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Counsels on Health

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    The Feeding of Infants

    The period in which the infant receives its nourishment from its mother is critical. Many a mother, while nursing her infant, has been permitted to overwork, heating her blood over the cookstove; and the nursling has been seriously affected, not only with fevered nourishment from the mother's breast, but its blood has been poisoned by the unhealthy diet of the mother, which has fevered her whole system, thereby affecting the food of the infant. The infant is also affected by the condition of the mother's mind. If she is unhappy, easily agitated, irritable, giving vent to outbursts of passion, the nourishment the infant receives from its mother will be inflamed, often producing colic, spasms, and, in some instances, causing convulsions, or fits.CH 79.3

    The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important, then, that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured, and the calm, self-possessed course the mother pursues in the treatment of her child has much to do in molding the mind of the infant. If it is nervous and easily agitated, the mother's careful, unhurried manner will have a soothing and correcting influence, and the health of the infant will be much improved.CH 80.1

    Infants have been greatly abused by improper treatment. If fretful, they have generally been fed to keep them quiet, when, in most cases, receiving too much food, made injurious by the wrong habits of the mother, was the very cause of their fretfulness. More food only made the matter worse; for the stomach was already overloaded....CH 80.2

    The mother often plans to accomplish a certain amount of work during the day; and when the children trouble her, instead of taking time to soothe their little sorrows, and divert them, something is given them to eat, to keep them still. This accomplishes the purpose for a short time, but eventually makes things worse. The children's stomachs are pressed with food when they have not the least want of food. All that is required is a little of the mother's time and attention.CH 80.3

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