What Medical Treatment is Safe for a Woman to Use During Her Pregnancy and Labor?
Homeopathy is a proven safe medicine during pregnancy and labor. It works quickly and is remarkably effective for many symptoms and conditions that arise. Safe for pregnant moms, for newborn babes, for debilitated, elderly folks at the end of their lives, patients who are hypersensitive to other medications, and for animals of all sizes and species. Homeopathic medicines are made from any substance in nature. You name it and it’s a potential homeopathic treatment. Honeybee, table salt, sea water, every flower, plant or tree you can think of- they’re all potential homeopathic medicines to treat a variety of physical, mental, and emotional complaints, either acute or chronic.
Pregnant woman, with good reason, are wary of conventional medications. Some, such as thalidomide, have been clearly and publicly implicated in serious congenital malformation. Others, including Prozac, have been shown to cause minor birth defects but they are so well-advertised that you would only discover such a problem by carefully examining the scientific literature as we did (Reichenberg-Ullman and Ullman, Prozac-Free (Prima, 1999, p 23). Many other pharmaceuticals have not been adequately tested during pregnancy. Although, in general, herbs are gentler and safer than prescription medications, many are contraindicated during pregnancy. Not so with homeopathy. A pregnant woman can rest assured that homeopathic medicines are absolutely safe.
If a woman wants to self-treat during pregnancy she needs to make sure that the condition she is treating is uncomplicated and acute, rather than chronic, and needs to follow the guidelines carefully. (Our book, Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide for the Whole Family, and other books written by experienced professionals rather than writers with no clinical experience, are what we recommend.) The most trouble she can generally get into by treating herself with homeopathy is that an incorrectly chosen medicine will have no effect or, by taking a medicine far too often one can (rarely) develop symptoms of the remedy (proving symptoms). These will go away rapidly when the homeopathic medicine is discontinued. However, many pregnant women and new moms prefer treatment from an expert, which is often the best course of action.
In this article we will share our experience in treating pregnant women and babies over the past nearly twenty years including several cases from our practice.
Homeopathy During Pregnancy
Homeopathy can be quickly and remarkably effective for many symptoms and conditions arising during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman inquires, “What is the one best thing I can do to insure that my baby is born healthy?” a homeopath will answer, “take your own constitutional medicine as early in the pregnancy as possible.” Hahnemann readily encouraged healthy diet and hygiene so optimal prenatal diet and nutritional supplementation, medical care, lifestyle, and peace of mind are essential. But, in addition, the more in balance a pregnant mom is on an energetic level, the smoother labor is likely to proceed and the greater the chance of giving birth to a vibrantly healthy baby. There are no guarantees in utero. A certain number of babies will be born with a variety of genetic defects and congenital abnormalities. Correct homeopathic prescribing during pregnancy simply increases the likelihood of a healthy child.
Homeopathy can treat nearly any condition on a pregnant woman. Just to give you an example of how it works, we present information on morning sickness, perhaps the most common complaint we treat during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. There are two distinct ways in which youy can treat these conditions using homeopathy. If your overall health is quite good, morning sickness is your only real complaint, and the symptoms are quite straightforward, you may be able to treat yourself quite successfully.
The following information is drawn from Judyth’s book, Whole Woman Homeopathy: The Comprehensive Guide to Treating PMS, Menopause, Cystitis, and Other Problems- Naturally and Effectively (Prima, 2000, p 140-141). You can find details on how and when to take the medicines in the book.
Acute Homeopathic Self-Care for Morning Sickness
• The most common medicines for morning sickness are Sepia and Colchicum.
• When aversion to the smell of food is the strongest symptom, consider Colchicum first.
• For severe vomiting, use Ipecac and for the most terrible nausea, use Tabacum.
• When aversion to sex is a strong symptom, consider Sepia or Kreosotum.
• Sepia is for conditions that are much better from viorous exercise or dancing, which differentiates it from the motion sickness medicines such as Tabacum and Cocculus. The latter two are for symptoms that are much worse, not better, from motion.
• Veratrum is the medicine of choice if you are very cold, are suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, and would die for fruit, ice, and sour foods like pickles or lemons
A woman should notice at least a 50%, often 75% or more, improvement in her nausea of pregnancy within one to two weeks after taking the proper homeopathic medicine.
Naturopathic Self-Care Recommendations for Morning Sickness
These are other measures that can be used in addition to homeopathy or while waiting for the medicine to act. Once this has occurred, these other recommendations are generally no longer needed.
• Eat small amounts of food frequently.
• Grab a bite before getting up in the morning.
• Chew Saltine crackers to help relieve the nausea
• Stick to bland foods such as broth, rice, and pasta.
• Tea (preferably herbal) and toast are usually well-tolerated.
