While most babies are born after perfectly normal and uneventful labours, sometime things don’t go according to plan. Should that happen, a little homeopathic knowledge can help.
This article covers the top 14 remedies for common labour and post-birth problems – but before we get to them, let’s answer a common question: “Is homeopathy safe for pregnant women and babies?”
The short answer is yes. Homeopathy has an excellent safety record. Its remedies are non-toxic and, when correctly chosen, stimulate the body to heal its own health problems. It has a 200 year history of use during pregnancy and childbirth, without reports of harm or injury.
This following list contains 14 of the most commonly used homeopathic remedies drawn from the homeopathic materia medicas for labour and birthing problems. These remedies will not interfere or interact with other treatment being given. Instructions and guidelines for dosing are at the end of the article.
Fourteen Commonly Used Birth Remedies
- Aconite napellus (Acon):Contractions feel violent and intense, producing a state of fear and anxiety. Restless, agitated and fearful that may die. Baby appears shocked and frightened after birth.
- Arnica montana (Arn) –Feel bruised, sore, as if beaten during labour. Don’t want people to touch. Relieves soft tissue damage (perineum or abdomen) following birth or caesarian section – reduces swelling, bruising, and risk of infection, and promotes healing. Useful for caput or cephalohaematoma of newborn.
- Arsenicum album (Ars)– Anxious restlessness leading to physical exhaustion. Chilly with anxiety. Perineal infections following childbirth.
- Bellis perennis (Bell-p) – For bruised, sore pelvic or abdominal tissues following birth or Caesarean section. Bellis often follows well after Arnica, or when Arnica fails to relieve the discomfort or pain.
- Caulophyllum (Caul)– False labour where pains fly about the abdomen. Rigid cervix with pricking pains – cervix fails to dilate. Contractions become irregular and cease.
- Cimicifuga racemosa (Cimic)– Cervix spasms and becomes rigid on examination. Uterus ascends high into the abdomen during contraction. Pains fly from side to side of the abdomen. Irregular but painful contractions. (Note: Caulophyllum and Cimicifuga can be alternated 15 minutes apart when contractions are irregular and it is hard to determine which remedy is needed. Cease upon contractions becoming established and regular).
- Chamomilla (Cham) – The pains are unbearable, even early in the labour. Extremely irritable or angry. No matter what is offered or done, it is not right. Hands and feet cold.
- Gelsemium sempervirens (Gels) – Weakness and exhaustion – difficult to support weight. Muscles tremble with the effort of movement. Contractions weaken and cease.
- Hypericum perforatum (Hyper)– Shooting nerve pains following perineal damage or caesarian section.
- Kali-carbonicum (Kali-c)– Irregular contractions. Pain of contractions felt mainly in the back (ie – with posterior postion babies). Feels as if back may break, much better for firm pressure. Fearful of dying.
- Kali-phosphoricum (Kali-p) – Physical exhaustion either during or after labour where few other symptoms may be present (compare with Ars).
- Pulsatilla pratensis (Puls) – Changeable and erratic contractions. Very restless. Weepy and wanting support and comfort from others. Happy to be held. Flushed face.
- Pyrogenium (Pyrog)– Not likely to be needed but an important remedy if a post-partum infection in the uterus develops following childbirth. Rapidly resolves sepsis. May be used for its protective effect against infection of mother or baby if the membranes have been ruptured for a long time before the onset of labour, especially if a temperature develops.
- Staphysagria (Staph) – Useful following incision, penetration, or stretching of muscle fibres, as happens with a Caesarean sections or dilatation and curettage (d&c). It encourages the quick healing of incisional or lacerated wounds. Relieves the feelings of anger, resentment, disappointment, and emotional upset that may follow a Caesarean birth.
Guidelines for Use
- While all remedies can be given as pills, there are some advantages to dissolving them in water so they can be given in a liquid form.
- Not every symptom has to be present for the remedy to help – use the remedy that best matches the symptoms at the time.
- Commence with a 30C potency, only progressing to a 200C potency if the 30C potency is no longer helping.
- During labour, remedies can be given as often as every 10 – 15 minutes if needed. If there is no improvement in symptomsat all by three doses, stop and change to the next best-matching remedy. Once there is improvement re-dose only when symptoms return. In other words, don’t take the remedy if it’s not needed.
- If using remedies for discomfort or pain following labour, take a dose every hour until discomfort is relieved. If there is no improvementat all by three doses, stop and change to a better-indicated remedy. On improvement, redose only when the discomfort or pain returns. In other words, don’t take the remedy if it’s not needed.
- If you come across the recommendation that Cimicifuga and Caulophyllum should be given routinely to prepare for labour please disregard this information. Labour can be more vigorous or painful in ‘sensitive’ people if these remedies are given routinely when not needed. It’s much better to use remedies when symptoms are present rather than in expectation of them.
Homeopathy is not just a useful companion for labour and birthing, it also helps with common problems of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and baby’s first year of life. If you are in the process of either starting or expanding your family, a good home-use book on homeopathy is a worthwhile and valuable investment.