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The Mother and Her Child

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There can be no grander, more noble, or higher calling for a healthy, sound-minded woman than to become the mother of children. She may be the colaborer of the business man, the overworked housewife of the tiller of the soil, the colleague of the professional man, or the wife of the leisure man of wealth; nevertheless, in every normal woman in every station of life there lurks the conscious or sub-conscious maternal instinct. Sooner or later the mother-soul yearns and cries out for the touch of baby fingers, and for that maternal joy that comes to a woman when she clasps to her breast the precious form of her own babe.


Motherhood is by far woman's highest and noblest profession. Science, art, and careers dwindle into insignificance when we attempt to compare them with motherhood. And to attain this high profession, to reach this manifest "goal of destiny," women are seeking everywhere to obtain the best information, and the highest instruction regarding "mothercraft," "babyhood," and "child culture."

In an Indiana town not long ago, at the close of a lecture, a small, intellectual-appearing mother came forward, and, tenderly placing her tiny and emaciated infant in my arms, said: "O Doctor! can you help me feed my helpless babe? I'm sure it is going to die. Nothing seems to help it. My father is the banker in this town. I graduated from high school and he sent me to Ann Arbor, and there I toiled untiringly for four years and obtained my degree of B. A. I have gone as far as I could—spent thousands of dollars of my unselfish father's money—but I find myself totally ignorant of my own child's necessities. I cannot even provide her food. O Doctor! can't something be done for young women to preparé them for motherhood?"


The time will come when our high and normal schools will provide adequate courses for the preparation of the young woman for her highest profession, motherhood. This young mother, who had reached the goal of Bachelor of Arts, found to her sorrow that she was entirely deficient in her education and training regarding the duties and responsibilities of a mother. In every school of the higher branches of education that train young women in their late teens there should be a chair of mothercraft, providing practical lectures on baby hygiene, dress, bathing, and the general care of infants, and giving instruction in the rudiments of simple bottle-feeding, together with the caloric values of milk, gruels, and other ingredients which enter into the preparation of a baby's food.

Young women would most enthusiastically enroll for such classes, and as years passed and marriage came and children to the home, imagine the gratitude that would flood the souls of the young mothers who were fortunate enough to have attended schools where the chairs of motherhood prepared them for these new duties and responsibilities.


Just as soon as it is known that a baby is coming into the home, the expectant mother should engage the best doctor she can afford....