus. A hysterogram, before the woman becomes pregnant, will be useful in detecting any abnormality, so that she is made aware of her case. Deficient functioning of the thyroid is another important cause of habitual abortion.

Most cases of habitual abortion, however, result from an inadequate secretion of the female hormone progesterone. This hormone is responsible for the development of the placenta. In the early stage of pregnancy, the gonadotrophin secreted by the cytotrophoblast of the chorion, one of the foetal membranes, stimulates the corpus lotemum to produce more oestrogen and progesterone, both essential female hormones. At a later stage, by about the 12th week of pregnancy, the placenta takes over the production and secretion of the hormones. Any deficiency of these hormones at this stage is detrimental to the growth of the foetus. It is, therefore, during this critical period,when habitual abortion mostly occurs. Lack of progesterone is especially instrumental in expelling the fertilised ovum and it results in an abortion.

Another important cause of habitual abortion may be chronic constipation which leads to putrefaction of morbid matter and wastes in the large intestines. This in turn causes auto-intoxication and inflammation of the reproductive organs, which can lead to a miscarriage.

Abortion may result from the excessive use of certain drugs. Drugs enter the foetus through the placenta. They may act quite differently on the foetus from the mother. Drugs which have adverse effects on the foetus are called ” tera-togenestic drugs ” and may include painkillers, antibiotics, tranquillisers and hormones. A high dosage of such drugs may produce contraction in the uterus and induce abortion.

Other cause of habitual abortion are excessive physical exercise, mental excitement, sexual intercourse, syphilis infections fibroid tumours, blood incompatibly of husband and wife, systemic disorders in the mother like hypertension, chronic nephritis, diabetes and even her mental condition.

Thorough examination of the pregnant woman’s blood, urine, blood pressure and their related parameters help in detecting maternal disorders. Serological tests, for example, prove the presence or absence of syphilis infection. Pelvic examinations help to diagnose uterine displacements , fibroids or ovarian tumours. A hysterogram also helps to detect uterine malfunctions. The exact cause must be ascertained for prescribing correct treatment.

Treatment

Conditions such as hormonal imbalance, infections of the uterus and chronic constipation can be remedied by natural methods of treatment . For congenital uterine malformation, however, recourse may have to be taken to surgery.

On appearance of the first symptoms of possible abortion, the patient should be put to bed immediately and the bottom end of the bed raised. Cold compresses at 60 o F temperature should be applied continuously to the inner portion of the thighs, the perinium, the vagina and the lumbar region. Compresses should be changed every 15 to 20 minutes. When the compress is removed for renewing, the surface should be rubbed with a warm dry flannel for half a minute or until reddened, before applying the compress again. Simultaneously, a hot application should be made to the feet.

A neutral or warm water enema is an effective remedy for a constipated colon which is a major cause for the toxaemic condition of the uterus. This will relieve the bowels and thus reduce any excessive pressure on the uterus and other pelvic organs. A regular cold hip bath for a duration of 10 minutes twice every day is very helpful in relieving congestion and inflammation of the uterus. Wet girdle packs, twice every day, on an empty stomach, also relieve congestion’s and infections in the uterus and other pelvic organs. It is advisable that women with a history of repeated abortions should adopt these techniques before conception and continue them during the first two months of pregnancy.

Hormonal imbalances can be set right by practicing yogic exercise. Yogic asanas such as sarvangasana, vajrasana, bhujan-gasana, shalabhsana, dhanurasana, paschimottashana, and trikonasana are especially useful in improving thyroid, pituitary, adrenal and gonaidal endocrine functions and should be practised regularly by women who suffer from imbalances of this sort, up to the first two months of pregnancy.

Dietary control is of utmost importance in the prevention of habitual abortion. Pregnant women should avoid refined carbohydrates, sugars, non-vegetarian food, coffee and tea. They should also avoid oily and fried foods as such foods lead to constipation, which is very detrimental to pregnancy. Smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol must be strictly avoided.

The pregnant woman’s diet chart should be on the following lines :

Breakfast : Fresh fruits and a glass of milk mixed with a teaspoonful of honey.

Lunch : Steamed vegetables, boiled rice or whole wheat chappatis and soup or buttermilk.

Mid afternoon : A glass of fruit juice or a whole fruit.

