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History of Animals   


forth.
Moreover the child voids excrement sometimes at once,
sometimes a little later, but in all cases during the first day; and
this excrement is unduly copious in comparison with the size of the
child; it is what the midwives call the meconium or 'poppy-juice'.
In colour it resembles blood, extremely dark and pitch-like, but later
on it becomes milky, for the child takes at once to the breast. Before
birth the child makes no sound, even though in difficult labour it put
forth its head while the rest of the body remains within.
In cases where flooding takes place rather before its time, it
is apt to be followed by difficult parturition. But if discharge
take place after birth in small quantity, and in cases where it only
takes place at the beginning and does not continue till the fortieth
day, then in such cases women make a better recovery and are the
sooner ready to conceive again.
Until the child is forty days old it neither laughs nor weeps
during waking hours, but of nights it sometimes does both; and for the
most part it does not even notice being tickled, but passes most of
its time in sleep. As it keeps on growing, it gets more and more
wakeful; and moreover it shows signs of dreaming, though it is long
afterwards before it remembers what it dreams.
In other animals there is no contrasting difference between one
bone and another, but all are properly formed; but in children the
front part of the head is soft and late of ossifying. And by the
way, some animals are born with teeth, but children begin to cut their
teeth in the seventh month; and the front teeth are the first to
come through, sometimes the upper and sometimes the lower ones. And
the warmer the nurses' milk so much the quicker are the children's
teeth to come.
11

After parturition and the cleasing flood the milk comes in plenty,
and in some women it flows not only from the nipples but at divers
parts of the breasts, and in some cases even from the armpits. And for
some time afterwards there continue to be certain indurated parts of
the breast called strangalides, or 'knots', which occur when it so
happens that the moisture is not concocted, or when it finds no outlet
but accumulates within. For the whole breast is so spongy that if a
woman in drinking happen to swallow a hair, she gets a pain in her
breast, which ailment is called 'trichia'; and the pain lasts till the
hair either find its own way out or be sucked out with the milk. Women
continue to have milk until their next conception; and then the milk
stops coming and goes dry, alike in the human species and in the
quadrupedal vivipara. So long as there is a flow of milk the
menstrual purgations do not take place, at least as a general rule,
though the discharge has been known to occur during the period of
suckling. For, speaking generally, a determination of moisture does
not take place at one and the same time in several directions; as
for instance the menstrual purgations tend to be scanty in persons
suffering from haemorrhoids. And in some women the like happens
owing to their suffering from varices, when the fluids issue from
the pelvic region before entering into the womb. And patients who
during suppression of the menses happen to vomit blood are no whit the
worse.
12

Children are very commonly subject to convulsions, more especially
such of them as are more than ordinarily well-nourished on rich or
unusually plentiful milk from a stout nurse. Wine is bad for
infants, in that it tends to excite this malady, and red wine is worse
than white, especially when taken undiluted; and most things that tend
to induce flatulency are also bad, and constipation too is
prejudicial. The majority of deaths in infancy occur before the
child is a week old, hence it is customary to name the child at that

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