A French writer has recently called attention to the importance of treating the nipples during the last few weeks of pregnancy. He claims that they should be washed daily with soap and water and covered with a dry dressing.
For years it has been my practice to advise all pregnant women, especially primiparae, not only to wash the nipples every day for at least five or six weeks before confinement, but to apply for some time an antiseptic astringent dressing, and for the remainder of the time to keep them dry and in a septic condition. The solution I have used the most, is an infusion of white oak bark, one ounce to the pint, to which a dram of boric acid is added during the boiling process. In many cases this has prevented any irritation or excoriation of the nipples from the time lactation commences.
Subsequently, if there is trouble, the same solution may be used, as it is of much service in preventing thrush or other annoying forms of sore mouth on the part of the infant.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.