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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 5 (August 1, 1939)

Our Women's Section

page 57

Our Women's Section

Today, child-birth is not an “illness” to be dreaded, but a natural function which any happily-married woman wishes to experience. Babies —to be, or already arrived—are very much in the foreground as a topic of interest when the “young marrieds” foregather. Witness the rather plain-tive paragraph in a letter from a young Canadian friend. “Those of my girl friends who haven't families already are expecting them in the near future. I think I'll get me a dog so I'll have something conversationally to contribute, and I can knit him a coat while the other girls are knitting.”

The present generation, through sane diet and habits of living, is well-fitted for motherhood. An active outdoor life has ensured that muscles, particularly those of the abdomen which will have to support the weight of the child, are of healthy tone. There has been no wearing of boned corsets to make muscles lazy and to press the body organs out of position.

The First Child

The utmost the modern girl will put up with in the way of body “restriction” is a light, unboned, sports corset.

Her diet is a sensible one, and, with very few changes, suitable for the period of pregnancy.

Suggestions for the Mother-to-be.

(1) See your doctor early. He will examine you thoroughly, and arrange for you to visit him periodically to check up on your health.

(2) Drink the juice of two oranges daily on rising. This early morning drink, incidentally, is of benefit to those who, through pressure caused by earlier wearing of stiff corsets, are subject to morning sickness.

(3) Simplify the diet, avoiding pastries and heavily-seasoned dishes. Eat plenty of uncooked fruit and green vegetables. Take at least a pint of milk daily, as a drink or in puddings. (The calcium content is essential for your own and baby's teeth). Cut down on meat, substituting fish (invaluable for iodine) twice a week, and a poached egg on another day.

Note the advice of J. B. S. Haldane, the biologist: “If you are an adult, and eat an orange every other day and liver once a week, you will probably get enough vitamins for most purposes, including some which you cannot yet buy from the chemist.”

Avoid late supper, particularly during the later months. Warm milk is a sleep-inducing bedtime drink.

If your diet is well-balanced you will find you are eating less than usual, rather than more. This is a good thing, showing that your system is receiving all that it needs. Also, your medical adviser will tell you that it is not in your interests to bear an over-weight child.

(4) Wear light, non-constricting clothes, hung from the shoulders. With a normally healthy woman there is no need of support. Your doctor will advise you if weak muscles or internal displacement require a belt.

If you wish to wear a skirt, have it hung from a bodice, and have the garment, bodice and all, made with a wide, adjustable wrap-over. As regards dress styles, the wrap-over at front or back is superior to adjustable pleats, which never sit so well when they have been adjusted.

page 58

Shoes, of course, will be of the sensible variety, roomy and flat-heeled.

(5) Varicose veins are to be guarded against. If legs ache, stop what you are doing, and rest with the legs raised. You will save yourself a lot of future tiredness if you take care of your legs now. Some women sleep with the legs raised on a pillow, or with the ends of the bed raised on five-inch or six-inch wooden blocks.

No matter how well you are, a rest with the legs up is advisable after lunch. “Early to bed” is one of the best health rules.

(6) Strenuous exercise is not advisable. Golf and tennis, non-competitive, are possible for some during the first few months. Swimming is a fine exercise which may be continued until quite late. Walking, however, pursued conscientiously (up to three miles daily) is the only essential exercise. “Drill exercises” of certain kinds are advised for those who feel they are not getting sufficient activity otherwise.

Ordinary household duties can be carried on as usual, except that heavy lifting should be entirely avoided.

(7) It is important to supplement the natural elasticity of the skin by rubbing the front of the body with olive oil daily from the fifth month.

For Guest Rooms.

Unit Furniture.

Plan your furniture in advance, and then talk things over with your cabinet-maker. He will have new suggestions to offer, and will probably produce overseas trade catalogues to illustrate what he has in mind.

A clever idea for the house with two guest rooms is to build interchange-able furniture units. You can then put together a suite for a double room, or single rooms to suit either a man or a woman.

A two-drawered cheval dressing-table may be made more elaborate by placing a pedestal (lower cupboard, two drawers on top) at one end, or at both ends. Two single wardrobes become a unit when a chest of drawers is placed between them. You may prefer to link the man's wardrobe to his dressing-chest and the woman's to her dressing-table. A small dressing-mirror will be placed on the chest of drawers when it is moved into the room you are preparing for the bachelor. The dressing-chest thus remains for the married man.

The combinations are many and interesting—and you are always at liberty to replan your rooms to suit your mood or your guests.

Units must, of course, be of the simplest design, with no projections at the sides. Their attraction will lie in their good line and form, and in the beauty of the wood. An inlaid banding of contrasting wood forms a simple and effective decoration in the modern style.

Dressmaking Course.

The attention of readers is directed to page 3 of this issue, on which appear particulars of a simplified dressmaking course.

Health Notes.
The Nose.

Teeth and skin reflect the care and attention given them, and the shape of the nose is also influenced by the diet in the formative years of childhood.

Children need large amounts of calcium and phosphorus. Without it they develop rickets and incidental weaknesses.

Sometimes the cartilage of the nose that separates the nostrils fails to toughen because of a lack of the needed minerals. The nose as a result often becomes one-sided and distorted.

Children can be safeguarded against bone softness and deformity with plenty of milk and orange juice.

Pastries, bread, biscuits and cake are poor in calcium, so before the child satisfies his or her appetite on these foods it is as well to see that the correct quota of milk and orange juice is provided.

