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No. 10 (April 1955)
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The Maori Mother
and her Child

Breast Feeding

The best food for baby is his mother's milk, To nurse a baby successfully a mother should be in good health and receiving a well balanced diet as recommended for the expectant mother. Breast feeding has many advantages. It lessens the chance of disease and it is economical in time and money. The milk is present in the breast at the right temperature and usually in the right quantity. It is free from germs and contains all elements necessary for growth.

Suckling by the mother is best and safest for the baby and the mother too. Nearly every mother can suckle her baby if she wants to, and if she is properly looked after before and after baby is born. The best bottle feeding is not as good. Baby should be put to the breast at 4-hourly intervals during the day, an eight hour interval being allowed at night between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Always hold baby up to expel wind.

The idea held by many Maori mothers that their milk does not agree with the baby is usually quite wrong. Breast feeding is the natural and much the easiest way, and is the best for both mother and baby.

No definite rule can be laid down as to the time every baby needs at the breast; 15–20 minutes is a fair average, but some get all they need in ten minutes. If baby is under 6lbs he should be fed every 3 hours and the time gradually extended to 4 hours. Too prolonged suckling is harmful, and gets baby into the bad habit of dawdling and sucking feebly, and dozing towards the end. Vigorous suckling should be encouraged. If necessary, the baby's hands and feet should be rubbed to promote activity.

Extras for all Breast Fed Babies

Fruit juice such as orange or grape fruit and rose hip syrup may be given baby from two weeks of age onwards. It should be diluted at first with an equal amount of boiled water. As baby gets older it can be given undiluted. From the first ½ teaspoon diluted with boiled water, by the time baby is six months' old he can take eight teaspoons of undiluted orange juice.

Rose hip syrup is not tolerated well by some babies, so it should be given diluted with boiled water, commencing with a quarter teaspoon with twice as much water, and by the time baby is six months' old, two teaspoons with at least twice as much water.

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Cod Liver Oil

All breast fed babies should be given cod liver oil by the time they are a month old. Start by giving two or three drops and gradually work up to half a teaspoon twice daily. Watch and see if baby can take it before increasing the amount. Some babies vomit for a start, and if this continues tell your nurse. Cod liver oil can be given in a teaspoon, or the bottle if baby is bottle fed.

The vitamin D in cod liver oil helps form good bones and teeth and prevents rickets, a deformity of the chest, pelvis, arms and legs.

Do not feed baby during the night, as both mother and child need a good eight hours' rest. If baby cries attend to him at once, for he may need his wet napkin changed. Then give him a tablespoon of boiled water in a bottle. Do not, however, give him milk. If treated in this way he will soon give up waking during the night.

It is important for the mother to avoid strong drink while baby is fed from the breast.


A healthy mother should be able to nurse her baby for six months at least. Some carry on for nine months. There may be reasons why a mother has to wean her child before this time, for instance if she suffers from tuberculosis, cancer, past or present mental derangement, or chronic ill health.

It is a good rule not to feed baby by bottle unless the doctor or nurse advises it. If the baby is premature or not doing well, if you find it difficult to feed him or think he is not getting enough nourishment, consult your nurse or doctor.

Pregnancy may make weaning necessary, but if the mother is in good health and baby doing well, sudden weaning is not called for. The mother should consult her doctor if she suspects she is pregnant again.

Preparation for Weaning

The wise mother will get her infant accustomed to taking water and fruit juice from a bottle from the age of two or three weeks, so that if for any reason baby has to be weaned early, he will not refuse the bottle.

Occasionally a baby who has never been introduced to a bottle will refuse to take it from his mother, because her presence is associated with feeding at the breast.

In normal cases weaning should be done gradually at six to nine months. Many a mother has experienced trouble, so it is wise to consult the nurse and not to wean suddenly. It is better to keep on with both breast and bottle feeding and commence full bottle feeding

Recommended for cases of
GOITRE and Rheumatism

GLACIA IODISED SALT is a highly refined salt of outstanding quality, containing a medically approved proportion of IODINE

It is particularly recommended for cases of GOITRE and Rheumatism, and is beneficial in replenishing deficiencies in the ordinary diet.

Always ask your grocer for GLACIA IODISED SALT.


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after a while, when your doctor or nurse advise the time has come.

It is always best to use fresh cows' milk. If this cannot be obtained use dried powdered milk, which is easy to prepare and easy to store. Consult your public health nurse who will tell you the right food and mixture. Special brands of milk for delicate and sick babies should also be recommended by the nurse or doctor.

Fruit Juice

As already stated, every baby needs fresh fruit juice daily, the bottle fed baby as well as the breast fed baby. This applies to cod liver oil.

Wrong Feeding

Much illness in babies is due to wrong feeding. Baby's motions should be watched carefully. Should he have scalded buttocks or frothy motions, take him to the doctor or call the nurse.

Signs of Under Feeding

The motions are small and constipated.


Baby is restless.


He is windy.


He may be fretful, and cry frequently both before and after feeding.


He loses weight, makes unsatisfactory progress.


Baby becomes too quiet and drowsy.

Over Feeding

Baby gains a lot of weight.


Too many motions.


Rash on face.


Brings up food.


He becomes restless or fretful.


He suffers from wind.


He vomits.


Diarrhoea or constipation—in every case consult nurse or doctor.


Continuing its earlier success in the entertainment field in Britain, the Maori Quartet recently joined the Gracie Fields show for a tour of Britain. The quartet contains four young Maori men—Joe Ward-Holmes, Henry Gilbert, Mac Hata and Pat Rawiri—who set out for Australia some years ago, and after some successes there went further afield.