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of which the most serious trouble is occasionally caused.
Parturition.--At the end of the period of development, the young being
is forcibly expelled from the laboratory of nature in which it has been
formed. In other words, it is born; and this process is termed
_parturition_. Though, at first thought, such an act would seem an utter
impossibility, yet it is a very admirable illustration of nature's
adaptation of means to ends. During the months of gestation, while the
uterus has been enlarging to accommodate its daily increasing contents,
the generative passages have also been increasing in size and becoming
soft and distensible, so that a seeming impossibility is in due time
accomplished without physical damage, though possibly not without
intense suffering. However, it is a most gratifying fact that modern
medical science may do much to mitigate the pains of childbirth. It
is possible, by a proper course of preparation for the expected event,
to greatly lessen the suffering usually undergone; and some ladies
assert that they have thus avoided real pain altogether. Although the
curse pronounced upon the feminine part of the race, in consequence
of the sin of Eve, implies suffering in the parturient act, yet there
is no doubt that the greater share of the daughters of Eve are, through
the perverting and degenerating influences of wrong habits and
especially of modern civilization, compelled to suffer many times more
than their maternal ancestor. We have sufficient evidence of this in
the fact that among barbarian women, who are generally less perverted
physically than civilized women, childbirth is regarded with very
little apprehension, since it occasions little pain or inconvenience.
The same is true of many women among the lower laboring classes. In
short, while it is true that more or less suffering must always
accompany the parturient act, yet the excessive pain usually attendant
upon the process is the result of causes which can in many cases be
removed by proper management beforehand and at the time of confinement.
After being relieved of its contents, the uterus and other organs
rapidly return to nearly their original size.
Changes in the Child at Birth.--In the system of the child a wonderful
change occurs at the moment of its expulsion into the outer world. For
the first time, its lungs are filled with air. For the first time they
receive the full tide of blood. The whole course of the circulation
is changed, and an entirely new process begins. It is surprising in
how short a space of time changes so marvelous can be wrought.
Nursing.--The process of development is not fully complete at birth.
The young life is not yet prepared to support itself; hence, still
further provision is necessary for it. It requires prepared food suited
to its condition. This is provided by the _mammae_, or breasts, of the
female, which are glands for secreting milk. The fully developed gland
is peculiar to the female; but a few instances have been known in which
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