• Sipping ginger root tea is a time-tested reliever of nausea. Use a one-quarter-inch slice of ginger root boiled in a cup of water for fifteen minutes.
• Many herbs, such as pennyroyal, need to be avoided during pregnancy. Research carefully before using any herbs, especially in your first trimester.
Simulating Stomach 36, an acupressure point in the soft place between the knee and to the outside of the leg where the tibia and fibula bones meet, often helps to alleviate nausea. Use firm rotary pressure on the spot for several seconds. Repeat as needed.
Constitutional Care for Morning Sickness
Anna: I was so looking forward to my third and final pregnancy. Having gone through it twice before, I thought this one would be a breeze. A piece of cake. I was definitely wrong! Almost immediately the morning sickness set in. I had suffered morning sickness for the initial ten weeks of my first pregnancy and virtually none with my second child. So, as my pregnancy progressed beyond fourteen weeks and I was still four pounds lighter than when I began, I knew I had to do something fast! Driving was impossible unless I carried a bag in which I could vomit. Pop Tarts and Ramen Noodles were my suvivial diet.
Conventional medicine does not offer a completely safe option for morning sickness. My obstetrician prescribed Hydroxyzine to help with the nausea, but it offered only temporary relief with no guarantee that it would not harm my baby.
I saw Judyth during my fourteenth week of pregnancy. After an hour-long interview, she prescribed Meadow Saffron. Within the next two weeks, my morning sickness diminished and I gained six pounds.
Six weeks later, I went back to see her. Though physically much better, I felt like I was riding an emotional roller coaster with no brakes. Judyth gave me another dose of the same medicine. Within forty-eight hourse, I felt like my normal self.
During my eighth month of pregnancy, I once more experienced morning sickness coupled with muscle pain in my shoulder, loose bowel movements, and sleeplessness. Again she repeated the Meadow Saffron and, as before, I felt
I can’t explain why Meadow Saffron can cure morning sickness, pregnancy blues, muscle pain, loose bowel movements, and sleeplessness. Nor why the medicines Judyth has given me for mastitis and all three of my children for a variety of physical and behavioral problems have worked so consistently and beautifully.
I can only say, “IT WORKS!”
Anna is one of the most engaging and delightful women I have ever met. Down home, friendly, and vivacious. And her children, whom I also treat, are equally delightful, especially since her daughter has received the right homeopathic medicine. Anna came to see me for the first time nearly a year ago when she was thirteen and a half weeks pregnant. She was beset with a horrible gagging sensation as soon as she smelled, looked at, or even thought about food. Her stomach felt achy and full of gas bubbles. The gagging occurred about six times a day and vomiting two to three times daily. Anna had experienced similar symptoms while pregnant with her son, but not as severe or long lasting. She also had what she described as a “weird thing with her toes”, which turned out to be Raynaud’s syndrome (incredible coldness and a purplish discoloration). She even had to wear socks at night to get to sleep.
Colchicum (meadow saffron) made the rest of Anna’s pregnancy a joy. She needed a total of four doses over the course of five months until she delivered an adorable baby and then again shortly after the birth for thrush and continued uterine bleeding. The Colchicum worked like a charm every time.
Planning for excellent prenatal and delivery care, drafting the perfect birth plan, gathering together the ideal birthing team, and preparing in every other way can increase the odds of a smooth labor and delivery, but pregnancy and labor can be full of surprises. Homeopathy can be literally a lifesaver during difficult labor and deliveries. We recommend having on hand a homeopathic self-care kit, or at least a few essential medicines. The problem with having available only two or three is if you don’t happen to have the best-indicated medicine with you, it is of no use. Again, problems during labor can sometimes be quite successfully treated through self-care but may need the expertise of a trained homeopath as you can see in the following stories.
Acute Homeopathic Self-Care for Labor
The best homeopathic medicine for extreme fear of death is Aconite.
Arnica is an excellent medicine for trauma, shock, and bleeding and is sometimes used routinely following labor and can be used for exhaustion during labor.
Caulophyllum is one of the best medicines for stalled labor.
If you are feeling weak after losing blood, China can be of great benefit.
Cimicifuga can be a great aid for women with late labor with cramps in the hips or pelvic pain from one side to the other.
If you feel sleepy, exhausted, and can’t keep your eyes open during labor, try Gelsemium.
To speed up the birth of an overdue baby, try Pulsatilla.
Sepia, among countless indications, is good for exhausted women who feel like moving around and exercising during labor.
Naturopathic Self-Care Recommendations for Labor
- Trust your intuition! It is your body and your baby.
