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sometimes required special care during the first few days after
birth, perhaps because labor in these cases is sometimes slow.
The recovery of the mother was, in every case, absolutely normal,
and the fact that these young mothers become pregnant again more
readily than primiparae of a more mature age, further contributes
to show that childbirth below the age of sixteen is in no way
injurious to the mother. Gache (_Annales de Gynecologie et
d'Obstetrique_, Dec., 1904) has attended ninety-one labors of
mothers under seventeen, in the Rawson Hospital, Buenos Ayres;
they were of so-called Latin race, mostly Spanish or Italian.
Gache found that these young mothers were by no means more
exposed than others to abortion or to other complications of
pregnancy. Except in four cases of slightly contracted pelvis,
delivery was normal, though rather longer than in older
primiparae. Damage to the soft parts was, however, rare, and, when
it occurred, in every case rapidly healed. The average weight of
the child was 3,039 grammes, or nearly 63/4 pounds. It may be noted
that most observers find that very early pregnancies occur in
women who begin to menstruate at an unusually early age, that is,
some years before the early pregnancy occurs.
It is clear, however, that young mothers do remarkably well,
while there is no doubt whatever that they bear unusually fine
infants. Kleinwaechter, indeed, found that the younger the mother,
the bigger the child. It is not only physically that the children
of young mothers are superior. Marro has found (_Puberta_, p.
257) that the children of mothers under 21 are superior to those
of older mothers both in conduct and intelligence, provided the
fathers are not too old or too young. The detailed records of
individual cases confirm these results, both as regards mother
and child. Thus, Milner (_Lancet_, June 7, 1902) records a case
of pregnancy in a girl of fourteen; the labor pains were very
mild, and delivery was easy. E.B. Wales, of New Jersey, has
recorded the history (reproduced in _Medical Reprints_, Sept. 15,
1890) of a colored girl who became pregnant at the age of eleven.
She was of medium size, rather tall and slender, but well
developed, and began to menstruate at the age of ten. She was in
good health and spirits during pregnancy, and able to work.
Delivery was easy and natural, not notably prolonged, and
apparently not unduly painful, for there were no moans or
agitation. The child was a fine, healthy boy, weighing not less
than eleven pounds. Mother and child both did well, and there was
a great flow of milk. Whiteside Robertson (_British Medical
Journal_, Jan. 18, 1902) has recorded a case of pregnancy at the
age of thirteen, in a Colonial girl of British origin in Cape
Colony, which is notable from other points of view. During
pregnancy, she was anaemic, and appeared to be of poor development
and doubtfully normal pelvic conformation. Yet delivery took
place naturally, at full term, without difficulty or injury, and
the lying-in period was in every way satisfactory. The baby was
well-proportioned, and weighed 71/2 pounds. "I have rarely seen a
primipara enjoy easier labor," concluded Robertson, "and I have
never seen one look forward to the happy realization of
motherhood with greater satisfaction."
The facts brought forward by obstetricians concerning the good
results of early pregnancy, as regards both mother and child,
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