Saturday, October 11, 2008

More Lip Service From the Good Dr. West

There was a young lady from Fargo, she's covered all over with Argo....



It's been a while since we have heard from the good Dr. West, physician and author of Maidenhood and Motherhood (c)1886. I happened upon a chapter in the maternity section, today where it appears that Dr. West, by writing this pages, may very will be a major cause of post natal hysteria in literate women.



The chapter, Unnatural Developments, states that "Anatomical peculiarities upon the body of the child are often produced by mental impression received on the mind of the mother during pregnancy. This is denied by some psychologists who maintain that such defects marks for deformities are more the result on inheritance. Careful observation, however leads to the conclusion that many such phenomena are due to forces that have their origin in the mind, life and habits of the mother while her child is developing within her womb. "




You are seeing only sunshine and flowers and plates piled high with modjeskca's



At this point he lists several very unfortunate unnatural developments including club-feet, malformed fingers, toes, etc. And states "Every physician is familiar with instances to prove that these are caused by the mother.



He has several well authenticated cases, including one where the child was born with symptoms of intoxication including muscular tremblings and shambling gait. He blames this on the Missus. It seems she had to go to the market(probably to pick up some laudanum, lead and mercury for a tonic), and "was compelled to pass a grog-shop on her way, where she heard a loud raucous voice singing a ribald song." It sounded suspiciously like her very own darling husband!!!!




Soon as we're done here I'm going to clock the photographer with this pail



"She was so struck with astonishment that she involuntarily looked in at the door, not to verify (right I am so sure!), mind you, but to remove the unpleasant suspicions which the familiar voice created. There she beheld her husband in a state of hilarious intoxication. This was but a few weeks before the birth of her child. It was a boy. ...he soon developed the peculiarities noted.... It is one of the most singular cases on record and can be accounted for on no other hypothesis that that the impression of horror made on the mother's mind was conveyed to the fetus within her womb."

Picture man, this is my dog Cujo. His mouth is bubbly. I'm know how to sic him on you.




Other problems caused by the mother include and are not limited to: birthmarks, children who are not fair and beautiful or lofty and pure, who suffer from moral derelictions , children who look more like the milkman than the father, and those have a lack of intelligence.



He goes on to state: The proof is so conclusive in fact that it becomes almost a cruelty for the mother to allow her mind to dwell on any but pleasant subjects , or to be occupied with any but cheerful pictures......the subject is worthy of the gravest attention. It imposes a responsibility on the mother that she will do well to regard.





Hey you! Yeah, you! Come 'ere. I wanna ax you. Er, I mean I wanna ax you a question.




Let's all give Dr. West a big hand for his reassuring and informative assistance to the delicate and impressionable mother-to-be!

Look Mummy! I've torn a lovely piece of yellow wallpaper off my nursery wall!

20 comments:

Lavinia said...

You know, this could explain alot---or everything---about me. I am going to have to go visit my doddering old mother in the nursing home and closely interrogate--I mean question---her about all she did, saw and thought from day one of her pregnancy with me. Armed with the good doctor's amazing proof, I aim to get to the bottom of things.

Signed,
D.E. Ranged

Debby said...

It makes me feel so much better to know that all my deficits that makes my mother so unhappy with me are really her own fault.

smilnsigh said...

I really think this is one book, which needs to be stomped upon, heavily. Yishhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Miss Mari-Nanci

MuseSwings said...

Livinia - I think my dear mother was saw a flying saucer which made me spacey. Oh, look! What is that shiney object I must investigate. Now what was I saying?
A. Lien

Debbie! That's exactly it. Not our fault. We are completely innocent!.

Good news, Miss Mari-Nanci - the book is disintgrating from age. It will be dust in a few weeks if I don't take immediate action. I promise not to do anything to stop the process.

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

It's hard to imagine that sensible people ever believed such hokum! LOL!

Lavinia said...

Of course it's a saucer! ((nodding head vigorously)).

I. Diot

MuseSwings said...

Karla - they were still doing blood letting as a cure for hysteria....so yeah ...it's not so hard to believe.

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Oh when will adam cease from blaming eve? :-o)

Debby said...

As late as the 1950's, doctors were advising pregnant women to take up smoking as a antidote for excessive weight gain (ie anything more that 6 lbs or so). Doctors know a great deal that we cannot. Ladies: you must certainly stop rolling about in hysteria, lest we have to call in Dr. West immediately. (Dear heavens. Can you imagine what he's going to do with our little group?)

Mim said...

My mom gained about 50lbs with me and I think I will now go blame my continued weight issues on poor old MOM!

Shellmo said...

It's amazing to me that this dr was able to spew this nonsense!
(Loved the captions on all of your photos!)

MuseSwings said...

Ladies! That's the attitued, we can blame our moms for everyting.

Debby - I remember an ad if Life Magazine: 9 out of 10 doctors who smoke recommend Lucky Strike! LSMFT! (anyone out there remember what LSMFT stands for?)

Shelly - thank you. Personally I'm scared of every one of those little people.

Livinia - I know exactly who to blame for my temper tantrums!
If you wanna ax me I will tell you.
Liz Borden

Lavinia said...

Lizzie borden had an axe, gave her father forty wacks

soulbrush said...

tell me ms, what do you do for fun??

Sandy said...

Well this was interesting..veddy interesting...

Debby said...

Muse: I've read several references to peeling yellow wall paper...explain please.

Marie Reed said...

The images are so dreamy

MuseSwings said...

Debby - it's a short story written in 1892 byt Charlotte Gilman.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yellow_Wallpaper

Copy and paste this to read more about it

Blicky Kitty said...

Now I know where the food nazis from What to Eat When You're Expecting find their historical roots!

To think! When I was measuring out wheat germ for my yogurt fruit smoothies and chopping veggies for my stirfries I coulda kept my feet up, nibbled on lead paint chips and stayed in a laudinum stupor for nine months.

mmmm... yummy... laudinum....

MuseSwings said...

Blick! Bummer on missing out on that laudinum. Perigoric is good too - aka camphorated tincture of opium. They've taken that all away but there's always those paint chips and laundry starch. Wallpaper paste is good for early evening snacks.