The miracle that takes place over nine months is a healthy, natural process for the majority of women. With more women wanting to avoid drugs and choosing natural childbirth, it is no surprise that many also seek holistic approaches to treating common complaints during pregnancy and childbirth. Homeopathy provides a treasure trove of safe, effective and time-honored remedies for childbearing women.
Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the immune system which benefits both mother and baby. When a mother becomes more resilient, her child gets a healthier start too. Research has shown that pharmaceutical drugs during pregnancy, labor and delivery can have short as well as long-term effects on infants. Using homeopathy increases a mother’s chances of a drugfree pregnancy and labor.
Remedies are selected based upon the uniqueness of each woman’s symptoms, and most often she can safely self-treat for the following conditions. If in doubt, consult a local homeopath or other qualified caregiver.
Morning sickness plagues many women and can range from mild to debilitating. Welcome relief can be found with these remedies:
- Sepia helps women with a strong aversion to the smell and even Is your child smart in everything…but school? thought of food. She prefers sour foods such as pickles or vinegar and also chocolate. She often feels irritable and critical towards family members. Exercise, warmth and sleep improve her symptoms.
- Colchicum gives relief when the main symptom is extreme aversion to the smell or sight of food. She desires cold drinks and feels worse from riding in a car.
- Specacuanha is for women who experience continuous nausea that is not relieved by vomiting. She tends to have increased saliva, is thirstless and desires open air.
- Pulsatilla gives relief to the woman who desires company and sympathy, tends to weep easily, or feel sorry for herself. She is thirstless and craves fresh air. Often, the tongue is coated white or yellow.
- Nux vomica helps when nausea is especially worse in the morning on waking. She is irritable and tends to vomit after eating. Constipation, headache and chilliness often accompany her nausea.
- Symphoricarpus is for the most extreme nausea, with continuous retching and vomiting. She is worse from any motion and tends to be constipated.
For varicose veins, applying witch hazel extract on the legs can give cooling relief to veins that feel hot, swollen or painful. Exercise, wearing support stockings and elevating the feet at regular intervals throughout the day are important measures which prevent varicosities from worsening.
- Hamamelis is often the first choice for veins that feel bruised, sore and sometimes sting, and tend to be large and blue.
- Pulsatilla is for painful varicosities which feel especially worse in warm weather. Often the woman needing this remedy is of a mild disposition, craves company and reassurance, weeps easily and wants fresh air.
As the due date draws closer, a baby in the breech position may be helped with homeopathy. The right remedy, along with the skilled hands of a midwife or
- Pulsatilla fits women who crave fresh air, company and sympathy, and tend to weep easily and openly. Pulsatilla stimulates the muscles of the womb and can cause the baby to turn.
- Natrummuriaticum suits a woman who is more introverted, prefers to be alone, and dislikes consolation. She may feel emotional, but suppresses tears or prefers to cry only in private. She often craves salt and holds on to grief from past events.
For labor that is slow getting started or stalls, the right remedy can help establish effective contractions. Caulophyllum and cimicifuga are well known among childbirth experts and midwives for their great usefulness.
- Caulophyllum helps labor progress when the mother is exhausted. Often she has sharp pains that fly from place to place, feels restless, anxious and has changeable moods. Stiffness in small joints also may be present.
- Cimicifuga is similar to caulophyllum, yet has distinctive emotional features: a feeling of failure, pessimism and an “I just can’t do it” state of mind. Her dejected mood may be accompanied by a fear that something will go terribly wrong or that she will simply fall apart.
Toward the end of labor and afterward, Arnica montana is excellent for easing fatigue, reducing swelling and bruised feeling and is especially indicated when the baby is very large or pushing has been prolonged.
Many remedies can bring welcome relief of discomforts in pregnancy and assist in a safe and healthy birth. Whether a woman selects her own remedies or consults with a homeopath, using homeopathy offers a wonderful way to care for herself and baby.
Laura Josephson, CCH has been practicing homeopathy in Nyack for 20 years and is the author of A Homeopathic Handbook of Natural Remedies (Random House, 2002). For more information visit NyackHomeopathy.com or contact 353-1136.