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!