London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Erith 1919

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Erith]

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of babies in arms, with a sprinkling of older children,
that is children under school age. Very soon, however,
these latter increased in number to such an extent
that the infants were not receiving so much attention
as at the beginning—it was therefore decided to set
aside one day in each month when the toddlers might
have first place. This arrangement has been a success
from the beginning, and has proved satisfactory to the
parents and guardians, and to the officials. The
mothers whose children are no longer infants feel that
their youngsters are receiving the attention due to
them, and indeed the transference of Baby to the
Toddlers' Day is quite an interesting promotion, and
the little ones themselves feel the importance of the
occasion !
" The Antenatal Clinic which takes place every
Tuesday morning at the Council Offices, Erith, is
quite a success, if one may judge by the number of
expectant mothers who attend. But I should like to
emphasize the fact that the clinic is in no sense a
treatment centre. It exists for the purpose of giving
advice on questions of personal hygiene, on how to
maintain health, on how to prepare for the satisfactory
feeding of the new arrival, as well as how to train
baby when he does arrive.
" It is astonishing how little is known by the young
mother of the needs of her first born, but it is at this
stage that we are able to teach a few of the vital facts
of this important subject.
" In the near future.we hope to have a few cots at
our disposal in the new centre at " Hainault " where
it will be possible to superintend the feeding and
general treatment of the babies, and at the same time
provide some teaching for those mothers who are
anxious to learn.
" Since the Dental Clinic has been in existence an
immense amount of good work has been accomplished