HOMEOPATHY IN PREGNANCY
From a homeopathic perspective pregnancy is a perfect time to treat conditions that are passed down from generation to generation in the form of one weakness or another and thus strengthen the constitution of the mother and the baby.
A health pregnancy and a natural labour will very much depend on the constitution of the mother; how healthy she is when she conceives; the food she eats during the pregnancy the exercise she take whilst pregnant.
The less intervention and more natural the birth the quicker mother and baby will recover leading to a higher likelihood of bonding and successful breast feeding.
This article covers some of the ailments experienced during pregnancy with suitable remedies to address them. Do remember that the remedies listed are a handful of the 2000 remedies available which means that professional help should be sought if the ailment persists.
The principle of “potency” was devised by Samuel Hahnemann, the “founder” of homeopathy who invented a method of diluting remedies using vigorous shaking between each dilution. He then worked out a potency scale for the remedies which is still used today. The lower potencies such as the 6th and 30th potencies are ideal for home use, although the 200th potency is usually suited to more acute situations. Most home first-aid kits are prepared using the 30th potency which is also suitable in acute situations and since the 30th potency is easily obtainable, I would recommend taking one pillule every fifteen minutes until the symptoms start to improve. The remedy can then be taken less frequently until the healing process has taken place.
The first symptom, Morning sickness, is probably the most common complaint in pregnancy. This may or may not be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and heartburn. Medically, suggestions include dietary changes – eating and drinking small portions frequently, eating before feeling hungry and eating bland foods. Homeopathically, some useful remedies include:
Arsenicum Album - Vomiting will be excessive, especially after eating and drinking, and fainting can occur. There is great weakness and the patient is very thirsty for ice-cold water.
Ipecac - When there is nausea and vomiting the patient usually feels worse for smelling food or eating.
Nux Vomica – again, symptoms are nausea and vomiting especially in the morning, whilst eating or immediately after eating or drinking. The patient is usually irritable and may be constipated.
Pulsatilla – nausea after eating, vomiting and heartburn. Acidic or bitter belching. Pulsatilla patients are usually sensitive and weepy. They are usually thirstless and feel better outdoors or with the windows open.
Sepia – in cases of vomiting of milky mucous and sick headaches. Patients feel irritable and indifferent to loved ones. They are averse to sympathy but can be weepy. Sometimes they feel better after eating.
Fresh Ginger dissolved in hot water with or without lemon is great for sickness. Fennel tea often helps and eating pumpkin and other seeds to help regulate blood sugar levels. It is helpful to avoid cold, sweet greasy foods and to eat at regular intervals throughout the day.
Another annoying symptom of pregnancy is constipation which may or may not lead to haemorrhoids. This is usually due to pressure from the enlarging uterus on the rectum and the lower part of the intestine. It may be exacerbated by the high levels of progesterone present during pregnancy. If haemorrhoids result they can be treated medically with stool softeners, anaesthetic gel or warm soaks. Homeopathically, remedies include:
Nux Vomica – if there is frequent but ineffectual desire for stool and an accompanying dull headache.
Opium – for stubborn constipation without desire to go to stool.
Nux Vomica and Sulphur – the principal remedies for constipation with haemorrhoids. Take Sulphur 30 in the morning and Nux Vomica 30 in the evening for three to five days.
Itching (pruritis) may occur at any time after the 24th week. There may be very itchy, red, irregularly shaped, flat or slightly raised hive like patches with tiny fluid-filled blisters in the centre. They develop on the abdomen and spread to the thighs, buttocks and sometimes the arms. Some remedies include:
Dolichos – when itching is all over, worse at night preventing sleep, worse from scratching, sometimes with no perceptible eruption on the skin.
Mercurius vivus – itchy pustular eruptions worse from the warmth of the bed, easy perspiration but patient not relieved by it. Skin is continuously moist.
Sepia – is worse from open air and is better in a warm room.
Tabacum – when itching is all over and feels unbearable. It feels as though there are flea or insect bites. There are usually pimples with yellow pus.
Heartburn is usually caused by the backup of stomach contents into the oesophagus. It can be relieved by eating smaller meals, and avoiding bending or lying flat for a few hours after eating. Helpful remedies include:
Apis Mellifica – patients who require apis experience belching which taste of whatever they have eaten. This is made worse from drinking water.
Capsicum – patients who require capsicum have eructations of acid gastric contents into the mouth, accompanied by a burning sensation felt behind the breast bone. The burning of capsicum is worse from cold water.
Carbo Vegetabilis – patients experience distress from the simplest food. There is belching, heaviness, fullness and sleepiness, worse from lying down. Belchings are rancid or sour. Nausea in the morning and the patient loathes even the thought of food.
Zinc – heartburn is worse from eating foods containing sugar. There is a sweet taste rising from the throat into the mouth. There is burning in the stomach. Swollen feet is usually an accompanying symptom.
Varicose veins are common and may be uncomfortable. Wearing support hose or resting frequently with the legs up, preferably lying on the left side usually reduces leg swelling. If this doesn’t help, one of the following remedies may:
Carbo Vegetabilis – varicose veins on pudendum and vulva with burning, bluish ulcers. Patient must have air, must be fanned hard, and must have all the windows open. The patient feels very debilitated.
Fluoric Acidum – these patients feel better from walking in the open air. A peculiar symptom is that these patients have the increased ability to exercise muscles without fatigue. However, the limbs may be numb even when not lain on.
Hamamelis – veins are painful, cutting, swollen, inflamed and hard. Patients feel worse in the open air and from pressure. Motion and exertion generally exaggerates.
Pulsatilla – changeable nature is one of its most important keynotes. The patient always feels better in the open air. They are usually thirstless, chilly and short of breath. Pain in limbs shifting rapidly, legs feel heavy and weary. Legs feel numb after standing for a long time. The veins are full and painful.
The above-mentioned remedies are just nine of the many remedies available in the birthing kit. Because homeopathy is such a gentle therapy, there is no threat of harming the baby and it is not invasive in the same way conventional medicine can be.
Tessa Izikovitz (MCPH) practices in Finchley and qualified as a homeopath through the college of practical homeopathy.
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