Pregnancy and Birth
Because homeopathy is gentle, non-toxic and has no side-effect it is a perfect companion during pregnancy and birth. At the practice, we can help individually during this period and offer a small 3hr self-help course for using homeopathy at home and in the place of birth. Below are some common conditions that homemopathy can support.
Tissue Salt Programme
At The Homeopathy Practice, we support pregnancy with a 9 month programme of tissue salts given in each trimester. Tissue salts work on a basic physical level and support the growing needs of the baby (i.e. whatever organs and tissues etc are being formed in each trimester) and the pressures on the mothers body at each stage.
Morning sickness is very common during the first trimester of pregnancy and usually clears up between weeks 12 to 14. It is not known why morning sickness occurs but there is research to suggest that it may be to do with the hormonal changes occurring in the body at that time, especially the increase of HcG. Contrary to its name morning sickness can be experienced throughout the day and can continue into the duration of the pregnancy. In a small proportion of women who suffer it can sometimes lead to hyperemesis (severe, constant sickness) where the mother may have to hospitalized in order to rehydrate the body. There are many homeopathic remedies that can help to alleviate the sickness feelings experienced during this time to prevent the mother from becoming dehydrated and undernourished.
Heartburn and indigestion
During pregnancy, there is a higher amount of progesterone in the body produced to ensure amongst other reasons, that the pregnancy is maintained. The increased level of progesterone relaxes the sphincter on the top of the stomach allowing for backflow to occur up the oesophagus. Depending on the exact symptoms of the heartburn homeopathic remedies can work with the body to accept these changes and bring about some relief from the symptoms.
SPD (symphysis pubis disorder) or PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain)
This is a common condition in pregnancy where the pelvic joints become unstable, causing mild to severe pain. Normally the bones of your pelvis are densely connected and are held in a fairly fixed position by joints. In pregnancy, these joints need to loosen so that the baby can pass through the pelvis at birth in order for this to happen the body produces the hormone Relaxin to soften the ligaments of the joints to allow for movement. Homeopathy works to balance out the system so that the sufficient amount of relaxin is produced, it will also help with the discomfort felt by the women.
Anxiety about the birth
We are now brought up in an age where childbirth is seen as a painful act that needs assistance in hospital. Other mothers, television and magazines tell of horrific labour and how painful it is. All of these constant messages often lead women to become anxious about the birth. It may be that a woman has had a previous bad childbirth experience and feel anxious about doing it again, or it may be that they have reservations about imminent parenthood or the type of parent they will be. Whatever the reason homeopathy looks into it and treats what it is that you are fearful of. If left untreated anxiety can hamper labour by producing adrenaline in labour due to the fear and panic felt, when adrenaline is produced in early labour it will interfere with oxytocin the hormone responsible for establishing contractions and the production of endorphins the body’s natural pain relief thus the labour may be late, slow to progress or stop with more discomfort felt.
Malposition of the baby
We can always try homeopathy to turn a baby that is breech and it has been used with much success. However, if there is no room for the baby to move to or the shape of the mothers' pelvis is such that a breech position is the most comfortable for the baby then it is unlikely that homeopathy will work.
Homeopathy can be used during labour when:
Contractions fail to start and the pregnancy is past its due date
When the dilation of the cervix is slow
Contractions are irregular in order to try and regulate them
Contractions stop or slow down on admission to hospital.
It is important that your birth partner is aware of any homeopathic remedies you may want to take during the labour
Research has shown that the use of homeopathy in labour can reduce the length of the labour and reduce complications (11.3% in the homeopathy group compared to 40% in the placebo group).
Dorfman P., Lassere N.M., Tetau M., Homoeopathic Medicines in Pregnancy and Labor, Cahiers deBiotherapie, 94, April 1987, 77-81.
There are many remedies that can help with constipation during pregnancy. When taking the patients case we would look at the specific symptoms of the constipation and any other symptoms that the mother may be experiencing at that time in order reach the most appropriate prescription.
Bruising and healing after birth
After the delivery of your baby you may have bruising to the pelvic area, stitches or it may have been that you had a caesarean delivery. Homeopathy can aid the recovery by promoting healing and limiting the likelihood of infection.
Post birth complications
Homeopathy can help with various post birth complications for example, retained placenta (aiming to expel it from the body), bleeding (aiming to control the amount of blood loss) and exhaustion.
Although breastfeeding is a natural act, it doesn't follow that it is instantly natural to do for either the mother or the baby and it can take some time for you both to become used to it. Many mothers experience cracked sore nipples, mastitis and milk supply issues. Homeopathy encourages the body to work effectively encouraging milk levels to balance and stimulating the immune system to bring about healing. It is also recommended that you get breastfeeding support either from an NCT or La Leche League breastfeeding councilor.
Statistics now state that 1 in 3 women may suffer from postnatal depression (PND). At a time when you should be enjoying your new family, PND can be devastating and often results in the use of antidepressants for a period of time. During a homeopathic consultation we would examine the feelings that are specific to you, when you started feeling the way you do and how it effects your day to day life. A remedy will be selected based on the information given in the consultation and aims to balance the emotions. Homeopathy can be used on its own or along-side the use of antidpressant medication.