The first sign of pregnancy is the stopping of the monthly menstrual periods. Occasionally the periods continue, but this is rare and it is usually not a normal period. An early symptom is morning sickness. Some women do not suffer from this at all, but in others, it is very severe and disabling. In about six or eight weeks the breast begins to enlarge and the nipples become prominent with a dark ring around them. Movements of the child are felt between four and five months.

Regular but not strenuous exercise must be taken during the entire nine months to keep the muscles in good condition, as childbirth is chiefly a muscular action. The habit that a large majority of women have of lying or sitting most of the time, is a most injurious one both to the child and mother, as it causes the muscles to become weak and the health to generally run down. To have a beautiful baby, take plenty of gentle exercises. Brisk walking in the open air is one of the best exercises. When sleeping or resting, lie in different positions on either side, then on the stomach, then on the back.

I have seen many instances where women were obliged to do their own housework, as well as work in the garden, right up to the time of confinement and they had an almost painless delivery. Care should be taken, however, not to exercise to the point of exhaustion.

All bad habits must be abandoned and all unnecessary medication discontinued. Due to the fact that nowadays so many women smoke and drink, it cannot be overemphasized that this will have an extremely damaging effect on the child, mentally, morally, and physically. The mother should have plenty of rest, fresh air, and moderate exercise. A simple nourishing, non-stimulating diet is necessary if you want to have a happy, healthy, normal child. The meat of all kinds should be eaten very sparingly, if at all.

Inflammation of the kidneys is a frequent occurrence during pregnancy and is greatly encouraged by the use of meat. The diet should consist largely of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is an erroneous idea that the infant will be marked if the craving for some particular article of food is not satisfied.

Special attention must be given to the bowels. They should move every day. Use laxative herbs if necessary to keep them regular, but it is preferable to keep the bowels regular as far as possible with the diet. Figs, bran cereals, whole grain bread, raisins, and prunes are good for this.

Breastfeeding is the best method for healthy mothers who have full-term babies. There are three main advantages: nutritional, psychological, and immunological. There is also an economic advantage, and no time is needed for the preparation of formulas. Breastfeeding is clean, and contamination of any kind is infrequent. Breastfeeding also offers some degree of protection against pregnancy, but it should not be relied on as a completely safe means of contraception during this time.

The nutrient content of breast milk is especially suited for infants. It produces a small curd in the infant’s stomach that can easily be digested. The total protein content is much lower than cow’s milk, so less nitrogen has to be removed by the infant’s immature kidneys and liver. The amount and type of protein in human milk are ideal for the infant’s growth and it is unlikely to cause any type of allergic reaction. The relatively large amount of cholesterol in human milk is needed for the proper development of the nervous system and alumroot and white oak bark. The hot water coagulates the blood and stops the flow. In the absence of these herbs, a solution may be made of alum crystals, which can be obtained in nearly every drugstore.

Diet during Pregnancy

Tea, coffee, rich and heavy foods, fish, oysters, condiments of all kinds, and all stimulating foods and drinks should be strictly avoided in the diet if a nursing mother. Very little, if any, meat should be eaten as meat contains many bacteria that cause poisons in the intestines, and the infants, as well as the mother, may become poisoned by it.

To avoid constipation, eat as much bulk-containing food as possible, for example, lettuce, carrots, spinach, beets, prunes, figs, apples, apricots, zwieback, shredded wheat biscuits, wheat flakes, bran cereals, ripe olives, grapes, and berries of all kinds. Fruit juices of all kinds, especially orange juice, are also excellent.

Two of the most important things when nursing a child are to keep the bowels regular and to keep calm at all times.

Foods to increase the milk

Potassium broth and mashed potatoes are both very strengthening and nutritious and will increase the milk, as will whole grain cereals, especially oatmeal and oatmeal water.

Always drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Insufficient water will always cause insufficient milk. Dill herb tea will help to increase the milk also.

Foods to decrease the flow of milk

The drinking of sage tea will dry up the milk. Do not take many liquids and eat dry foods.

During the entire nine months, it is very helpful to thoroughly massage the entire area of the stomach and abdomen with cocoa butter or some good oil every evening before retiring. This will help prevent the marks on the skin that are caused by stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy, as it lubricates the skin and helps make it more elastic.
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