[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Kraempfen infant deaths

Sigrid Pohl Perry perry1121 at aol.com
Fri Apr 10 06:01:54 PDT 2009


After reading the German article in Günther's link in yesterday's post 
and skimming medical links intelligible to the average person, I've come 
to the following conclusions about "Kraempfen/cramps" as a cause of 
death among newborns: A newborn baby's deficiency of calcium and vitamin 
D caused a combination of symptoms which included continuous crying, 
trembling, and convulsions which ultimately led to death. The deficiency 
can be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D in the mother's diet or 
by underlying maternal illnesses such as diabetes which contribute to 
the deficiency. The modern treatment consists of intravenous calcium & D 
supplements (obviously unavailable to our ancestors). A regular diet of 
dairy products for calcium and time spent in the sunshine for vitamin D 
can prevent this if the mother is otherwise in good health. However, her 
body needs to absorb enough calcium to have it ready to pass on to her 
developing baby, and that supply cannot be available if the mother is 
pregnant annually. At least a two-year interval between pregnancies is 
crucial for her optimal health and that of her baby. Two or three 
children in succession is not a problem. However, many of the families 
of our ancestors saw the annual birth of a child and families with more 
than ten children. I've been indexing records from the Lublin area and 
can state quite truly that the infant mortality rate is astonishing and 
that many mothers bore a child nearly every year, certainly every two 
years, almost without fail. I even noticed one family who lost four 
newborn infants in less than six years. Yet very few death records 
actually list a cause of death and symptoms of too many illnesses were 
similar, so I don't think any general analysis can be made except to say 
this was a contributing factor in some of them.

Sigrid Pohl Perry

Sigrid Pohl Perry

More information about the Ger-Poland-Volhynia mailing list