Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 30 > Page 20 - With Mabel Louise Dubbin, V.O.N

Page 20 - With Mabel Louise Dubbin, V.O.N

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1 (271 reads)

was a terrible lot of deaths during my first summer, or take the second summer that I was there, from this "summer sick? ness" they called it, or enteritis. I urged all the mothers to breast-feed their babies, and I was not very happy if any mother decided she couldn't. And most of them decided they would try. They'd been given just bottles, and nothing sterilized. A lot of these mothers didn't know how to make up a mixture for the babies--perhaps they'd get the milk too strong--they hadn't been taught. So I insisted that eve? ry mother that had a new baby had to nurse her baby to the last of October. That's when all the heat would go. Then they could put their babies on the bottle. But they had to nurse their babies during the hot weather. It could happen in cold weath? er, if the mother wasn't giving a proper formula. But every mother should nurse her baby for 3 months an57way, to get that baby a proper start. Well then, by doing that, the death rate went down. And after a few summers, we seldom saw the hearse with a pair of white horses, I'm a certified midwife--so if a doctor wasn't around, I could do the work the same as a doctor. I used to say I was there for the baby, and the doctor was there for the afterbirth. So I said, "If the baby's come, that's all right, don't worry, the doctor'11 be here for the after? birth." That's the thing to worry about-- that's the time you can get a hemorrhage. I don't think they'd started to train wo? men in Canada as midwives. They were doing it, but they weren't trained. You know, they'd go out with a doctor on a case, and the doctor'd tell them what to do, and they'd do that. They had no proper scales in those days. And the doctor would tie it up in a napkin, bounce it up and down and say, "Oh, that's 8 pounds!" Then when I went around, I had the proper scales. "Oh, my baby always weighed more than that!" Mothers didn't like that. I said, "That's all right, I've got the proper scale-- that's all the baby weighs now, an37way." When I was at Dr. Bamardo's, I had wonder? ful training there. There were little ba? bies that came in in such awful condition, they were kept alive by hot water bottles. And then there was a premature baby at the Pier, it weighed 2% pounds. They had no hot water bottle, so I said to the father, "You go out and get 6 bricks." And we kept 3 in the oven and 3 in the cot. That baby was surrounded by heat. The doctor said, "He can't live, there's no incubators up at the hospital." And that's what I did. I used to pump the breasts, give the baby breast milk by the dropper. And when that baby was a year old, it was taken to the clinic, weighed 14 pounds. One night I had 3 confinements, one after the other, in the night, and I got no rest in the daytime. There wasn't time to go to bed in the daytime. You have to attend all those mothers and babies that you've had in the night. You couldn't go to bed. I was on the district for 32 years. I'd say I must have helped with 5000 babies. See, they were supposed to call the doc? tor. But if they could have the midwife, they weren't going to bother with the doc? tor. You can understand that, can't you? That would save the expense of the doc- Your Country Homestead Is It Properly Insured? Joseph Salter's Sons Ltd. North Sydney Telephone: 794-4717 create the mood of elegance With the unforgettable gift of luxury . . , real fur! See our collection of coats, jackets and stoles. Choose from Eastern Canada's largest selection. 338 Charlotte St., Sydney 562-5501
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