A regular attempt to evacuate the bowels at the same hour every day is most important; this attempt should be patiently persisted in, even though at first there is no inclination for a motion. If all these measuros still do not prevent constipation, soma aperient such as infusion of senna pods or liquid extract of cascara may be required; it is better, however, to consult the doctor before taking aperients. Strong purges should never be taken.
Some six weeks or so before the expected date of confinement the doctor examines the position of the child; it is then often possible for him to correct some slight malpresentation. This examination is repeated two or three times, so that everything is done beforehand to make birth easy and normal, and the doctor knows any difficulties of delivery that are likely to occur. More Sleep Required
The busy working mother may have few opportunities for rest; she should, however, lie down every afternoon (better still, after each meal), at least during the latter months of pregnancy. If she feels lazy or tired, she will do the right thing to rest, if only for a few moments. Rest always means putting up the legs to relieve pressure on the veins. More sleep is required than ordinarily; eight or nine hours at the very least, in a room with the window wide open.
Pure air and sunlight are almost as im-portant to the health and strength of the mother and her unborn child as good food, and the more time the mother can spend out of doors the better. Given sound boots and a waterproof coat or mackintosh, the mother should not allow bad weather to detain her, but should walk briskly two miles or more overy day, resting after the walk. Rushing along, or walking so far as to cause fatigue, are harmful, but the full benefit of fresh air is not obtained unless the body is being exercised vigorously. Sunlight as a Tonic Sunlight kills disease germs, acts as a tonic to the body and a stimulant to the mind. It cheers and exhilarates, driving away worry and anxiety, and quickening the activities of the mind. It cannot, of course, perform these functions fully through glass, which keeps out the life-giving and germ-killing ultra-violet rays.
Moving air – only to be met at its best out of doors – cools the body and thus stimulates it to greater effort to maintain its own heat by better combustion of food, deeper breathing, and more active circulation of the blood, all of which lead to better general health, stronger resistance to disease, increased sustenance and protection for the unborn babe.
Indoors, good ventilation is required to keep the air of the rooms fresh and dry, and to prevent overheating. A stuffy or overheated room, especially if the air be at all damp, is most liarmful to the mother, producing headache, lassitude, clogged nasal passages and, becauso draughts circulate along the floor, the chance of catching cold.