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the breasts should be exceedingly intimate, so that the breasts may be in
a condition to respond adequately to the demand of the child's sucking
lips at the earliest moment after birth. As a matter of fact, this
connection is very intimate, so intimate that it takes place in two
totally distinct ways--by the nervous system and by the blood.
The breasts of young girls sometimes become tender at puberty in
sympathy with the evolution of the sexual organs, although the
swelling of the breasts at this period is not normally a
glandular process. At the recurring periods of menstruation,
again, sensations in the breasts are not uncommon.
It is not, however, until impregnation occurs that really
decisive changes take place in the breasts. "As soon as the ovum
is impregnated, that is to say within a few days," as W.D.A.
Griffith states it ("The Diagnosis of Pregnancy," _British
Medical Journal_, April 11, 1903), "the changes begin to occur in
the breast, changes which are just as well worked out as are the
changes in the uterus and the vagina, which, from the
commencement of pregnancy, prepare for the labor which ought to
follow nine months afterward. These are changes in the direction
of marked activity of function. An organ which was previously
quite passive, without activity of circulation and the effects of
active circulation, begins to grow and continues to grow in
activity and size as pregnancy progresses."
The association between breasts and womb is so obvious that it
has not escaped many savage peoples, who are often, indeed,
excellent observers. Among one primitive people at least the
activity of the breast at impregnation seems to be clearly
recognized. The Sinangolo of British New Guinea, says Seligmann
(_Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, July-December, 1902,
p. 298) believe that conception takes place in the breasts; on
this account they hold that coitus should never take place before
the child is weaned or he might imbibe semen with the milk.
It is natural to assume that this connection between the activity
of the womb and the glandular activity of the breasts is a
nervous connection, by means of the spinal cord, and such a
connection certainly exists and plays a very important part in
the stimulating action of the breasts on the sexual organs. But
that there is a more direct channel of communication even than
the nervous system is shown by the fact that the secretion of
milk will take place at parturition, even when the nervous
connection has been destroyed. Mironoff found that, when the
mammary gland is completely separated from the central nervous
system, secretion, though slightly diminished, still continued.
In two goats he cut the nerves shortly before parturition and
after birth the breasts still swelled and functioned normally
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