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it has been sufficiently developed to become functionally active in
men, as well as in young girls, though it is usually inactive even in
women until near the close of gestation. It is a curious fact that the
breasts of a new-born child occasionally contain milk.
The first product of the mammae is not the proper milk secretion, but
is a yellowish fluid called _colostrum _. The true milk secretion begins
two or three days after delivery.
The lacteal secretion is influenced in a very remarkable manner by the
mental conditions of the mother. By sudden emotions of grief or anger,
it has been known to undergo such changes as to produce in the child
a fit of indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, and even convulsions and
death. Any medicine taken by the mother finds its way into the milk,
and often affects the delicate system of the infant more than herself.
This fact should be a warning to those nursing mothers who use
stimulants. Cases are not uncommon in which delicate infants are kept
in a state of intoxication for weeks by the use of alcoholic drinks
by the mother. The popular notion that lager-beer, ale, wine, or alcohol
in any other form, is in any degree necessary or beneficial to a nursing
woman is a great error which cannot be too often noticed and condemned.
Not only is the mother injured, instead of being benefited by such a
practice, but great injury, sometimes life-long in its consequences,
is inflicted upon the babe at her breast who takes the intoxicating
poison at second hand, and is influenced in a fourfold degree from its
feebleness and great susceptibility.
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