- Make up a carefully considered birth plan well ahead of labor and delivery, then e as ready as you can to alter it if necessary due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Gather together your perfect birth team to support you in every way possible during this challenging and exhilarating experience. Choose professionals whom you you trust to be thoroughly experienced and competent and loving, caring loved ones who can stay calm during an emergency. Don’t forget someone to videotape the birth if you wish to have a visual memento of your remarkable experience.
- Perhaps the most important advice to cope with labor is “Breathe, breathe, breathe.”
- Change positions as needed to remain as comfortable as possible and keep the labor moving along.
- Create a birth setting with all of the elements that are most conducive to your well-being and to ushering into the world your newborn treasure.
- If you choose to use homeopathy during your labor, have all the potential medicines available as well as access to an experienced homeopath if the need arises.
- In a pinch, if you want additional help and no homeopathic medicine fits your symptom picture, take 5 drops of Rescue Remedy under the tongue up to every half hour.
- Pace yourself. Rest, sleep, relax, take a gentle walk, ask for a massage- whatever is needed to keep you focused or distracted as needed.
- Rely on your birth team to provide you with whatever you want and need to eat and drink. Remember push plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Take one step and make one decision at a time, depending on how the events unfold.
- If you really need conventional medications, ask for them. If you have a strong preference to use them only if absolutely necessary, share this with your birth team so they can encourage you to use other options and leave medication for a last resort.
- Don’t try to do it all yourself! This is a time for you to receive all the help you need in every way!
Constitutional Care to Prevent Preterm Labor
Patricia called in August, 2000 because of her desire to become pregnant combined with her fears of preterm labor. Although she had given birth to three healthy babies,the oldest of whom was seven, her late-stage pregnancies were problematic. She had suffered two miscarriages before her last baby and was on heparin shots from the beginning to the end due to blood clots in her uterus. Patricia had undergone D and Cs for both miscarriage and chose to take progesterone suppositories during her third pregnancy. Dehydration resulted in several trips to the emergency room. It was difficult for her to force herself to drink during her pregnancies. “I start panicking from the fourth month of pregnancy one due to my fear of preterm labor. During my first pregnancy, labor started in the seventh month, in the eighth with my second child, and at 29 or 20 weeks with the third. They sent me home on Terbutaline pump. I went into labor the day after they took it off. I’m trying to get pregnant again and I want to avoid all this.”
“I can take problems, but when something goes really wrong, I’ll get nervous. Let’s say if my husband comes home really late and be home two hours later than he said or my kids were cranky or I was tired. I’d put up such a fight then afterwards feel guilty. I’d scream, rant, rave. My husband is such a calm type, listens and he never screams back. He’s amazing. Or if my mother-in-law would talk to me about certain things or her problems, I’d start yelling at her and say she’s wrong . The next day I feel really guilty. It happens when she calls me at end of day when I’m tired. I just let loose. I’m a very different person than she is. How she thinks, I’ll think the opposite. I can’t stand to have things lying around my house. I get so nervous that everything should be put away. The household work would get neglected during my pregnancies if it weren’t for my husband because I have to lay in bed. Then I go into preterm labor so I have to rest and watch myself carefully. In fact, I get hysterical and start yelling, ranting, raving. My own mother always tells me I’m bossy and dominant.
I don’t get along with my sister-in-law either. I got mad at her and told her not to come back unless she called. My problems with her started when I was very tired, nursing my two-month-old baby. Her daughter was tearing around my house getting into things right and left. I would be so exhausted that I just couldn’t handle it and I let her know how I felt.
My periods definitely changed since the kids. I used to get them every three or four months My OB told me I couldn’t get pregnant without medication but six months after marriage I was pregnant. I used to get periods ever forty to fifty days. Now they’re thirty-five to thirty-eight days apart. The first day is very painful. I take Advil the whole day before the pain starts. My periods make me feel totally disabled. I double over- like I’m in labor over again. Terrible cramps… real contractions in uterus down into upper thighs.
I’m very bad with pain in general. My first two babies I had without an epidural. The third time I wanted an epidural at three cenitmeters. I didn’t want to feel anything. With my second son, I was screaming so loud in labor room from the pain. I was doubled over, rolling in pain, couldn’t sit or stand.
I was very nauseous with my last baby. I lost a lot of weight. The nausea was terrible. Everything I smelled or touched. I couldn’t even look at my husband or children.” We inquired about Patricia’s sexual energy, which she described as “terrible” during the first few months of her pregnancies.