Dinner : Cooked diet similar to the afternoon meal may be taken till the seventh month. After that, fruits, nuts, germinated seeds and sprouts, milk, buttermilk and soups must form her diet because they reduce the workload on the digestive system and thus help avoid indigestion, constipation and related disorders.

Indian gooseberry, known as amla in the vernancular, is considered useful in preventing abortion. A teaspoonful of fresh amla juice and honey mixed together should be taken every morning during the period of pregnancy. It will also prevent infections and help in the absorption of iron. A brew made from safflower foliage is also said to prevent abortion.

Pregnant women with a history of repeated abortions should take all other precautions necessary to prevent miscarriage. They should avoid sexual intercourse, during early pregnancy. They should go to bed early and rise early and take regular exercise, but avoid fatigue. They should sleep on a hard mattress with their heads low, and remain calm and cool.

All these measures will greatly help in correcting the phenomenon of habitual abortion.

Childbirth the Natural Way

In Women's Problems on December 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Childbirth, in the normal way, should be a purely natural function with very little pain or discomfort to the women concerned. It is so even today that with primitive races. But many civilised women appear to find the bearing of children a task fraught with grave risk and suffering and attended by numerous minor or serious after-effects. This is solely due to wrong dietary habits and a faulty style of living. Really healthy mothers will always have an easy time when pregnant.

Pregnancy makes many demands on the prospective mother, the most important being her nutritional needs and those of the unborn child. Studies of nutrition of women during pregnancy shows a definite relationship between the diet of the mother and the condition of the baby at birth. These studies have also shown that some of the complications of the pregnancy such as anaemia, toxemia and premature delivery may result from a diet inadequate in the nutritional needs of the mother and the baby.

The process of childbirth becomes painful mainly due to a large foetus in the womb. This results from an excessive intake of denatured foods such as white flour products, white sugar, refined cereals, meat and other flesh foods during pregnancy. Other factors contributing to the suffering of the women include lack of exercise, unhygienic habits of living and restrictive garments.

It is quite wrong to assume that the larger the baby at birth, the healthier it will be. The weight of the baby should be about three to three and a half kg. at birth. If the weight is more than that, delivery will be painful for the mother. Such a child will also be covered with unnecessary fat and watery tissue, which is really waste matter and an impediment to health.

A proper diet during pregnancy is the most important factor for not only having a painless childbirth but also for giving birth to a healthy baby. The idea of ” eating for two “, which is so prevalent today, is absurd and it leads to overeating, resulting in an unusually , heavy baby. The diet during pregnancy should consist of natural , vital foods and minimum intake of today’s denatured food products. The unborn child will require an adequate amount of orgnic minerals from its mother for building of bones and tissues and this can be supplied by natural food such as fruits, raw vegetables, whole meal bread, and milk, unnatural foods like white bread, sugar, meat, pudding and pies are very deficient in organic mineral matter and their intake during pregnancy leads to loss and decay of teeth, general debility and other ailments after childbirth.

Pregnancy is rendered more difficult in case of habitual constipation. IN the advanced stage, this is aggravated by the pressure of the enlarged uterus on the bowels. This can be avoided by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables of high fibre content. The expectant mother should drink eight to ten glasses of water. She should not delay going to the lavatory when there is the urge. In severe constipation, a lukewarm water enema may be taken once every week.

The diet for expectant mothers should be planned along the following lines by securing a safe and easy child birth and a healthy child :

Breakfast : Fresh fruit in season or grated raw carrot, or any other raw salad and milk. Prunes or other dried fruit may also be taken, if desired.

Lunch : Steamed vegetables, as obtainable, whole wheat chappatis and a glass of buttermilk.

Dinner : A good-sized raw salad of any suitable vegetables, sprouted mung beans, whole wheat bread, butter or cottage cheese and prunes or other dried fruit as dessert.

Besides proper diet, the expectant mother should be given daily a dry friction and cold sponge during the first five or six months of pregnancy. A dry friction bath can be taken with a rough dry towel or with a moderately soft bristle brush. If a brush is used, the procedure should be as follows : take the brush in one hand and begin with the face, neck and chest. Then brush one arm, beginning at the wrist and brushing towards the shoulders. Now stoop down and brush one foot, then the ankle and leg. Then do the other foot and leg and next the hips and certain portion of the body. Continue brushing each part until the skin is pink. Use the brush quickly backward and forward on every part of the body. If a towel is used, it should be fairly rough, and the same process should be followed. This bath excites to increased activity all the functional processes lying at or near the surface of the body.

