For the same reason, the infant that sleeps with its parent must not be allowed to have the nipple remaining in its mouth all night. Her previous habits were totally at variance with the plan which was adopted; her system became too full, disease was produced, and the result experienced was nothing more than what might be expected. Until the breast- milk is fully established, which may not be until the second or third day subsequent to delivery (almost invariably so in a first confinement), the infant must be fed upon a little thin gruel, or upon one third water and two thirds milk, sweetened with loaf sugar.
Having been accustomed, prior to becoming a mother, to take a glass or two of wine, and occasionally a tumbler of table beer, she was advised to follow precisely her former dietetic plan, but with the addition of half a pint of barley-milk morning and night. This is an injurious and even dangerous practice, for, by overloading the stomach, the food remains undigested, the child's bowels are always out of order, it soon becomes restless and feverish, and is, perhaps, eventually lost; when, by simply attending to the above rules of nursing, the infant might have become healthy and vigorous.
The foregoing plan, and without variation, must be pursued to the sixth month. Healthy, nourishing, and digestible milk can be procured only from a healthy parent; and it is against common sense to expect that, if a mother impairs her health and digestion by improper diet, neglect of exercise, and impure air, she can, nevertheless, provide as wholesome and uncontaminated a fluid for her child, as if she were diligently attentive to these important points. This is necessary to the well-doing of the child, and will contribute essentially to preserve the health of the parent, who will thus be rendered a good nurse, and her duty at the same time will become a pleasure.
And this leads me to observe, that it is a common mistake to suppose that, because a woman is nursing, she ought therefore to live very fully, and to add an allowance of wine, porter, or other fermented liquor, to her usual diet. The right plan of proceeding is plain enough; only let attention be paid to the ordinary laws of health, and the mother, if she have a sound constitution, will make a better nurse than by any foolish deviation founded on ignorance and caprice.
After this time it must obtain its nourishment from the breast alone, and for a week or ten days the appetite of vertical bearing the infant must be the mother's guide, as to the frequency in offering the breast