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expected confinement, for the purpose of rendering parturition, or
childbirth, more easy.
Should be taken by every pregnant woman.
Abortion, or miscarriage, means, in plain language, a woman losing her
child previous to the seventh month of her pregnancy; that is, before
its due time. When this occurs after that period it is called
Miscarriage involves pain and weakness in addition to the loss of
offspring, and is often a severe trial to the maternal constitution.
It may occur at any period of pregnancy, but particular stages are
more liable to the accident than others. These are generally
considered to be about the time of the first menstruation after
conception; again at the twelfth week, and toward the seventh month;
and the liability is increased at those times which correspond to the
menstrual period. When abortion has once taken place it is more likely
to occur again, and some have so strong a tendency to it that they
never go beyond a certain stage, but then invariably miscarry.
THE CAUSE OF ABORTION
may exist in the constitution of the female herself, being the result
of weakness and irritability, or of an overfull habit or a diseased
condition of the womb; or the foetus, or child, may die or be
deficient in development, when it is cast off like a blighted fruit.
Suckling after conception has taken place is not infrequently a cause
of miscarriage. Active diseases occurring during pregnancy, such as
fevers, severe inflammation, eruptive fevers, etc., are almost certain
to occasion the expulsion of the uterine contents. Continued
diarrhoea and the action of strong purgative medicines, particularly
the aloetic, are dangerous. This is a very good reason for those who
are pregnant avoiding all quack aperient medicines; they almost all
contain aloes, and may be very injurious. All undue exertion or
agitation of body or mind, sudden jerks or jumps, riding on horseback
in the early stage, or in a shaking carriage in the latter stages of
pregnancy, may any of them bring on miscarriage. To these may be
added: exertion of the arms in doing anything on a level above the
head; costive bowels and straining consequent therein; sexual
indulgence, or, in plain language, too much connection with your
husband; and luxurious habits. Those who have once suffered from
abortion ought to be extremely careful during succeeding pregnancies,
and all ought to bear in mind the possibility of the occurrence.
THE SYMPTOMS OF THREATENED ABORTION
vary with the constitution. In the strong and plethoric it is often
preceded by shivering and febrile symptoms and by a feeling of weight
in the lower bowels. In the weak there is languor, faintness,
flaccidity of the breasts, general depression, and pains in the back
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