from When a Child is Born by Wilhelm zur Linden M.D.

copyright©1995, 1998 Rudolf Steiner Press

Healing Arts Press, One Park Street Rochester, Vermont 05767




It is hoped that the following descriptions of a number of nursing procedures will help the mother to assist the doctor. She should work with him and not on her own without consultation.


Many of these practical nursing traditions are fast disappearing and perhaps these descriptions  will help them from being forgotten forever.


They help the parents to work preventatively against the sick child’s distressing symptoms, and to create and maintain a healthy basis for life. The unrestrained taking of tablets and pills should be seen for what it is, so that people may return to placing their confidence in the healing forces of nature and to an understanding of the natural methods of healing.


The mother’s love

A baby’s healthy development depends to a far higher degree than most mothers realize on the daily intimate contact between mother and child. Far from love being ‘just’ a feeling and nothing concrete, the way a child thrives proves that though love may not be visible its effects are recognizable and perceptible.


Babies in hospitals are prone to infection just because, despite even the greatest devotion on the part of the nurses, the mother’s love is lacking.


Though the physical link with the mother is severed at birth, this is only the very first necessary step on the way to independent existence. The baby still needs the mother’s physical proximity as she picks him up in her arms and places him beside her in bed. This encloses him ever and again in her motherly warmth so that he is totally surrounded by her ambiance. Only the mother completely and utterly undertands her child’s needs which are at first almost wholly physical but soon become psychological as well.


Children who are separated from their mother during the first year, for whatever reason, suffer damage without any doubt, and only the most devoted care by other people can hope to compensate for this to some degree. Every unnecessary absence of the mother should therefore be avoided. […]


Not until they are three years old are children independent enough to cope with their mother’s absence.