Homeopathic remedies work with the body to bring balance to health. This type of medical care is especially suited to pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period because these medicines are nontoxic and gently work with the sensitive systems of mother and infant. Using the similar remedy in its minimum dose ensures the effectiveness and safety of Homeopathic treatment.
Pregnancy is an advantageous time to be treated Homeopathically, as a pregnant woman is more receptive to the subtle energies which the remedies hold. In his booklet, Homeopathy for Mother and Infant, Dr. Douglas Borland described the wonderful effects he saw in no uncertain terms. “A woman who is treated throughout her pregnancy with Homeopathic medicine will approach the birth freed from the physical and mental ailments which are so often factors in an unsatisfactory confinement.” Taking this concept further, I feel that the health of humanity would improve dramatically if prospective parents would seek constitutional Homeopathic health care before conceiving their baby. There are so many children who have allergies and skin problems and other inherited tendencies that might be prevented in this way. Yes, I know I am idealistic but, I can dream!
The nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is controllable with a remedy chosen on Homeopathic principles. Melatonin will be the correct choice in a majority of cases. Pulsatilla covers the morning sickness with heartburn and queasiness especially after rich, creamy foods if her emotions are moody and she is craving comforting attention. Symphoricarpos is the remedy to pull out of the bag when all else fails.
Pregnancy and insomnia
Insomnia is quite common later in pregnancy and that is just when good rest is needed. Perhaps sleeplessness then is a preparation for the sleep deprivation that will come when baby is up at night. Coffea cruda will bring sleep to a busy mind that can’t turn itself off and hears every sound and feels every sensation intensely, while arsenicum album insomnia is more anxious and fearful in its restlessness. The Homeopathic combination remedies for insomnia have been helpful to many who can’t sleep.
In the last month of pregnancy the uterus, body and mind can be toned to pave the way for a smooth delivery. In consultation with their practitioner, many women now take three remedies routinely during their last month. Arnica 12c once a week begins the healing of trauma to muscles and soft tissues and builds the strength necessary to deliver a baby. Caulophyllum 12c once a week (on a different day) tones the uterus and prevents false labor in those last days before delivery. Cimicifuga 12c, once a week, is given to ease the fear of giving birth and to help the uterus to contract in a coordinated and effective way. The women I know who have used this regimen have been very thankful for Homeopathy after their births.
Breech or transverse fetus
A breech or transverse fetus may reposition itself if Pulsatilla is given while there is still room to turn: 30 to 33 weeks is not too early for this treatment. If labor does become protracted (too long) with ineffective contractions there are many remedies to work with but I usually keep a high potency of Caulophyllum (10M) handy to help the labor to progress and to avoid Caesarean Section. I have also used this remedy in a high potency to start labor when doctors are threatening to induce an overdue mother.
As birth assistant to a nurse midwife recently, I helped Teresa, the birthing mother, during the transition stage of her labor by putting some Rescue remedy into her sipping water. This mixture of five Bach Flower remedies is perfect for labor and birth, or any acute situation where calming and emotional balance are essential. Then I busied myself applying warm compresses to Teresa’s perineum to relax and stretch the tissues there. I had added Arnica oil to this warm water to begin the healing for the tissue trauma as the baby passed through.
As Teresa began to push I sprinkled a little Arnica 200x onto her tongue. Arnica is the queen of all homeopathic remedies and is specific for trauma to soft tissues, bruises and injury of any kind. The baby was born easily and was beginning to pink up and make small crying sounds. Had there been any problem with the baby’s breathing or circulation, the remedies Laurocerasus and rescue remedy were on hand to help as an adjunct to the other emergency resuscitation measures we would have quickly started. I had also brought the hemorrhage remedies, Belladonna, Ipecac and Phosphorus for the chance that the mother might bleed heavily after the birth.
As Teresa began to nurse her new baby girl, the placenta was delivered and the midwife surveyed the birth canal to look for tears. Finding just a few small nicks she swapped the entire area with a sterile gauze soaked with diluted Calendula tincture. Teresa would continue using Calendula daily as an ointment. More extensive tearing or episiotomy wounds benefit greatly when Calendula tincture is added to sitz bath water. This herbal extract made from marigolds is healing as well as antiseptic. We know it as the greatest healer of wounds. No family should be without Calendula liquid or ointment for uses which range from umbilical cord care to diaper rash.
Help with bruising
I gave Teresa another dose of Arnica and one to the baby too, to help any bruising and for her molded head to readjust quickly. Any forceps delivery baby would greatly benefit from Arnica. If Becky experiences “afterpains”, those post-partum abdominal pains caused by uterine contractions while nursing, in mothers of two or more children, Arnica and Magnesium Phos would be used in the days after the birth to ameliorate them.
Many infants develop physiological jaundice in the first days after the birth. The yellowing of the skin and sclera reflect the immature liver’s inability to deal with eliminating an over-abundance of red blood cells. Chelidonium assists the liver in the swift clearing of this problem.
When it is possible it is nice to avoid administering remedies to a newborn just to allow their system to be clear of any outside influences and to adjust in its own way. Some practitioners give the mother any remedy they want the baby to assimilateso it will pass through the breast milk!
Those breastfeeding mothers with sensitive nipples and any tendency to cracking or sores will greatly appreciate the healing effects of phytolacca ointment. This external treatment can make or break a breastfeeding commitment and make breastfeeding a pleasant experience instead of torture. When the milk comes in, two or three days after birth, the breasts can become very engorged and tender. A dose of Belladonna at this time can relieve this feverish feeling. Mastitis and clogged milk ducts can lead to abscesses and general infection and must be treated early with the similar remedy, as well as hot compresses, drinking large amounts of fluids and frequent breast feeding.
Belladonna will be needed at the first sign of redness or tenderness, and Bryonia is helpful when a clogged milk duct is exquisitely tender and sensitive to any touch or jar. Phytolacca is indicated when pains radiate from the breast to other parts of the body and Pyrogen is needed if the systemic symptoms of fever and achiness follow the localized infection.
Having these remedies on hand and being in communication with a Homeopathic practitioner can make more births and post-partums free of problems and drug interventions.