The cold sponge is taken as follows: wring out a towel in cold water, and rub the whole body in the manner described for the friction bath. If, during the process of rubbing the towel becomes too dry, it should be wrung out again.

The expectant mother should also take breathing and other mild exercises. After the sixth month, tepid water may be used for the sponge. Exercises should either be modified or suspended altogether. A good walk should be taken daily right up to the end of the eighth month

and all household duties should be performed in a normal way. This will keep the muscles of the womb and pelvis in good condition and will ensure safe and easy childbirth. The exercise should, however, always be well within the capacity of the prospective mother and all unduestrain, worry or excitement should be avoided.

Recoupment

For the really healthy woman, recoupment after childbirth poses no problem. Women among primitive races are able to rise and go about their duties immediately after delivery. The woman of civilised nations are however, seldom able to do so. In fact it is customary to keep them in bed for a considerable time after child birth. It is usually due to abnormal slowness with which the generative organs assume the former position.

As in the case case of pregnancy, diet plays an important role in the recoupment after childbirth.

The diet of the mother for the first two days after confinement should consist of only fresh juicy fruits with some warm milk. A salad with thin whole meal bread and butter may be added to the diet the next day. The diet may thereafter be extended gradually until it approaches the pre-natal diet outlined above.

The diet should exclude white bread or white flour products, sugar, jam, pastries, puddings, pies, heavy, greasy and fried foods. Strong tea, coffee, alcohol, condiments, pickles, and vinegar should be strictly avoided.

It is most essential that the baby nurses at the mother’s breast to stimulate production of milk, especially during the critical period following birth. This is important for a number of reasons. The infant, nursing at the breast, causes the uterus to contract. The contraction of uterus will help expel any portion of the placenta which may still remain following delivery. It will also stop the mother from haemorrhaging. If those mothers who are afraid of losing their figures would try nursing their babies, they would discover their figures actually improve after child birth.

Feeding of children

During the first forty eight hours immediately after birth, the mother’s breasts generally do not produce milk. This is in accordance with nature’s plan that the infant should fast during this period. He will have no need for food and none should be given. All children after this period should be breast-fed where possible. Breast feeding is the natural and ideal way of feeding the infant. Mother’s milk is pure, fresh and easily digestible. It helps the child to grow. The child should be given four feeds a day at four-hourly intervals but no feeds should be given during the night. If the child wakes up at night only water should be given. Babies should be breast-fed for at least 8 months as this is nature’s way of providing all the required nutrients during this period.

Recent research has shown that the mother’s body is able to react to infections in the child and the bacteria in the baby’s mouth leads to the production of appropriate anti- bodies in the mother’s milk. Breast-fed babies are, therefore, less prone to gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. If for any reason, it is impossible to breast feed the child, it should be fed on goat’s milk or cow’s milk, diluted with water, with milk sugar added. The child should not be given artificially prepared, patent or tinned milk foods. When a mother can partly feed a child, she should give it two feeds of her own and two bottle feeds or one of her own and three bottle feeds. Those mothers who suffer from diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart trouble, should not breast feed their babies.

Where children are entirely breast-fed, they need nothing more than the milk they receive from their mothers. Children on bottle feed, should be given some orange juice daily, in addition to the bottle feeds. NO baby, whether breast- fed or bottle -fed should be given anything except milk and orange juice for the first 10 to 12 months of existence. NO starchy food or anything else should be given during this period. If they are given starchy foods such as bread, or oatmeal before weaning , it will lead to the early development of such child ailments as cough, colds, measles, whooping cough and so on as babies lack the proper enzymes needed for their digestion before that age.

At the age of one year, a baby should be given about a litre of milk with fruit juices daily. Never force a baby to take food if it does not want to, and never overfeed. If a baby shows no inclination for food or a certain day, it should be given as much as it wishes for and no more. The assumption that the baby should have a certain amount of food every day have no basis. On the other hand, if the baby does not appear to be satisfied with the quantity of its food and wants more at a feed, it should be given as much as it wants.