By Dr. Alok Kumar, Homeopathy
For most women, pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of their lives – they positively ‘bloom.’ However for others, the nine months of pregnancy can pose some niggling health challenges including falling pregnant in the first instance.
Homeopaths generally view the pregnancy and birth process as a period of time needing little intervention, using remedies only if they are required. Homeopathy can be extremely effective, both as an adjunct to other therapies and as an alternative when other therapies seem inappropriate, especially when women want to avoid the complexities of drugs while carrying their babies.
For those who strike difficulties in pregnancy, homeopathy can be a life-line which enhances their experience. In many cases, something truly transformative occurs during a course of treatment, allowing for optimum health so that a satisfying pregnancy and birthing experience can take place! Homeopaths joke that it is the perfect time to treat a woman as not only she, but her unborn child, get the benefit of a well-chosen remedy. As well as this, the symptoms exhibited by some women seem clearer, pointing the way to a good prescription.
Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine that, unlike conventional medicines, focuses on treating the root cause of a disease instead of just the symptoms. Apart from treating the disease, it also maintains the body’s natural equilibrium and improves the overall wellbeing of the body. Based on its preparations, it is a very safe method of treatment during pregnancy, at the time of delivery and post pregnancy.
Let us explore some areas where homeopathy can aid during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery.
Morning Sickness and Homeopathy-
Morning Sickness is by definition not a disease. It should be treated only when the symptoms are severe. Homeopathy is a complete, natural system of medicine that is over 200 years old. It is immensely popular in many parts of the world, including Europe, India and South America. Homeopathy has no side effects, is non-toxic and can be used safely during pregnancy. The most common remedies for this are Sepia, Colchicum, Colchicum, and Nux Vomica.
Apart from the homeopathic medicines, there are certain other factors that should be considered. It has been found that Morning Sickness has a direct relation with the female psychology too. Women who have a job or who have to conceal their pregnancy, often do not suffer from Morning Sickness. It has been seen that in working women, morning sickness is worse on weekends! Physically strong and well-nourished females often have less problem.
Managing Labour with Homeopathy-
- Early Labour: During labor, a woman can be treated acutely. Acute prescribing is also of benefit to the baby, such as a dose of Arnica after the birth for both mother and baby which will ease the trauma/bruising endured during the labour.
- Established Labour: The First part of labour usually can last anywhere from 12 hours in a first pregnancy to 6 hours for a second pregnancy, but no hard and fast rules apply. Homeopathic remedies at this stage can be used to help any natural hold-ups ensuring the process progresses naturally without the use of allopathic drugs. One remedy is Caulophyllum. This is given to induce labour or used once when the progress is definitely underway as it strengthens contractions.
- Second Stage of Labour: The second stage of labour usually lasts an hour or so in first pregnancies and about half an hour the second pregnancy. This stage of contractions become stronger and women may experience excessive pain. Chamomilla will help with painful contractions. The woman will be irritable, cross and abusive; she will demand things and then push them away. Other remedies for pain: Belladona, Coffea, Aconite, Nux Vomica, Ignatia, Arsenicum, Kali Carbonicum, and Pulsatilla. A dose of Arnica prior to the birthing and immediately afterwards can prevent many delivery problems.
- Third Stage of Labour: Once the baby is born, the third stage proceeds and a dose of Aconite to the mother and the baby will help if fear is predominant. This can also be given for the next few days if needed. The final stage takes another 30 minutes or sometimes longer and is marked by an increase in bleeding as the placenta is delivered. Nursing the baby helps detachment of the placenta naturally.
1. To assist the body in expelling the placenta, Pulsatilla, Cantharis and Sepia should be considered.
2. The Pulsatilla person craves fresh air and wants windows opened. She is gentle and yielding and better for sympathy; dry mouth but without thirst.
3. The Cantharis patient has painful, burning urination. She will have a constant desire to urinate but will only pass minute amounts. She will be anxious, restless and angry.
4. The Sepia patient will have the sensation that the uterus is falling out–a bearing-down sensation. She wants to be covered, will want to be alone but afraid to be alone. If the placenta has not detached after an hour it will have to be removed by hand and this is done under a general anesthetic.
Massaging or pulling on the umbilical cord after the birth of the child can cause stress on the detachment process and can result in partial separation of the placenta which can result in post-partem haemorrhage. Cinchona (also known as China) is a good remedy for any loss of fluid/blood and can help to sustain the body.
Asphyxia of Newborn-
1. When the baby is delivered, the lungs need to convert from inhaling fluid to air and babies that fail to breath are commonly premature, overdue.
2. Commonly meconium or mucous can obstruct the airways. Human intervention of gentle suction to the nose, mouth and throat can extract meconium or mucous. This can help along with the following remedies:
3. Antimonium Tartaricum is the first remedy to consider. The baby will have a rattling sound and be pale. The lungs are filled with thick mucous.
4. Camphora can be used if Antimonium Tartaricum has failed. Use Camphora for meconium in the lungs. The baby is freezing cold, blue and limp. The pulse is small and weak.
5. Opium is indicated for coma or asphyxia especially after fright, the baby is unresponsive. The mother may have been frightened.
6. Carbo Veg is for when the baby is limp, near death, blue and needs oxygen to restore the body’s vital force.
7. Arnica is to be used when there has been a traumatic birth resulting in any head bruising or trauma. There is a weakness in reflexes.
8. The Lauroceraus baby will be cold, blue but gasping for breath with a failing pulse.
Post Natal Depression-
Post-natal depression effect is every ten women and homeopathy can help a mother to cope while things are settling down into a routine. Post-natal depression is expressed by weeping, feeling hopeless, inadequate and anxious about the new pressure of motherhood. She may not be able to sleep and might have little interest in daily activities. It is important to match the mother’s symptoms to a remedy; consider: Sepia, Natrum Muriaticum, Pulsatilla, and Platina.
These examples of simple situations and remedies used, give a small indication of the potential homeopathy holds for all women at one of the most important times of their life. Optimum health at this time is highly desirable so consider engaging the support of a qualified homeopath who can look at the range of aspects, acute and chronic, that make you unique at this wonderful time. Homeopathic care will greatly enhance your birth experience.