Adenoids are traced to the deficiency in the diet of minerals and vitamins. Children are often given too much starch, sugar and fat foods, so they have not space for the proper amount of milk, fruits and vegetables that are so rich in the minerals and vitamins.

Too much starchy food will have a brightening effect on the nose of an adult. The nose becomes shiny and red, and all efforts to hide these blemishes will be unavailing. At the first change of temperature the nose becomes more or less of a beacon.

Sugar and starch, too, have an effect on the liver. If these foods are taken in excess over a long period they cause a slowing up in the liver's ability to work. This causes a congestion of the veins all over the body, and the nose “tells the world” of the trouble within.

General Hints.

Olives.—Just pop them in your mouth and conceal the stone, first in your hand and then in a suitable receptable such as an ash-tray.

Forks.—These, either with or without a spoon, are used for eating sweets. A spoon should never be used alone, not even for such liquid-like foods as fruit-salad.

Leave-taking.—Protracted good-byes are a sign of lack of self-control.

Asparagus.—Asparagus is eaten with the fingers. The stalks should be picked up one at a time and held by the cut end. The tip should be dipped into the sauce or equivalent and then lifted in the air so that you can easily nibble the end—and as far up the stalk as you feel inclined.

Grapes.—It is usual to eat grapes with your fruit knife and fork when you are on your best behaviour. Pips can then be removed before you put the fruit into your mouth.

Cards.—The snappiest of invitation cards can be completely spoiled by bad writing and smudges.

Weddings.—Remember, at all weddings, as the bride goes so goes the party. If she is in formal bridal array and the groom in formal dress—whether the wedding is in the afternoon or evening—formal dress is like-wise worn by the bridal party and guests. If the bride wears an afternoon page 59 dress or suit, less formal dress for everybody is indicated.

Verbal Invitations.—In the case of a small informal house wedding the number of guests would be limited, and the invitations would properly be given verbally by the mother.


Cauliflower Custard.

Put cauliflower into piedish, then add pepper and salt. Make a custard without sugar and pour over cauliflower, and bake a golden brown or till custard is set.


One knuckle of veal boiled for three hours. One pound pork boiled till very tender. Sheep tongues well boiled. Cut up finely and put in liquid of veal knuckle. Season to taste.


One tin salmon, two cups boiled rice pat of butter, pepper and salt.

Put rice through a colander, put in saucepan with butter, pepper and salt. Break up salmon with a fork, put in saucepan with rice, and heat all thoroughly. Pile up coneshaped on hot dish and garnish with yolk of hard-boiled egg.

Orange Salad.

Cut oranges into squares and serve on lettuce leaves with mayonnaise dressing.

Fish and Bacon.

Cut raw fish into small pieces, put into piedish with layers of thinly cut onion and bacon, a tiny piece of ground mace, and dessertspoon of butter. Cover with breadcrumbs or white sauce and bake twenty to thirty minutes.

Anchovette Sandwiches.

Hard-boiled eggs and anchovette make delicious sandwiches, beaten well together with a little butter, pepper and salt to taste.

Gherkin and Sardine Rolls.

Cut thin brown bread and butter, place a small piece of gherkin and sardine on each piece and roll up.

Tasty Sandwiches.

With brown bread and butter, grated raw carrot sharpened with lemon juice makes refreshing sandwiches.

Mustard and cress over cream cheese on wholemeal bread and butter is popular with children.

Onion Pie.

Peel and slice four or five large onions. Butter a piedish and line with breadcrumbs. Then put a layer of onions chopped finely, seasoning with pepper and salt and some bits of butter. Proceed with alternate layers till dish is full. Have a layer of crumbs last. Pour over a cup of milk or good gravy and bake 1 1/2 hours.

Curried Crayfish with Boiled Rice.

One crayfish, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 cup rice, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion, 3/4 pint hot white stock, 1 quart boiling water, salt as required.

Remove meat from crayfish. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the onion. Cook slowly for 5 minutes. Mix the flour with the curry powder and stir into the butter and onion. When well blended, stir in the stock. Season to taste with salt. Add crayfish meat, chopped or shredded to taste. Stir till boiling. Pour into the centre of a hot dish. Serve the rice, round the cray-fish.

Baked Stuffed Cauliflower.

One large par-boiled cauliflower, 1 1/2 cups white sauce, 1 teaspoon chopped chives, 1/2 cup stale breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon chopped capers, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 6ozs. mushrooms—if in season.

Boil the cauliflower in the usual way but drain it before it is quite tender. Place it in a deep round buttered baking dish. Remove centre stalk and a little of the stems. Peel and chop the mushrooms. Add bread-crumbs. Mix with half of the white sauce. Stir in capers and chives. Stuff hollow in cauliflower with the mixture. Cover with remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle thickly with the cheese. Bake in moderate oven for about 20 minutes—until golden brown on top.

Souffle Omelette.

Separate egg yolks from whites. Beat the egg yolks until frothy; then beat the egg whites separately until stiff and frothy. Add the egg whites to the yolks, season with salt and pepper, and stir sufficiently to blend yolks and whites. Pour quickly into omelette pan when the butter in it is hot, and cook quickly, moving the pan from side to side until it is evenly browned at the bottom. Add flavourings if required, fold over and serve at once.

Sweet Omelette.

Omit pepper from plain omelette and add a teaspoonful castor sugar. Cook and add a dessertspoonful of hot jam on one half, fold over.