Friday, April 4, 2008


If a labour be long and tedious, the head and body of the child may be
bruised and disfigured.
The shape of the head is frequently altered by the compression it has
undergone, so that it may be elongated, and measure from the chin to
the back of the head as much as six or seven inches. This always
excites surprise, sometimes apprehension, in the minds of the
attendants: there is no ground for it. It must be allowed to regain its
natural shape without interference.
Tumours or swellings upon the head are very common. They arise from
pressure upon the part during the labour. The only treatment that is
required, or safe, is, freedom from all pressure, and the application
of cold lotions composed of brandy or vinegar and water. The swelling
will gradually subside. It will be right to direct the attention of the
medical man to this circumstance.
The face may be frightfully disfigured from the above cause,
exceedingly black, and the features distorted. Nothing is necessary
here; in a few days the face will recover its proper appearance.
Occasionally an infant will not pass any urine for many hours after
its birth. This most frequently arises from the fact of none being
secreted. In the last case of this kind that I was called to, three
days had elapsed since birth, and no urine had been passed; it proved
that none had been secreted. Sometimes, however, it is the effect of
another cause, which the use of the warm bath will be found to remove,
which should always therefore be employed four and twenty hours after
the birth of the infant, if it has not by that time passed any water.
It now and then happens, but fortunately very rarely, that some
physical obstruction exists. It is always important, therefore, for the
nurse to pay attention to the above point; and it is her duty to direct
the attention of the medical man to the subject, if anything unusual or
unnatural be present. The same observation applies to the bowel also;
and if twelve hours pass without any motion, the parts should be


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