“I get cramps in my feet during my pregnancies also. And a lot of heartburn. I take Tums for it. I feel like there’s a dragon in me. Spicy food- forget it”
Patricia’s fears included airplanes, being a backseat driver, and dying young. Sometimes she would talk to my husband and instruct him what he should do with the kids if she were to die when they were little. “I tell my husb he can remarry after I die, but not to a wicked stepmother. He looks at me like I’m crazy. I also have a fear of my house burning down.” Her dreams were about something bad happening to her to my baby, occurring mostly during her pregnancies. “I was quite revolting. My mother used to beg me to do something and I would purposely not do it. I wouldn’t even let my sister come in and sit on my bed. I was never happy. I had very hard time with friends till I was seventeen. I was raised in a strict Catholic family. I forced to follow rules I did not believe in. My mother made me dress so conservatively. I’d feel out of place with the kids. I just wanted to fit in. Now that I’m married, I dress the way I want even if my mother doesn’t like it. She still doesn’t approve of me. I like to be independent and not rely on anybody. When I’m pregnant I have to lay in bed and not do a thing. I really don’t like that.”
We prescribed Sepia 200C based on Patricia’s history of preterm labor, morning sickness, snappiness with her family, irregular periods, menstrual pain, feeling of being forced to do things against her will, desire to be independent, and low sexual energy during pregnancy.
Six weeks later she called and reported that she was about four weeks pregnant. She had begun to feel weak and queasy. “Whenever I look at food, I get nauseous. Everything stinks. I was feeling fine until two days ago. I haven’t ranted and raved. Sex is totally out because of my nausea.” We prescribed another dose of Sepia (cuttlefish ink) 200C for the morning sickness and recommended prenatal vitamins
Patricia called two weeks later to say her nausea was better immediately after taking the Sepia but that her symptoms were now back. We prescribed a higher dose: Sepia 1M.
At the next appointment in late September, Patricia was eleven weeks pregnant. She experienced slight nausea, but nothing compared to her previous pregnancies. She complained of fatigue and couldn’t seem to remember to take the prenatal vitamins. Patricia was now able to cook dinner. “My nervousness is so much better. I can get annoyed but I don’t scream. It really surprises me that I don’t overreact anymore. I haven’t had any incidents lately of getting irritated with my mother-in-law. She doesn’t seem to talk as much about her problems. In fact I appreciate her much more. I don’t take her for granted. My heartburn is only occasional.” We did not prescribe at this time.
Five weeks later Patricia’s nausea returned strongly after she ate some coffee-flavored cake. She had even vomited a couple of times. She found herself more fatigued. We repeated the Sepia 1M due to the relapse following her ingestion of the coffee.
One month later, at twenty weeks of pregnancy, Patricia reported that things were almost perfect. Only some headaches once a week when she was overtired. She reported having felt much better after the previous dose of Sepia. Her moods were quite good.
“Even my housework doesn’t get me so nervous. I used to get so upset that my husband had to help me. So annoyed when there was laundry in the basket. I’m much different. I had very bad dreams during my other pregnancies but not with this one. Before I would dream about not having a healthy baby. Sometimes I forget I’m pregnant because I feel so good.” We waited without prescribing again.
In mid-January, at twenty-seven weeks into her pregnancy, Patricia experienced a some burning in her urethra on urination and had a urine culture done. Urinary tract infections were common for her in late-stage pregnancy. Otherwise she was doing “great.” We gave her another dose of Sepia 1M.
One week later she called to say that her urine culture was negative but that she was one centimeter dilated. Her OB had administered terbutaline, both by injection and intravenous. At this point we prescribed Caulophyllum (blue cohosh)1M. It is possible that another dose of Sepia would have also worked but the former is a tried and true remedy to stall premature labor.
She called after one week to say she had responded quite well to the Caulophyllum until a couple of days earlier when she experienced some low back pain and was again one centimeter dilated. Her obstetrician had performed a fetal fibronectin vaginal culture which indicated that labor would begin within the next two weeks. She went on a terbutaline pump) and took a dose of Caulophyllum 1M that she was holding. She disliked the terbutaline because it caused her to have heart palpitations and tingling in here fingers. We instructed her to repeat the Caulophyllum 1M if the contractions began again.
We next saw Patricia six and a half weeks later. She was now thirty four and a half weeks pregnant. Her previous deliveries were at thirty-five, thirty-six, and thirty-seven weeks. She had taken another dose of the Caulophyllum1M.
Patricia called happily five and a half weeks later and shared that labor had gone quite well at forty weeks. Labor was neither long nor painful. “I was getting ready to go away for the weekend and decided to get checked out first. My doctor told me, “You’re not going anywhere because I was seven centimeters dilated! I had my little boy an hour and a half later. He’s eight pounds fifteen ounces and is really beautiful.”
Homeopathic Care for Mother and Baby
You will not be surprised to hear that homeopathy is the best medicine we know of for newborns and nursing moms. And right through toddlerhood and childhood. Many common acute conditions of babies can be self-treated quite successfully. Others require the care of a knowledgeable homeopathic physician or practitioner. If you are looking for the safest possible form of medicine, look no further- it’s homeopathy!